December 7 2013 Latest news:
President Barack Obama addresses an Organizing for Action summit in Washington, Monday, July 22, 2013. The group was formed from Obama's 2012 re-election campaign with the express goal of backing his policy priorities. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Friday, August 30, 2013
A commnity activist credited with being an early mentor of Barack Obama is to speak in Norwich tomorrow.
Arnie Graf is appearing at New Hope Christian Centre on Martineau Lane between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.
Mr Graf, 69, is an American community organiser with 50 years’ experience. He cut his teeth during the civil rights movement, and is known for employing grassroots techniques to get people involved with their communities.
He was recently appointed as community organising lead by Labour leader Ed Miliband in a bid to shape Labour’s approach to the next General Election.
In the US, Mr Graf joined the Industrial Areas Foundation set up by church leaders and community groups to improve the quality of life in Chicago’s Baltimore estate, introducing the world’s first living wage in 1994.
It was during this time that he met Barack Obama, seeing the potential in the young man and taking time to act as his mentor.
The future president had enrolled at a centre where Mr Graf was training community organisers, and sought out Mr Graf for advice on race relations and identity.
Mr Graf’s speech tomorrow is open to all and has been organised by the Widows and Orphans Relief and Development Trust (WORD Trust).