Connections Of The Obamas To Public Allies, Asset Based Community Development Institute and The Gamaliel Foundation.




Public Allies:

Making a Career Out of Making a Difference

We need your leadership. Social change has always resulted from the caring and courageous acts of many, not the inspiration of a few. We can’t wait for others to address the educational, economic, health, environment, and civic needs of our community – we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for (Does this sound familiar as in Obama‘s campaign speech?).

People can work for positive community and social change in the private, public or nonprofit sector. However, the nonprofit sector is the sector most positioned to work for change. It is through nonprofits, where people come together as “citizens” to solve problems, work for the common good, serve their communities, and advocate for solutions and social change.

The Leadership Practice, our training and consulting arm, delivers Public Allies’ knowledge and techniques to people and organizations across sectors. The Leadership Practice helps organizations recruit, retain, and advance diverse young leaders by exemplifying values that better engage communities, foster collaboration, and improve accountability.

Our Approach

recognize and mobilize all of a community’s assets
connect across social boundaries
facilitate collaborative action
commit to learning and self development
be accountable to those they work with and the community they serve.

The Leadership Practice employs a network of our most talented Public Allies staff and alumni, who have excellent facilitation and interactive learning design experience.

Through our partnership with The Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University led by noted community builders John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann, we offer an additional faculty of highly experienced and successful community leaders across the country who are respected and recognized for their successful community building efforts.

Because the next generation of American leaders needs to look like America will look, connect across cultures, facilitate collaborative action, recognize a community’s assets, commit to self-development, and be accountable to the people they work with and the community they serve. We believe a new approach to leadership is necessary to live these values. We believe that through these values, we will create a more just society.

How do we make it happen?
In addition to our signature program, Public Allies supports the continued leadership of our Alumni through an active network. We also offer training and consulting through The Leadership Practice, which helps groups better engage and strengthen communities and support diverse young leaders.

Our social impact

Public Allies is a premier pipeline for developing diverse young nonprofit and community leaders, and we prepare leaders and organizations to lead more effectively for our changing times.

We serve communities today, while developing better leaders for tomorrow. By cultivating new leaders and a new kind of leadership, Public Allies invigorates the public life of our communities.

When citizens learn, practice, and share these values, they engage more community members, unite people across social boundaries to work for the common good, create more effective and responsive solutions to social problems, and ultimately build a more just society for all.

About The Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University

ABCD Institute Publications
Building the Mercado Central
A Guide to Capacity Inventories
City Sponsored Community Building
A Guide to Evaluating Asset Based Community Development

A Guide to Creating a Neighborhood Information Exchange

A Guide to Mapping and Mobilizing the Associations in Local Neighborhoods

Leading by Stepping Back

A Guide to Mapping and Mobilizing the Economic Assets of Local Residents

A Guide to Mapping Consumer Expenditures and Mobilizing Consumer Expenditure Capacities

A Guide to Mapping Local Business Assets and Mobilizing Local Business Capacities

The Organization of Hope (Rural Workbook)

Community Transformation


The ABCD faculty is coordinated by the Asset-Based Community Development Institute. Initial inquiries about faculty members for ABCD talks and training should be made to the Institute at 847/491-8711.

The Faculty Members:
Domestic Faculty Members
Paul Arntson, Evanston, IL
Michael Bennett, Chicago, IL
Terry Bergdall, Chicago, IL
Irene Brown, Chicago, IL
Rev. James Conn, Santa Monica, CA
Tom Dewar, Baltimore, MD
Jim Diers, Seattle WA
Dan Duncan, Tucson, AZ
John H. Fish, Chicago, IL
Janis Foster Richardson, Hallettsville, TX
Bob Francis, Bridgeport, CT
Mike Green, Denver, CO
Terry Grundy, Cincinnati, OH
Lisa Hadden, Saginaw, MI
Anne Hallett, Chicago, IL
Terry L. Holley, Knoxville, TN
Rev. Craig J. Lewis, Chicago, IL
Diane Littlefield, Sacramento, CA
Rev. Damon Lynch, Cincinnati, OH
Bernie Mazyck, Charleston, NC
Tom Mosgaller, Madison, WI
Mary Nelson, Chicago, IL
Michelle Obama, Chicago, IL <——*********
Deborah Puntenney, Evanston, IL
Frank I. Sanchez, Roswell, NM
Paul Schmitz, Milwaukee, WI
Geralyn Sheehan, Northfield, MN
Judith Snow, Ontario, Canada
Luther Snow, Decorah, IA
Richard Townsell, Chicago, IL
Byron P. White, Chicago, IL
Dianne Williams, Little Rock, AR

Many of our clients request to learn more about the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute. They have many publications, including:
Building Communities from the Inside Out.

Why change the face and practice of leadership?

Through our signature AmeriCorps program, Public Allies identifies talented young adults from diverse backgrounds and prepares them for careers working for community and social change.

Allies serve 10-month, paid apprenticeships at local nonprofits and participate in a rigorous and rewarding leadership development program with a diverse group of peers who are also of and working within their home community.

About Public Allies; Barack and Michelle Obama Facts:

President-elect Obama was a member of the founding advisory board of Public Allies.

Michelle was the founding Executive Director of Public Allies Chicago from Spring, 1993 until Fall, 1996, and served on our national board of directors from 1997 until 2001.

President-elect Obama was no longer on the board of Public Allies when Michelle was hired.

 Before joining Public Allies, she was an attorney at the law firm of Sidley & Austin and Deputy Director of Community Development for the City of Chicago (Worked with Mayor Daley and Valerie Jarrett: Obama’s chief advisor in the White House)

· Under Michelle’s leadership, Public Allies Chicago pioneered many elements of Public Allies’ program model. To identify and develop the next generation of Chicago leaders, she recruited young people from housing projects and youth centers as well colleges and universities. Her emphasis on indigenous leadership and belief that all people have potential to lead became a core value of our leadership philosophy. When she left, Public Allies Chicago had a cash reserve, a committed board, a talented young staff, and a network of diverse, talented young leaders in Chicago who continue to serve the community today. Michelle was also a pioneer in the social entrepreneur movement – leaders who create new approaches and organizations to provide new solutions to social problems.

· At her subsequent jobs at the University of Chicago and University of Chicago Medical Center, Michelle hired more than a dozen Public Allies to work with her. In addition, she has continued to advise, coach, donate to, and champion Public Allies. President-elect Obama has also been an active volunteer and supporter. President-elect Obama has trained several classes of Allies in community organizing, spoken at Public Allies Chicago events, and helped Senator Durbin secure an appropriation from the Department of Justice that successfully helped us better recruit and retain young men of color for our Chicago program and learn practices we are applying nationally.

· Michelle Obama and Public Allies CEO Paul Schmitz were also original faculty members of the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University, led by John McKnight and Jody Kretzmann. John McKnight worked with Barack Obama as an organizer and wrote his Harvard Law School recommendation (see Audacity of Hope, page 360). The Institute has a strategic alliance with Public Allies’ consulting group, The Leadership Practice, through which we provide training and consulting services on how to better identify and mobilize local community assets and participation to strengthen communities.

From an article dated: August 22, 2008

Michelle, the Herald reported, had been executive director of Public Allies Chicago since 1991. Public Allies Chicago currently partners with the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University, led by noted community organizers John McKnight and Jody Kretzman. Michelle and Barack both have close links to Public Allies, to the Asset-Based Community Development Institute, to McKnight and to Kretzman. The Asset-Based Community Development Institute and its leaders are closely tied to the Gamaliel Foundation. Barack himself worked directly with the co-founder and Executive Director of the Gamaliel Foundation, Gregory Galluzzo. And as I show in my piece, “Senator Stealth,” in the current print issue of National Review, the Gamaliel Foundation is guided by an extreme, anti-American ideology, much like Revered Wright’s. In other words, Both Michelle and Barack Obama were part of a tightly knit network of Gamaliel Foundation organizers, and the guiding ideology of Gamaliel is deeply radical and anti-American.

As the Hyde Park Herald reported in an article on Michelle’s new position on January 8, 1997, her job would be “to direct hundreds of would-be volunteers from the university to the dozens of local causes that need help.” So her new and never-before-existing job put Michelle Obama in a position to effectively recruit large numbers of new organizers for the radical community groups that she and Barack worked with. As the Herald makes clear, the University of Chicago was looking to Michelle Obama’s “newly created position” to “help bridge the gap, the real one and the perceived on, that exists between the school and the Hyde Park Community.”

Just after Barack Obama effectively secured a seat in the State Senate, the University of Chicago invented a new job, for which it hired Michelle Obama. In that job, Michelle would be able to channel University of Chicago students into the radical anti-American groups that she and her husband worked with, and whose ideology has received far too little scrutiny. Some of these organizations, even if unofficially, provided campaign workers for Barack Obama on election day (see “Senator Stealth”).

So we see here an unusual arrangement between the University of Chicago and its new teacher/State Senator. The Senator’s wife provides political cover for the university with the community, in return for which the university provides a previously non-existent and prestigious position to the Senator’s wife, which allows her to funnel students into hard-left political groups that sometimes provide campaign workers to the Senator. At any rate, that’s how it looks. It seems to me that if the mainstream papers like the Post are going to look into Michelle Obama’s work bringing medical care to poor South Side residents, her earlier position and its link to politically radical–even intensely anti-American–community organizers deserves scrutiny as well.

The Gamaliel Foundation: Radicalism hidden behind FAITH BASED INITIATIVES:

Gamaliel Foundation Vision Statement

The Gamaliel Foundation is a community of people living out our faith and values to collectively transform our society and bring about justice locally, nationally and globally. Gamaliel exists to form organizations that empower ordinary people to effectively participate in the political, environmental, social and economic decisions affecting their lives.

Religion has often played a mixed role in our society. Religion has been used to foster the evils of racism, poverty, violence, and intolerance as a powerful force to divide people with fear and hatred of one another. Still, the deepest values of our faith must unite all people through hope, acceptance and a deep desire for justice.

We claim the value of unrelenting hope over numbing fear.
We hold that all people are part of a sacred community,
intended by God to realize their own dignity, worth, power and voice.

A great disparity of wealth and poverty exists in the world today. The “haves” in our global society enjoy enormous advantages and the capacity to continuously protect and expand their interests, while the “havenots” are often powerless and victimized.

We live in a society where geographic place confers privilege through spatial racism, classism and segregation of opportunity. Too often environmental distress occurs in communities of the least represented. The resources of water, land, air, oil, and minerals in the world are unevenly distributed and inadequately conserved.

We defy raw greed for the benefit of few and
We claim the value of sustaining abundance for all.

We live in a world where famine, disease and genocide destroy generations of people, and yet very few are outraged. Due to mobility, consumerism, nationalism, militarism, television, electronic gadgetry, racism, sexism, time constraints, and fear, people are less and less able to build enduring, strong and meaningful relationships with one another. Throughout the world there are millions of undocumented residents with little chance of being integrated into the political and legal structure of our communities.

We claim the value of a sacred community over isolating individualism.
We further claim that each person has the right and responsibility to
make the sacred community a reality.

The concentration of money on political decisions corrupts democratic processes, excluding the vast majority of people from having any meaningful input into political decisions.

We affirm equal opportunity for all and abhor all forms
of injustice flowing from racism, poverty, and intolerance.

Therefore, Gamaliel has structured itself to effect the systemic changes necessary to advance the values we have claimed. People with faith in a good and just God and people who share these values will organize through Gamaliel to bring about shared abundance, sacred community, unrelenting hope, equal opportunity and justice within our communities and throughout the world.[1].pdf

Gamaliel and the Barack Obama Connection
by Gregory A. Galluzzo

President elect Barack Obama has throughout his political career made repeated references to his time as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. It is important that we all understand the connection between Barack and Gamaliel. In l980 Mary Gonzales and I created the United Neighborhood Organization of Chicago.

In l982 we decided that we needed some expertise from someone who had done faith based community organizing. A person who had worked as such an organizer in Illinois and in Pennsylvania approached me about joining our organizing team. His name was Jerry Kellman. Jerry helped Mary and myself become better organizers. While he was working for us, he connected with a group called the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) operating on the South Side in the South Suburbs of Chicago, and in Indiana. CCRC had been formed in response to the massive shut down of major industry and the resulting job loss and all of the concomitant social tragedies.

Jerry and I reached an understanding that we would support his work in the South Suburbs so that he could become director of his own project. It was Jerry Kellman who put an ad in the New York Times about an organizing position in the Chicago area. Barack responded; Jerry interviewed him and offered him a position. Barack accepted. Almost at this very time, Jerry propositioned an old friend of his to return to Chicago from Texas and work with him in this new organizing venture. His friend was Mike Kruglik. Mike and Jerry were the first mentors of Barack in organizing.

CCRC, which spanned communities in Northwest Indiana, the South Suburbs and parts of the City of Chicago proved to be unwieldy. Jerry and I decided to split it into three parts. Barack would work to found a new independent project in the South side of Chicago, Mike Kruglik would be the director of the South Suburban Action Conference and Jerry Kellman would develop organizing in Northwest Indiana. At that point Jerry asked me to become Barack’s consultant.

And at this time we were just creating the Gamaliel Foundation. I met with Barack on a regular basis as he incorporated the Developing Communities Project, as he moved the organization into action and as he developed the leadership structure for the organization. He would write beautiful and brilliant weekly reports about his work and the people he was engaging.

When Barack decided to go to Harvard Law School, he approached John McKnight, a professor at Northwestern and a Gamaliel Board member for a letter of recommendation. When Barack was leaving he made sure that Gamaliel was the formal consultant to the organization that he had created and to the staff that he had hired.

Barack has acknowledged publicly that he had been the director of a Gamaliel affiliate. He has supported Gamaliel throughout the years by conducting training both at the National Leadership Training events and at the African American Leadership Commission. He has also attended our public meetings.

We are honored and blessed by the connection between Barack and Gamaliel.

In summary:

We now have a connection of both the Obama’s to Public Allies, which connects to the Asset Based Community Development Institute, that is connected to the Gamaliel Foundation.

What looks kind of “tame” on the outside; peel back the layers and you can uncover radicalism, Socialism ideals, etc.

Is this why we, as Americans, keep hearing the words “mandatory service”( Rahm Emanuel), “redistribution”, social justice, “being good citizens by volunteering”, “being good citizens by paying taxes”(Biden), etc.

I thought as Americans we had the right fail, to be left alone, and to follow our own path of destiny.



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