Barack Obama

Early Career

What did Obama do when he moved to Chicago?

After working in New York, Obama moved to Chicago to work for a community activist-organizer named Jerry Kellman, who became one of Obama’s mentors. Kellman led a group called the Calumet Community Religious Conference, which consisted of several churches working to improve surrounding neighborhoods. Kellman started the Developing Communities Project to do community activism. He realized he needed an African American community activist to help with his projects and he saw great potential in Obama.

Obama worked under Kellman for three years from 1985 to 1988. He tried to improve public housing and help create a job training program.


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