Former President Barack Obama is in the Bay Area to take part in a critical event for his foundation.
Leo Mercer is one of the hundreds taking part in the conference. Mercer, an East Bay college student, is on a mission to create hip-hop music that has a positive message.
"Right now, hip-hop isn't giving an eccentric sense of self worth," Mercer said. "It's basically telling you to kill yourself and I'm trying to create music to heal yourself."
Volunteers and locals kicked things off Monday by sprucing up West Oakland's Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School.
Other sessions will cover efforts to reduce youth violence, impactful mentoring, masculinity and perspectives from community-based leaders.
Obama launched My Brother's Keeper five years ago, following the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida that drew national attention, "to build safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear paths to opportunity - with a focus on encouraging mentorship and reducing youth violence."
The gathering will be held at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Drive. Mainstage sessions will be streamed live on https://www.obama.org.
Former President Barack Obama's MBK Rising event brought some star power to the Bay Area this week: Obama himself was in San Francisco last night, dining with Chef Michael Mina and Steph and Ayesha Curry, at Ayesha Curry's restaurant International Smoke. They were joined by Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, who's also in town for the event.
On Monday, Chef Michael Mina posted a photo of him dining with Obama and Steph and Ayesha Curry at International Smoke — the restaurant he opened with Ayesha Curry in San Francisco — as well as anpther photo of him with Legend and Teigen.
"No greater privilege than to cook for this man on Presidents’ Day. Thank you for the highest honor," Mina tweeted.
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