The Summit of the Americas has come and gone, but another gathering of big names will occur in Los Angeles at Banc of California Stadium in Exposition Park on Monday, with former first lady Michelle Obama set to deliver the keynote address at the Culture of Democracy Summit.
Organized by When We All Vote — the nonprofit organization co-founded by Obama and an array of celebrities in 2018 — the summit began with a series of online discussions Friday, then continued Saturday with various invitation-only “community-building” events, with similar events planned for Sunday and Monday.
The four-day event will culminate Monday with a daylong series of speeches and panel discussions featuring entertainment and sports notables, highlighted by Obama’s speech.
The overall goal of the gathering is to bring together people from various walks of life to discuss “the role different industries play in protecting and strengthening democracy through voter registration, education, mobilization and culture change.”
Monday’s event will begin with introductory remarks by leaders of When We All Vote and its nonprofit parent agency, Civic Nation. A formal welcome will then be provided by Laker legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
A series of discussions will follow, featuring celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Janelle Monáe, Wanda Sykes and Tracee Ellis Ross. NBA players Chris Paul and CJ McCollum will also take part, along with former Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers, who now coaches the Philadelphia 76ers.
Among the topics up for discussion during the day will be the history of democracy in the United States and its current state, the spread of disinformation and ways to counter it, reproductive rights in light of the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, social responsibility in the entertainment industry, the criminal justice system and the impact professional sports have on society and democracy.
Gomez, a co-chair of When We All Vote, will introduce Obama for her keynote address to close out the day.
When We All Vote was founded in an effort to increase voter participation by helping “close the race and age gap,” working with community organizations to register voters and promote civic education.
Among the founders of the group with Obama were Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Monáe, Gomez, Stephen Curry, Paul, H.E.R., Kerry Washington and Shonda Rhimes.
The entire summit, including Obama’s speech, will be livestreamed at democracysummit.org.