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Kennedy-King College Student Government Association and Social Justice Committee Present "A Conversation with Michael Blake", Former Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement

About Michael Blake

Former Associate Director for the White House's Office of Public Engagement

Michael Blake formerly served as the Associate Director for the White House's Office of Public Engagement.  In that role, he nationally coordinates outreach to the African-American and Minority Business leader community.  He previously also worked in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs coordinating outreach to county elected officials, state Attorneys General and financial officers.

 Michael began his work on the campaign as the Deputy Political Director and state constituency outreach director of then presidential candidate Obama’s Iowa caucus campaign. Michael concluded a 20-month, 8-state tenure on the campaign as the Michigan Deputy Director and the state Political Director.

 Prior to the campaign, Michael was the Director of External Affairs for the Michigan House of Representatives serving in Michigan Speaker of the House Andy Dillon's cabinet where he engaged with all constituencies to promote the Speaker’s agenda. Before that appointment, Blake worked as a community organizer for the Michigan state House Democratic Caucus successfully coordinating three campaigns for state representative candidates.

 Before his career in public service, Michael was an Associate Producer for Comcast Sportsnet Chicago where he wrote highlights and collaborated on features for the daily sportscasts.  Michael Blake is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism from Northwestern University. Michael is also an alumnus of the first ever "Yes We Can" political campaign training in 2006 which only had ten participants and taught them the full range of campaign elements for political organizing.

 Currently, Michael Blake serves as Deputy Director, Operation Vote – Obama for America.  Operation Vote oversees all constituency vote efforts for the campaign including but not limited to: African-Americans, Youth, Women, Hispanic, Faith, Veterans, Jewish, LGBT & Asian American Pacific Islander. Michael’s focus is to provide the tools and resources to support local staff to recruit volunteers into their field program, assist with constituency specific fundraising and register & turnout voters from these critical constituencies.

 Michael’s family history and journey is powerful. He was born with a heart murmur, his mother is a breast cancer survivor who also is an occasional in home nurses aide, his father just retired after years of cleaning emergency rooms in Saint Barnabas Hospital and his oldest brother is an Army veteran who just returned from service in Iraq.

 Michael’s elementary school in The Bronx (P.S. 79) is featured in “Savage Inequalities of Public Education” by Jonathan Kozol. But, Michael’s circumstances did not define him. He and his family continued to press on towards higher goals.

 Mr. Blake was initiated into Alpha Mu chapter (Northwestern University) of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and sat on Alpha’s Board of Directors as the Midwestern Assistant Regional Vice President. He was the national College Brother of the Year in 2003 and then served as the Director of the College Brothers Affairs Commission under General President Darryl R. Matthews, Sr. in 2004. He is a proud life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and resides in Washington, D.C.

 Recently he was selected as one of Grio’s Top 100 History Makers in the Making. He was also named as one of MSNBC’s BLTWY Black Politicians on the Rise.

The speaking engagement is free and open to the public.  For additional information call the KKC Student Government Association:  773.602.5000

Keywords: City Colleges of Chicago, community college funding, Kennedy-King College, Obama, Whiote House, white house community college initiatives

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