Barack Obama showed up on stage at the Oakland Scottish Rite Center to a rockstar's welcome. The former president spoke to the audience about how the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, led him to start My Brother's Keeper Alliance.
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"Trayvon could have been my son," said the former president to the crowd of 1,500 people. It's a comment he has repeated, ever since 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Florida, while Obama was in office.
My Brother's Keeper Alliance is aimed at closing the opportunity gaps, facing young men and boys of color. This week, hundreds of young men from all over the country are in the Bay Area for the MBK Rising convention, which emphasizes the importance of mentoring programs.
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"We can all be surrogate fathers, we can all be big brothers," said Obama who sat down with his friend, Warriors champion Steph Curry, in a town hall discussion.
Both men spoke about their fathers.
Obama said he only met his father once, "I did not have a sense of purpose or clear sense of direction through a big chunk of my high school years and in retrospect, I recognize some of it was, I was angry about my father not being there." But Obama added that other family members were there for him, "I did have a foundation of love from my mother and my grandparents."
Curry said his father, NBA star Dell Curry, was a tremendous influence in his life. "How I carried myself in the classroom, how I carried myself at home, how I treated people, whether they could do anything for me or not. The way that he carried himself on the daily, my eyeballs were locked in."
RELATED: Former President Obama in Oakland for My Brother's Keeper event
Award-winning musician, John Legend, played the piano and sang a moving cover of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On.' Legend also led a panel with the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant and Jordan Davis, who were all killed in gun violence.
Obama said that he will spend the rest of his life working on these issues with MBK Alliance.
On Wednesday, Oakland native and Black Panther writer and director, Ryan Coogler will be at MBK Rising along with Black Panther actor, Michael B. Jordan.
The events are invitation-only.