Last year, Amplifier launched one of the most viral political art projects in history with We The People, a nonpartisan public art campaign dedicated to igniting a national dialogue about American identity and values after the divisive Presidential campaign of 2016. Now they want to reach a new audience, the next chapter of this project, We The Future, they are shifting from the streets to the schools of America!
For We The Future, Amplifier has commissioned world renown artists Shepard Fairey , Kate Deciccio, Rommy Torrico, and Munk One to create ten posters of youth activists , ages 13-29. Each of the ten youth leaders have been paired with non-profit organisations that align with their activism, including work addressing climate justice, criminal justice reform, voting rights, immigration rights, disability justice, gun reform, queer rights, and literacy.
The posters, accompanied by lesson planning materials and other resources to inspire, guide, and support student activism, will be distributed by Amplifier to thousands of educational partners across America, with the ultimate goal of distributing materials to at least 20,000 classrooms during the 2018/19 school year.
In a time of uncertainty, these icons show us a path forward, and they show us that the Future is already here. To help get this project out check out Amplifier’s We The Future Kickstarter page. The Kickstarter campaign has started a goal of $40,000 to support the distribution of art and education in over 20,000 middle and high school classrooms over 50 states of America. Rewards include exclusive signed Shepard Fairey lithographs, and poster sets by all participating artists
“ We The Future reflects Kickstarter’s mission of bringing creative projects to life and our desire to engage beyond our walls with issues affecting artists—this ambitious, nationwide endeavor will empower our country’s next generation of thinkers, makers, and doers,” says Patton Hindle, Kickstarter Director of Arts.
10 YOUTH ACTIVISTS + 10 NONPROFIT PARTNERS = WE THE FUTURE
“Leah the Activist,” Age 13, Immigrant Rights Activist – Families Belong Together
Leah has been activist since she was just a kid, fighting to stop her parents from being deported, and to save her older sister’s DACA status. She is a member of local Miami organizations WeCount! and the American Friends Service Committee, leading campaigns to make sure schools are safe for immigrant students. Leah has also been a longtime member of the We Belong Together
campaign, taking her message to Congress and speaking at national rallies in DC. For We The Future , Leah is working with Families Belong Together , a coalition of nearly 250 different groups made up of tens of thousands of Americans who have joined together to fight the cruel family separation policy, and advocate for dignity and compassion for children and families. Leah’s portrait is by artist Rommy Torrico .
Winter BreeAnne Minisee , Age 17, Youth Voter Mobilizer – Women’s March Youth EMPOWER
Winter is a recent graduate of ENCORE High School for Performing Arts and is a National Student Leader for Women’s March Youth EMPOWER, the youth affiliate of Women’s March. In this role, Winter was part of a team that spearheaded the historic #ENOUGH National Student Walkouts on March 14, 2018 in response to the Parkland shooting. Winter is also the founder of Black Is Lit, an organization devoted to creating space for marginalized youth. For We The Future , Winter is partnering with Women’s March Youth EMPOWER , an initiative of Women’s March Youth through a coalition with Peace First, Rise To Run, Teen Vogue, The Justice League NYC, The Gathering For Justice, and Rock The Vote. Their goal is to provide young people with the tools needed to create high school and college chapters that guide students in making a positive impact in their communities. Winter’s portrait is
by artist Shepard Fairey .
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Age 18, Environmental Justice Advocate – Earth Guardians
Earth Guardians Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced ‘Shoe-Tez-Caht’), is an indigenous climate activist and hip-hop artist. At the early age of six Xiuhtezcatl began speaking around the world, from the United Nations Summit in Rio de Janeiro to the General Assembly at the United Nations in New York. He has worked locally to get pesticides out of parks, coal ash contained, and for
moratoriums on fracking in his state, and is currently a plaintiff in a youth-led lawsuit against the federal government for their failure to protect the atmosphere for future generations. Xiuhtezcatl’s We The Future portrait is by artist Shepard Fairey, and he’ll be partnering with Earth Gardens, a resilient movement that empowers and amplifies youth voices, focusing on environmental awareness and action.
Amanda Gorman, Age 19, Youth Literacy Activist – 826 National
Amanda is the first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States of America. A Harvard sophomore, Amanda has worked as a United Nations Youth Delegate, a HERlead Fellow, and an Ambassador for the feminist platform School of Doodle. At 16, she founded the community project One Pen One Page, which promotes literacy and youth activism. For We The Future , Amanda is partnering with 826 National , a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping students, ages 6–18, improve their expository and creative writing skills at eight locations across the United States. Artist Kate Deciccio created her portrait.
Lydia X. Z. Brown, Age 25, Disability Justice Advocate – Bazelon Center
Lydia is a disability justice advocate, organiser, and writer whose work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalised disabled people, with particular respect to institutionalisation, incarceration, and policing. They have worked to
advance transformative change through organising in the streets, writing legislation, conducting anti-ableism workshops, testifying at regulatory and policy hearings, and disrupting institutional complacency. For We The Future , Lydia is partnering with the Bazelon Center , an organisation that, since 1972, has advocated for the civil rights, full inclusion, and equality of adults and children with mental disabilities. Lydia’s portrait is by artist Kate Deciccio .
Lindsay Amer, Age 26, Queer Activist – Queer Kid Stuff
Lindsay is a queer activist, artist, and storyteller. They created and host Queer Kid Stuff , a web series with the aim to eliminate LGBTQ+ stigma by educating future generations. Lindsay was named a Rising Star by GLAAD, are a Webby Award Honouree, and have been recognised by HuffPost, Teen Vogue, Refinery29, and Kidscreen for their work. They also serve as co-founder and
artistic associate of Bluelaces Theater Company, making multi-sensory theatrical experiences for people with autism and other developmental differences in New York. Lindsay’s portrait is by artist Rommy Torrico , and they will continue to work with Queer Kid Stuff for We The Future .
Amanda Nguyen, Age 27, Civil Rights Activist – RISE
Amanda is a nominee for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for her work advocating for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights, signed into law by President Obama in 2016, after having to navigate the broken criminal justice system following her own rape. She has been named a Forbes “30 Under 30,” Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Leading Global Thinker,” and The Tempest’s “#1 Woman of Color
Trailblazer.” Previously, Amanda was appointed by President Obama as his Deputy White House Liaison. Amanda’s We The Future portrait is by artist Shepard Fairey , and she is partnering with RISE , a national social movement and nonprofit dedicated to helping people pen their own civil rights into existence.
Isra Chaker, Age 27, Immigration Justice Advocate – OxFam
America Isra is an advocacy expert, social justice activist, and public speaker, serving as the Refugee Campaign Lead at Oxfam, one of the largest NGOs in the world, advocating for vulnerable people such as refugees, asylees, and temporary protected status holders, and against discriminatory policies such as the Muslim Ban. Being personally impacted by the Muslim Ban, and not being able to reunite with her extended family in Syria, Isra is passionate in her work for reuniting families and advocating for vulnerable people. For We The Future , Chaker will continue to partner with OxFam America . Her portrait is by artist Kate Deciccio .
Ismael Nazario, Age 29, Criminal Justice Reform Advocate – Performing Statistics
Peabody Award-winning activist Ismael is a formerly incarcerated prison reform, social justice, and human rights advocate. He currently works at The Fortune Society (TFS), helping those at high risk for recidivism from Rikers Island reintegrate into society after their release. Ismael has previously worked with Banning Solitary Confinement, and Rikers Reform, among other initiatives. For We The Future , Ismael is partnering with Performing Statistics , a project that connects incarcerated teens with artists, designers, educators, and Virginia’s leading policy advocates to transform the juvenile justice system. Ismael’s portrait is by artist Munk One .
Paul S. John, Age 29, Gun Violence Prevention Advocate – Million Hoodies
Paul leads efforts to build Million Hoodies Movement for Justice ’s membership and communicate its strategies and initiatives. As Membership and Recruitment chair of the organization’s NYC chapter, Paul recruits and retains young activists in engaging ways for the chapter to further build next generation leaders to end anti-Black racism and systemic violence. Also the Manager of Mayoral Outreach at Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a program of the gun violence prevention organization Everytown for Gun Safety, Paul works with current and former mayors across the country to amplify their voices in support of legislation that will reduce gun violence. For We The Future , Paul will continue to work with Million Hoodies. His portrait is by artist Munk One .
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
SHEPARD FAIREY is one of the most accomplished street artists in the world and the creator and founder of Obey Clothing and Obey Giant. He first became known for his “Andre The Giant has a Posse” sticker campaign while at the Rhode Island School of Design. His Barack Obama “Hope” poster became iconic during the 2008 presidential election.
ROMMY TORRICO is a queer, trans, undocumented artivist born in Iquique, Chile, raised in Naples, Florida, and currently based out of New York. Rommy has been involved in the (im)migrant rights struggle for several years and infuses much of their work with personal experience and the stories their community shares. Their work has been exhibited in California, Washington, D.C., and New York City.
MUNK ONE is a contemporary American illustrator, poster artist, political cartoonist, and fine artist from California. He is well known for creating artwork for major-label musical acts like Pearl Jam, Primus, and Soundgarden, as well as for world renowned brands, clothing lines, and magazines.
KATE DECICCIO is an artist, educator, and cultural organizer focused on creating counter narratives and community-led storytelling. Informed by her experiences teaching art at Leadership High School, San Quentin Prison, St. Elizabeth’s John Howard Forensic Pavilion and working as a mental health and substance abuse counselor at Grove St. House in San Francisco, her process centers the subjects of her portraits as co-collaborators, ensuring that each portrait reflects how the person sees themself.
In a time of uncertainty, these icons show us a path forward, and they show us that the Future is already here. To help get this project out check out Amplifier’s We The Future Kickstarter page. There are some great rewards and every dollar will help with the campaign.