The We the Future: Young Leaders of Social Change exhibition was designed to bring art, stories of ten young leaders, and social and environmental justice teaching materials to classrooms around the United States. We the Future celebrates our capacity to create change.
Each young leader has taken their community’s experience of inequality and foregrounded it as a call for action by empowering those around them—and those who come after them. As Black, Indigenous, Latinx, queer, disabled, immigrant, and refugee youth disproportionately bear the effects of injustice, they hold lessons for how we can collectively build a more equitable world.
The exhibition centers young leaders. In them we discover possibility, courage, and resilience. In the artwork, we discover community: we see ourselves reflected together with others. We the Future looks to bridge countries, languages, religions, genders, and races. The exhibition unites many voices—with each one representing social and cultural work that extends far beyond these walls.
We the Future is a call to action: to join with others in unity and difference to build a more equitable world. It is through small acts and big ideas, individual conversations and collective action, that we move together toward justice.
WHY THE BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believes that all lives have equal value, and that the pursuit of improving the quality of life for all is paramount. That work includes work in fighting disease, helping children survive and thrive, empowering women and girls and inspiring action to change the world. The foundation saw this exhibit content as a catalyst to raise the awareness of this next generation of hope and change – and that those changes can come from anyone, anywhere.
The Gates Foundation Discovery Center features four galleries that are free to all and located next to the foundation’s headquarters. Through exhibits and programs, the Center highlights the work of the foundation and its partners as well as featuring special exhibits like We the Future. For this exhibit, the Discovery Center collaborated with its Youth Ambassador Program members – local high-school aged teens that collaborate year-round with the Discovery Center on programming centered on youth workshops, programs, and events. The Youth Ambassadors co-curated the exhibit and were able to help shape the overall design, content, digital presence, and goals of the exhibit.