A new tour for turbulent times: 50 states in 50 weeks

Join us and find the nation’s changemakers!

Amy Clark
Amy Clark
Feb 10 · 2 min read
Best way to join the tour: @changemakers_everywhere on Instagram.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the bad news right now. But there’s a different story, not told or celebrated often enough. It’s the story of changemakers all over the U.S.— people who imagine a different future and build it for everyone, for the good of all.

This year, we’re thrilled to invite you to a new discovery (virtual) tour that starts next week on social media. Changemakers Everywhere will run through 2020 — we’ll look in on 50 states in 50 weeks, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. It’s a fresh project, a bit scrappy, and comes from the heart.

We’ll learn about some of the people making the U.S. better, people from all walks of life: truck drivers, podcasters, students, farmers, teachers, parents, neighbors, house cleaners, nurses, CEOs, young people. We’ll also feature changemakers in history you might not know about. (Jeanette Rankin, anyone? George Washington Carver? Annie Wauneka?)

Part discovery travel series, part civic lesson/reflection, part future casting, the project is crowdsourced and collaborative across the Ashoka community and beyond. The spirit is one of un-covering, learning together, reciprocity — we have some things to share and some things to learn (and also some fun trivia for you!).

So join the tour, help make it vibrant, chime in with your ideas, and let’s get a new energy going in this country, a new culture of change. Why? So everyone of all ages and backgrounds will have the confidence and support to make changes for the common good — we’ll have a more resilient country because every person owns the future and helps to shape it.

Ways to follow the tour

Instagram: @changemakers_everywhere (this is the best way to follow)

Other options are: Twitter at @AshokaUS and Facebook at @AshokaUSA

Prefer email? Sign up for our Friday brief with weekly updates from Ashoka, including periodic highlights from this project.

Are you a teacher interested in bringing the tour into your classroom? Stay tuned for some fun interactive resources.

An inspiration for this project:

Do you know about the American Guides? These were the country’s first travel guides, produced in the late 1930s by the WPA’s Federal Writers Project. In an improbable, messy, crowdsourced effort, 6,000 writers and artists gathered up stories from 48 states (Hawaii and Alaska became states only later) and reflected them back to Americans in a way that restored a sense of possibility and richness in diversity — in the wake of hardship, loss, and bone-deep shame of the Great Depression. This is one of the inspirations for the “We see changemakers everywhere” tour.
The genesis of this project — a magazine we created 5 years ago! Some projects beg to be built out more, this one did from the beginning, as an input to a new and energizing national narrative. Cover illustration by Tatsuro Kiuchi.

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