Once a month for the next 12 months, a new Louisville-based website will offer a fresh T-shirt and poster design and a call to action for people to stay engaged in politics and social justice issues.
The minds behind “The Future Is Not Theirs” are employees of Mightily, a local design and branding firm (although the firm is not officially part of the effort).
The sale proceeds will go to the National American Civil Liberties Union.
The Facebook page for “The Future Is Not Theirs” describes the effort as “creatives and conscious citizens reclaiming our individual power to shape the future.” The website just launched last week and the Facebook page so far has 326 “likes.”
“There’s a tension between progressives’ desire to look forward and the right’s desire to Make America Great Again,” Kelli Corney, the founder of the site said. “Technology moves things exponentially faster. In the old times, there wasn’t enough change you had to adapt to.”
She pointed to the fact that millennials would likely change jobs many, many times before retirement, but just two generations ago, people expected to retire from their jobs having put in 40 or 50 years.
Each month, a new designer will take the words “The Future Is Not Theirs” and create a design that interprets them. She understands the words can be viewed as divisive but says they are a reminder that the future is “yours” and you need to stay active and participate in politics and social issues.
“I found the site really underspecified,” said University of Louisville professor of social justice Avery Kolors in an email. But Kolors said that could work in the site’s favor. “If this provides a relatively blank slate for artists to work from, it could spur a lot of creativity in specifying or envisioning what it might look like to build and embrace a future for everyone,”
Corney took charge of the creative direction of the first rendition, which was designed by Jason Lee and Kyle Stewart. The next designer is TBD.
She said that “The Future Is Not Theirs” is about “owning what is going on and taking a stance.”
The following designers already have come on board: Chris Nolen, Matthew McDole, Jim Zimmer and Matt Barnes. Barnes and McDole are local, Zimmer is in Chicago, and Nolen, who recently lived in Louisville for a short time, is in Houston.
This post has been updated.