Looking Beyond Trump: Our Future Over Fear

January 22, 2018 Alan Jenkins

Insights from The Opportunity Agenda

Think ahead five years from now, and imagine the world you want to see.

In this time of divisive, cynical rhetoric and destructive policies, it’s important that we remember our Constitution, our national history, and our moral consensus that our country’s greatest strengths are the diversity of our people and the human rights of everyone who lives here.

It is important now that we look beyond Trump, even as we work to thwart his harmful agenda.A drawing of people of different races, ethnicities, and religions linking arms

Indeed, this year, The Opportunity Agenda’s work will be defined by a vision of Future Over Fear, a campaign to move our discourse and policies from division to inclusion, from reaction to solution, from resistance to transformation. Collaborating with a network of changemakers across the country, we will be seizing the opportunity to shift the Dominant Narrative toward social justice.

In this time of divisive, cynical rhetoric and destructive policies, it’s important that we remember our Constitution, our national history, and our moral consensus that our country’s greatest strengths are the diversity of our people and the human rights of everyone who lives here.

Together, we will tell proactive stories of the nation we can and should be, grappling honestly with fearmongering, racism, and bigotry while voicing a compelling vision for our shared future.

There is a promising light ahead. We’ve seen it in the millions of people who’ve spoken up and taken action over the last 12 months. In the women’s marchers and airport protestors and anti-hate demonstrators; in the courageous women who are saying #metoo and calling out abusers in the face of very real threats. In the Dreamers. In the formerly-incarcerated Americans who are leading a new conversation about our justice system.

We want to envision a better future, and we are.

This week, we’ve collected multi-media imaginings about our future from some of our talented staff members.

Envisioning the United States 5 Years into the Future:

Lucy Odigie-Turley, Manager of Research and Evaluation: World leaders have met at the latest G20 Summit, and the United States has reaffirmed its commitment to renewable energy. The Ferguson report has been expanded into a nationwide commission to address racial discrimination in police practices. Dreamers’ status in the US has been secured. Equal pay has been ratified into law. The seventh season of “Insecure” just dropped, and I’m loving the Rhianna and Lupita Nyong’o clothing line. Amazon’s Alexa has broken up multiple marriages. It’s 2023 and I still don’t know how to drive, but I don’t care because driverless cars are totally a thing now. This is my vision of the future.

Rachel Grow, Executive Coordinator: Five years from today I’m going to be at a music, arts, and dance festival on the grounds of what used to be Rikers Island and we’re celebrating the one-year anniversary of its closure and demolition, and I see a huge non-denominational temple built by David Best, where people can leave names, letters, thoughts and prayers for all of those who have been in prisons there and have since been released. And it’s going to serve as a beacon for other cities to follow.

Sara Stuart, Interim Chief of Staff: So if I think about five years into the future, and we are beyond the fear of today and we are breaking loose, I think about all the potential that is unable to be expressed in this country right now. Whether it’s women’s potential, immigrants’ potential, young people’s potential, all of the world’s potential would be unlocked and we could have so much more going, in terms of creativity and progress.

Elizabeth Johnsen, Outreach and Editorial Manager: I think it’s sometimes hard to see the results of collective work until you look back. That is what I hope for in five years: That those of us imagining a better, more equitable world -- in which being American is defined more by our shared humanity and less by divisive policies, and where living in America means celebrating and building on our differences while continuing to confront and collectively heal from our past -- will look back and say, “Wow, we really are closer.”