Monuments to the oppressors of the past have come down all over our country. Marches and rallies help us unite in the causes of social justice, but it is time for a monument that honors a more just and equitable future. In 2020, I built a pedestal for the “Monument to the Future” and brought it into local communities.
In public spaces, the pedestal beckons individuals to become a living monument by mounting steps to the top of the pedestal, striking a heroic pose, and making a public pledge to a better future. Participants pledge to help stop climate change; take actions for social justice; run for office; live compassionately; educate for the future; raise the next generation to live responsibly; become anti-racist; protect, feed, and house the most vulnerable members of our society; or to take hundreds of other actions that can make for a better world. Inspired by Mel Chin’s Philadelphia installation “Two Me” this pedestal has been installed in public spaces in 2020 and 2021 pointing people to a thoughtful relationship with our future, rather than glorification of a dubious past. In this way the artist encourages social change, in individuals and within local communities.