Gap introduces the BE THE FUTURE GapKids campaign – a collective call-to-action for youth, led by youth. Gap amplifies the voices of young American activists igniting change and empowering people to fight for a more inclusive and sustainable world. The campaign launches today on International Youth Day.
BE THE FUTURE showcases a diverse range of young leaders from across the country who are creating positive societal transformations in their communities around sustainability, climate justice and activism. They show us the future is here. The activists include:
- BE THE UNITER: Jerome Foster II (@jeromefosterii): 18-year-old climate activist, educator, uniter and founder of @OneMillionOfUs
- BE THE LEADER: Alexandria Villaseñor (@alexandriav2005): 15-year-old climate activist, organizer and founder of @EarthUprising
- BE THE VOICE: Mari Copeny (@LittleMissFlint): 13-year-old youth activist and “future president”
- BE THE ACTION: Levi Draheim (@connectwithlevi): 13-year-old climate activist and youngest plaintiff in the landmark climate law suit #youthvgov
Tapping into Gap’s heritage of music and art, a BE THE FUTURE anthem kicks it off with an original piece written and performed by kid rock band, The Twits. The campaign features the climate activists in Gap’s collection of sustainable Fall essentials, including the brand’s new Teen Collection designed to help save water, reduce waste, and make the world a better place.
“Kids help unite us, fuel us and lead the way forward,” says Mark Breitbard, Global Head of Gap Brand. “Changemakers like Jerome, Alexandria, Mari and Levi are bold leaders who prove that everyone has the ability to BE THE FUTURE.”
To celebrate these catalysts of change, artist Tristan Eaton used denim as a blank canvas of self-expression to create layered portraits of each activist fighting to improve climate through their actions to BE THE UNITER, BE THE LEADER, BE THE VOICE and BE THE ACTION. On Friday, August 14, Gap united with the youth activists and Earth Uprising to rally for climate action. Everyone was invited to join the global virtual rally on @gapkids social channels by posting signs that include #BeTheFutureThatWill___, filling in the blank with a word or phrase that represents how you plan to take on the future. To amplify voices further, campaign GIPHY stickers launch on social as another means of self-expression.
Gap is also partnering with nonpartisan, non-profits, When We All Vote and Rock the Vote, to promote voter registration during this election year. Gap’s voter registration page, provided by When We All Vote https://www.whenweallvote.org/gap, powered by Rock the Vote, goes live with the campaign today to ensure everyone has easy access to vote for the future. Rock the Vote will provide email and text election reminders to those who register to vote and voter education and mobilization tools to those preparing to vote, including absentee ballot requests and polling place look-up. To vocalize these efforts further during the COVID-19 landscape, Gap will be releasing a new series of reusable, non-medical grade cloth face masks with VOTE and BE THE FUTURE messaging in benefit to both organizations. 3-packs of the masks will be available in adult and kids (ages 4+) sizing on Gap.com and in Gap stores today.
“When We All Vote is on a mission to increase participation in every election, change the culture around voting and close the voting age and race gap,” said Crystal Carson, Vice President of Culture, Communications and Media Partnerships, When We All Vote. “This partnership with Gap and GapKids – particularly this strong group of young activists – is the perfect platform to help reach new voices and the next generation of voters. We know that when young people vote in their first election, they are more likely to be lifelong voters, and we want to empower everyone, even those who aren’t old enough to cast their ballot, to play a role in our democracy.”
“Rock the Vote is built to maximize the power of young people,” said Carolyn DeWitt, President of Rock the Vote. “The young people of America are speaking loud and clear right now. And, we are watching. For every elected official making decisions from climate action to justice policies – you will no longer operate in the dark. The young people of America are tuned in to BE THE FUTURE and are ready to take action in the streets in our communities and in national, state, and local elections across our country.”