There’s no end to making a more perfect union.
Some of the most transformative moments in shaping our nation
have come from young people who had enough of the status quo and demanded more from their country, drawing upon the past to change the future. Entrepreneurs, innovators, pioneers and explorers - whose stories we love and revere - have time and time again harnessed the lessons of history to shape the world.
Thomas Jefferson was just 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King Jr. were in their teens, twenties, and early thirties when they made their mark. They were the “Millennials” of their time. They recognized that tomorrow is created through the choices we make today – and that we carry our shared history with us into the future, whether we choose to face it head-on or not. Those trailblazers empowered themselves by deciding to learn it, embrace it, and use it as a tool. They saw themselves as part of the story. You are, too.
As we look at our hopes and dreams, how might we draw inspiration and heed the lessons from those who came before, who understood they were not merely passive inheritors of the past but that their actions could shape the nation for years to come? Today, younger generations are more engaged—and more needed—than ever before to shape the next chapter. That’s why we created Made By Us, an unprecedented effort by stewards of our national memory to present history in relevant, provocative, and surprising ways for anyone who wants to participate in shaping the future of our country. Over the next few years, we’ll listen, learn, and share tools and initiatives to address real issues in real-time. With the nation’s 250th anniversary on the horizon, there’s no better moment to harness the power of our collective imagination and write the next 250 years—together. Just as the signers of the Declaration framed a new world for Americans to bring to life, we have our own part to play in the coming chapters, by what we do and by what we don’t do. History serves us best when it is of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Made By Us is an expression of our evolving wishes as we strive to live up to our founding ideals—equality, rights, liberty, opportunity, and democracy.
Who We Are
Our national motto, e pluribus unum—out of many, one— is also the ethos of this group. We are hundreds of civic and history organizations collaborating across the country. Loudly and clearly, we recognize the opportunity presented in this transformative moment for institutions like ours to better serve the public and join the ongoing conversation about the future of our country. We have come together in an unprecedented way, pooling resources and bringing the best we each have to offer, so that we might harness the spirit of collaboration and tap into our varied strengths—across regions, disciplines, and methods. We are modeling a new path forward for the ways in which history serves the people. Now is the time for us all to step up. See all of our partners here.
"The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults."
Stay up to date with Made By Us. We’re committed to creating new ways to make a difference, and we can’t do it without you. By signing up, you’ll be the first to know about the latest experiments, experiences and ways to participate.
What exactly is Made By Us?
For the first time ever, hundreds of history and civics organizations are coming together to build something bigger: an initiative to use history to power the future. Made By Us aims to inspire, inform, and empower changemakers to shape the next 250 years of our country.
Who is it for?
Anyone and everyone who cares about participating in the future of the United States. We’re primarily interested in engaging younger generations that have more at stake, but anyone open to learning and sharing can participate.
Why now, when there are so many other ways to be engaged?
We’re so inspired by all of the communities taking initiative around the country. We believe we’re uniquely positioned to leverage history as a catalyst for all of the other organizations doing great work. So, we view our contribution as additive. Plus, as people aren’t always sure whom to trust, we know that it is core to our mission to present fact-based source material as well as ways to understand and interpret historical content in context, as a piece of a greater puzzle.
Why should we trust the groups behind this?
We have a remarkable cross-section of experts at the helm and extraordinarily comprehensive collections at our fingertips. And we're here to serve the public, to better understand what you need and how you need it.
If I get involved, will my personal information be secure?
Is this only for U.S. citizens?
No way! This is precisely why we feel so passionately about Made By Us. While voting is one of the most powerful ways to impact the future of the United States, we know that many engaged community members don’t have access to that tool for a variety of reasons. We need to give all voices a way to drive change in the next 250 years as we embody our founding ideals.
So, why should I care about history?
We hear you. Made By Us uses technology and your input to bring history to life. We want to hear what you need, and then we’ll share our expertise and amazing collections in ways that work for you - so that you can make history.