What will happen tomorrow? Next week? A year from now? The easy answer is: Who knows? But the truth is both more complicated and yet simple: It’s up to you. The future will be how you see it, what you make it, and how hard you work to get there.
Led by NBA player, poet, and activist Etan Thomas, Voices of the Future is a project for anyone age 13 to 25 interested in writing about how they envision the days ahead. What issues are important to you—the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan, HIV/AIDS, gun control, race? (See below for more suggestions.) How have these and other problems affected you directly? And how would you solve them if given the chance?
Contributions to Voices of the Future can be made in the form of verse (poetry), prose (stories and essays) or anything in between. The only stipulation is that they reflect your sincere aspirations for the future. That they consider what the world could be with you as part of the equation for change. The submissions that best succeed at this will be included in the final book.* Contributors to Voices of the Future will also have the opportunity to work alongside Etan Thomas, a poet and a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and slamonline.com.
Suggested Topics for Etan Thomas Presents: Voices of the Future
- An Open Letter to a Public Figure (who you may agree or disagree with)
- War on Iraq
- Police Brutality
- Gun Rights (gun violence vs. the right to bear arms)
- HIV/AIDS (as it relates to your community and/or the world)
- Religion (faith & spirituality)
- Race Issues (racism)
- What do I want to be when I grow up?
- President Barack Obama
- First Lady Michelle Obama
- International Issues (Israel/Palestine, Sudan, Sierra Leon, Iran, North Korea)
- Youth Concerns (music/hip hop, schools/teachers, no after school programs, parents}
- Haters (bullies/people trying to keep you down or do wrong by you)
- Relationships (love, break-ups, divorce, growing up without a father)
(Note: Beats, poetry, and views are the exclusive property of Etan Thomas.)
About Etan Thomas
When not on the court playing center for the Washington Wizards, Etan works extensively with various writing programs in the Washington D.C. area and beyond, including the Free Minds Book Club and Athletes for Hope. His first book of poetry, More than An Athlete, was published in 2005, and he has appeared with Poet Laureate Amiri Baraka and performed alongside Nikki Giovanni, Edward Hirsh, Kevin Powell, and others.
Etan is also politically active. He served as a surrogate for the Obama campaign and was a guest speaker with Howard Dean on the “Register for Change” bus tour initiative. He has spoken at the Congressional Black Caucus Conference and worked extensively with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as an opponent of the death penalty.
Going forward, keep an eye on WEbook’s blog for Q&A’s with Etan about what’s happening with Voices of the Future. And who knows, he might even give you some feedback on your submission.
*WEbook and Etan will ultimately select the contributions to be included in the finished book.
Contribute Now! Go to the project page