*(New York, NY) – DoSomething, the hub for youth-centered activism, announced today that it will celebrate its 30th Anniversary with a special edition of its annual gala – The Futures Ball.
In addition to commemorating 30 years of youth-led impact, this year’s event will also usher in a new, illustrious collective of changemakers – highlighting the next generations of young people who are transforming systems, creating change, and building a future on their terms.
Convening a host of notables, activists, and advocates across industries for an unforgettable night, the red-carpet awards ceremony and dinner will be held at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at 6:00pm EST.
The 2023 Futures Ball will be hosted by Emmy-nominated multi-platform storyteller, producer, futurist comedian, and cultural critic Baratunde Thurston (Host and Executive Producer, of PBS’ American Outdoors and Creator and Host, of How To Citizen Podcast).
The evening will include a mix of immersive experiences, storytelling, and live performances, and the awards program will uniquely celebrate the class of 2023 honorees who are leading substantive change locally, nationally, and globally.
DoSomething’s Visionary Vanguard Award honors youth activists under 30 years old who have made a significant impact on the perception of young people as agents of change.
The 2023 Visionary Vanguard Award recipients are:
Marley Dias (18) is the purpose-driven founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks and author of Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! With the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign – which launched in November 2015 – Dias grew a database of works showcasing Black authors and female main characters as well as collected those books to donate to schools in need. Currently, a college student at Harvard, she is also the Host and Executive Producer of Netflix’s Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. Dias has been recognized by TIME Magazine as one of the 25 most influential teens and was the youngest member of the Forbes 30 under 30 list to date as named in 2018. She has appeared on The Today Show, CBS This Morning, and The View, among other media appearances.
Aditi Mayer (26) started her activism journey in 2010 and has gone on to become a prominent climate activist. As a DoSomething member, Aditi has now been featured in Vogue, Elle, and WWD as a fashion industry changemaker – and was named a National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow in 2020 for documenting stories of social and environmental justice in India’s fashions system.
DoSomething also unveiled the winners of its Generation Future Award, which recognizes emerging changemakers who will shape the future of youth-led impact. Over 1,000 young people applied for the award and 10 finalists were voted on by their peers. The three winners will be celebrated onstage at The Futures Ball and will be each presented with a $5,000 grant to help them continue their mission and amplify their impact.
The 2023 Generation Future Award Winners are:
In 2020, Maksim Batuyev (25) was part of the team that launched Force of Nature, an organization leading workshops for 16-25-year-olds worldwide to help them step up in the face of the climate crisis. In response to the fact that over 70% of young people experience eco-anxiety, he began hosting Climate Cafes in Los Angeles – a grassroots community care practice to help people find comfort in shared experiences and learn from different perspectives. He brought the Climate Cafe initiative to major institutions like UCLA and local community spaces and tea shops. His work has been recognized by MTV Mental Health Action Day and has been invited to share this approach with the Los Angeles County Psychological Association. Additionally, Batuyev is a musician and centers his work on environmental loss, ecoanxiety, and grief and continues sharing his insights as a Gen Z advisor of the Climate Mental Health Network.
A former DoSomething club leader while in high school, Jasmine Lewis (21) has been deeply committed to building a culture of civic engagement through storytelling from a young age. In holding a variety of leadership roles, she has honed her ability to approach this work from a diverse and intersectional perspective including serving as a Fellow of the South for When We All Vote, a Civic Season Design Fellow with Made by Us, a Freedom of Expression Fellow with PEN America, and a Fellow with Civics Unplugged. She has leveraged these learnings to launch TALMBAT, a multimedia storytelling platform that invites underrepresented changemakers to share their story as a tool for celebrating our shared humanity, building connections and imagining new possibilities for impact and collective liberation.
At the age of seven, Ananya Pinnamaneni (16) began her commitment to gender equity when she learned about the practice of female infanticide in India. To start sharing her learnings with the next generation, Pinnamaneni wrote the children’s book Feminism 101: A Guide to Gender Equality – which has been featured on popular regional radio channels and endorsed by politicians in India. She also gave a TedX talk at her school entitled Feminism: The Past, The Present, and The Future to help dispel myths about feminism. To expand her efforts to a classroom setting, Pinnamaneni launched a registered 501(c)3 – Gender SHEquality – that focuses on sharing mini-lessons about gender equity. The lessons are already reaching nearly 1,000 students and her youth-led team of 70 is working to apply these lessons in multiple avenues including women in STEM and reproductive health.
“The Futures Ball is a culmination of the work we do year-round with DoSomething and this year is particularly special as we celebrate this milestone moment – honoring the rich legacy of this institution while also looking ahead to its incredibly bright future,” said DeNora Getachew, CEO of DoSomething. “With this gala, we wanted to take it a step beyond a traditional awards show and create a singular experience that truly embodies three decades of commitment and dedication in supporting and collaborating with the young people who are moving the world forward and shaping culture, society, and progress. This class of honorees and winners have made such an undeniable significant impact in their communities and areas of focus and I can’t think of a more fitting group to recognize as part of this milestone moment!”
The awards ceremony will close out with an epic performance from hip-hop icon Doug E. Fresh.
Proceeds from the Futures Ball Gala will benefit DoSomething’s ongoing work as the hub for youth activism that fuels young people to change the world.
The 2023 Futures Ball is presented by (Gap Inc.).
For more info and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.dosomething.org/us/about/futuresball
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DoSomething fuels young people to change the world. As the digital hub for youth-centered activism, DoSomething has activated more than 8 million young people representing every U.S. area code and over 130 countries. DoSomething has registered over 415,000 new voters since 2018 and awarded more than $1.8 million in scholarships to young people since 2010. When you join DoSomething.org, you are joining an inclusive collective of young people who are collaborating to develop and implement solutions to the most pressing issues facing society today.
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