Please join us in congratulating the 25 extraordinary young people who have been selected as the 2015 Young Futurists by The Root. It is our tradition to recognize and celebrate African-American men and women, ages 16-22, who are forging a path to future greatness. We choose Black History Month to acknowledge their accomplishments as a reminder that, while it’s important to know where we came from, it’s also critical to identify the trailblazers who will be leading us into the decades ahead.
These 25 have already distinguished themselves in the fields of social activism and justice, enterprise and corporate innovation, science and technology, green innovation, and arts and culture. They are passionate, committed, creative, energetic and unyielding in their pursuit of excellence and achievement.
Take a moment to read each of their profiles and you will be amazed at the high standards they have set for themselves.
Meet Brandon Iverson and Jordan Williams, two friends from Atlanta who started their first company when they were 10 years old. The budding moguls teach financial education and have big plans in the business world. Or Kiona Elliott, who talked President Barack Obama into pedaling a bicycle on the White House lawn to prove that the bike could filter contaminated water. She’s determined to create more sustainable and nutritious foods through her study of molecular biology.
There’s Kush Thompson, a powerful poet who weaves words into weapons against injustice, racism and sexism. We’ll also introduce you to Tayo Sanders II, a Rhodes scholar who is studying nanotechnology, and Amiya Alexander, a 16-year-old in Detroit who runs a dance school for children in a hot-pink bus.
And these are just a sample. It’s an inspiring group of young people, and we’re excited for you to get to know them.
Lyne Pitts is managing editor of The Root.