Nothing is more quintessentially American than the idea of “The American Dream”. This shared vision remains the cornerstone ideal in our nation—but there is not “one” American Dream. What is important is that we experience our own American Dream, together.
The American Dream has been one of the most grounding ideals of our nation: the idea that where you start in life does not determine where you end up; that you can come to our shores as a penniless dreamer and become a successful entrepreneur, or be born to humble circumstances in our nation and become president. Generations of innovators, first-generation college graduates and first-generation Americans have kept this dream alive all across the nation.
But nowadays, that dream seems farther away and harder to achieve.
Over the course of the devastating COVID-19 era, small businesses have shuttered, health care workers—the backbone of our nation—have been pushed to their limits, families have been separated and displaced, loved ones lost.
Truth be told, turning on the TV these days feels heavy, discouraging, even isolating. But in these darkest moments, we can choose to lift each other up through sharing our stories with each other.
No one has had an easy time, but many in traditionally marginalized communities have suffered greater pain and obstacles over the past 18 months than any other group. Even before the pandemic began, so many in this country faced real, structural barriers, deeply embedded within the system which have deemed this dream as mythical, not aspirational for so many in this country.
At ROAD, we sought to create a shelter for people to share and store their most precious belongings—their stories.
Spanning 10,000 miles and across nearly all 50 states, we connected with Americans to hear exactly how the American Dream has influenced their lives. We knew that being the keepers of these stories would require the utmost care. So we packed up and hit the road ourselves with a grass-roots team of professional videographers and producers who know the power and inspiration of connectivity in digital, television, and film. As we traveled across the nation collecting these stories, we realized these tales could provide hope and inspiration for everyday folks across the country in building their own American Dreams.
Together, we can break down the barriers that our fellow Americans face to achieving their vision of The American Dream. Through compelling and powerful storytelling, we can see the resilient stories of everyday people in this country working to build their version of the American dream, whether it is building a business, getting citizenship, or helping their neighbors. Because the fact is -- no matter your socioeconomic status, political affiliation, geographic location, or current situation, what unites us is the common goal to leave this world a better place for our children.
No one definition of The American Dream is the same. And, our idea of what it is is ever-evolving. The obstacles we face may differ, but collectively, there is still hope.
This is OUR American Dream.