Nearly 250 years ago, the founders of the United States of America made a promise. A promise that here, in our country, people have the right to liberty. The pursuit of happiness. Equality. The ability to create change.

People were also promised a fundamental right to life.

In the wake of George Floyd’s horrific murder, as well as the murders of Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and so many other black and brown Americans throughout the United States, it is once again evident that the promises which sit at the foundation of our country have yet to be fulfilled.

At PHILADELPHIA250, we share in the indignity, outrage and grief that has overcome communities throughout the country, and around the world. However, we are also filled with hope that this moment is a chance to step up and create change that finally delivers on the promise of the United States that’s deserving of all Americans. Hope that the outrage will become the catalyst for much-needed progress.

The American Revolution started here in Philadelphia, fueled by intolerance for long-standing injustices. Today we find ourselves in the midst of a revolution once again, where we all must ask ourselves: Can this country deliver on the promises set forth so long ago?

There is only one answer. We must.

The year 2026 will be the country’s 250th year. PHILADELPHIA250 is charged with celebrating a document penned by a nation whose aspirations shrouded deep atrocities, contradictions, and hypocrisies. So we know we have challenging, uncomfortable work ahead. Yet our team is committed to progress, and helping create an inclusive America that promises safety, happiness, and the security of rights for all, as promised by the founding ideals of equality and justice as outlined in the Declaration of Independence.

PHILADELPHIA250 commits to work broadly with communities, stakeholders and partners across the city and region so we can help lead progress here. Through our programs and communications we will listen to and learn from those who are directly affected by injustice and racism. We promise to lift up the voices of our fellow Americans that have been silenced for too long and commit to the guiding values expressed almost 250 years ago.

We promise to take part in #RevolutionaryActions.

We promise to work toward an inclusive and equitable #SharedProsperity.

We promise to amplify the diverse breadth and importance of all #PeoplesHistories.

We promise to respect each person’s inalienable right to their own #PursuitOfHappiness.

We hope you’ll join us on the journey to 2026, as we join in the hard work it will take to deliver on 250 year old promises unfulfilled. Philadelphia, like no other American city, has a unique relationship to the Declaration and to 2026, and therefore shoulders great responsibility, opportunity and hope. The successful path forward can only be led by the people, for all the people.

In community,

Danielle DiLeo Kim

Executive Director

Coordinating the United States’ 250th anniversary in Philadelphia. Creating a commemoration that is truly by the people, for the people.