America250 Enters Historic Partnership with Carpenters’ Company of Philadelphia
Programming includes the creation of the Young People’s Continental Congress, a nationwide initiative beginning in 2024 through the nation’s Semiquincentennial
Washington, D.C. –The America250 Foundation and the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission today announced a national partnership with Carpenters’ Company of Philadelphia, the nonprofit overseeing Carpenters’ Hall. The Foundation and Commission are planning the nationwide commemoration of America’s 250th anniversary in 2026.
The agreement between Carpenters’ Hall and America250 establishes the Young People’s Continental Congress, or YPCC, as a national partner program and as a signature project to kick off the events at the local, regional and national level for the two years leading up to July 4, 2026. Other partners include National History Day®, Generation Citizen and a consortium of history and civic organizations.
The Young People’s Continental Congress begins July 2024 in Philadelphia, marking the 250th anniversary of the First Continental Congress, when 56 Colonial delegates convened at Carpenters’ Hall to discuss their grievances with Great Britain and solidify a united American identity. This historic meeting would lead to a Second Continental Congress, where the Declaration of Independence was adopted in July 1776.
For five days, rising 10th-graders from all 50 states and U.S. jurisdictions will gather in Philadelphia to discuss contemporary democracy and civic engagement issues and make recommendations to address them. YPCC delegates will be selected through a competitive application process and reflect the nation’s diversity in terms of race, gender and economic status.
“The YPCC will signal to America the importance of engaging the next generation of leaders who want to do their part to further the ideals and principles of our country,” America250 President and CEO Joseph C. Daniels said. “They have a tremendous opportunity to do that in the place where it all started, and it will begin during the two-year runup to the nation’s semiquincentennial – making this special program even more meaningful.”
“The bright young minds of this country are our future and it’s special programs like this that help them along that journey,” U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission Executive Director Frank Giordano said. “We are grateful to our partner Carpenters’ Company for this program, which is in the leadup to the 250th anniversary and will have a lasting impact beyond the commemoration.”
“We’re excited to give our delegates a potentially life-changing experience that will inspire them to use our complex American history as a platform to become the civic leaders of tomorrow,” said Michael Norris, Executive Director of The Carpenters’ Company of Philadelphia. “We’re honored to provide America250 with a project of national reach and scope that can jump-start our nation’s journey to 2026.”
“This program creates an extraordinary opportunity to get young Americans re-engaged in U.S. history, our democratic Republic and the legacy left for them by our founders when the Declaration of Independence was signed nearly 250 years ago,” said U.S. Semiquincentennial Commissioner Val Crofts, a longtime educator. “Carpenters’ Company and the America250 Foundation are partnering on the type of immersive education initiative our country truly needs as we look ahead to the anniversary of our nation’s founding.”
YPCC will engage students in advocacy work through 2026, culminating with the Semiquincentennial of the United States and the delegates’ graduation from high school. Throughout the program, delegates will research and produce a National History Day project on a related topic, gain an appreciation for civic unity by building relationships with other young people from across the country, and learn from historians, museum curators, thought leaders, and policymakers. In 2026, YPCC delegates will reconvene to share how they have implemented the recommended actions they ratified in 2024.
The Young People’s Continental Congress precedes the semiquincentennial on July 4, 2026, when the America250 Foundation will lead the commemoration of a quarter-millennium of American independence.
America250 is a multi-year effort to commemorate the semiquincentennial, or 250th anniversary, of the United States. The purpose of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, created by Congress, and the corresponding America250 Foundation, is to catalyze a more perfect union by designing and leading the most comprehensive and inclusive celebration in our country’s history. America250 represents a coalition of public and private partners all working to create initiatives and programs that honor our first 250 years and inspire Americans to imagine our next 250. The commemoration period began in 2020, culminates on July 4, 2026, and officially concludes in 2027. For more information, visit www.america250.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter , Instagram and TikTok.
Media Contact: America250 | Michael Frazier, [email protected]
About The Carpenters’ Company
The Carpenters’ Company of the City and Country of Philadelphia was established in 1724 and will soon celebrate its 300th anniversary. Today approximately 180 men and women, all of them prominent architects, building contractors, and structural engineers, carry on the Company’s traditions at the center of the continuing evolution of the built environment of Philadelphia. From the 18th -century members who erected the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall), Christ Church, and Carpenters’ Hall to its modern membership, the Company’s members are “Master Builders.” The Company’s mission includes preserving and maintaining Carpenters’ Hall, where it seeks to interpret the many significant events that occurred in and around the Hall for over 130,000 visitors annually; providing a forum for professional association; and encouraging and supporting education for those entering the construction industry. For more information, visit www.carpetnershall.org.
Carpenters’ Hall | Sarah Almazan, [email protected]