The "idea" for AMP came from my own personal travel experiences. In 1992, following college graduation, I was given the wonderful gift of an opportunity to travel and see the world before taking my first real job. With my savings from a business I started in high school, a plane ticket and a 3-month rail pass from my family, I set off on my adventure to Europe! My life was forever changed! My travels would teach me several key "life" lessons. History becomes real and meaningful through experiential travel to foreign lands, and through meeting the people that know the "local" history and culture, and the stories of their "local" communities.
I returned home full of new wonder and interest about my own family heritage and the history of my own community of Shreveport, Louisiana. I began to ask questions and write about interesting stories that were revealed. I continued my travels, this time exploring my own country. Several distinct differences between my "Europe tour" experience and my "USA tour" experience became obvious and unsettling.
The ideas and writings would grow over the next eight years, leading to the launch of the American Millennium Project on January 1, 2000...at the beginning of the new millennium.
AMP exists to teach "local" history and "local" culture to "local" people. I have come to believe that the better we know ourselves, and where we come from, the better able we are to help ourselves, to overcome ourselves, and then help others. This is true personally, as well as on a community level. Our rich local history and culture is worth knowing and understanding. As we grow in our understanding of our past, we see our present challenges and opportunities better, and we are poised to create a better future for our "local" community.
Today, the American Millennium Project has taken our model developed in Shreveport, Louisiana to communities across the state. In years to come we will expand to communities all across the country, then into Canada, Mexico, Latin and South America!!!