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The William H. Gray III Memorial Foundation's mission is to inspire the next generation to engage in democracy by honoring William H. Gray III's legacy and contributions to civic engagement, social justice, and education.


We envision an engaged society where communities are rooted in values such as civic education, public service, social justice and community empowerment.


The Gray Memorial Foundation was formed to create a Living Legacy that reflects the ideals that Gray championed and spark fresh conversations about how to apply his example to the present day. There will be three phases of the memorial, each informed by meaningful community engagement: portal installations while Amtrak undergoes renovations, a memorial inside the train station, and a digital pathways educational resource and programming to extend the legacy beyond the memorial.

Stage One: Creative Portals

Creative Portals will be a series of dynamic, temporary installations that will breathe life into the renovation phase of the station and make a compelling case for engaging in democracy.
Philadelphians aged 6-18 will partner with local artists to create temporary art and digital installations.

Youth will be paired with local artists to visually bring to life the answers to question like “Why is democracy still important today?” and,” How can we solve today’s problems?”  In 2024 the resulting artwork will be installed in the portals off the main lobby, on the scrim surrounding the building, and in other locations throughout the station, potentially in two cycles, engaging more youth and artists.


Stage Two: The Memorial

The centerpiece of the Memorial will be a physical representation that embodies Gray and his ideals, and engages viewers to explore both historic materials and contemporary manifestations of Gray’s beliefs and impact. The memorial will honor Gray's legacy while connecting to ongoing work by organizations practicing his commitments.

A nationwide call will be issued to identify artists who can realize this vision, and one will be selected by a panel of community members, public art professionals, Amtrak officials, and Gray Foundation representatives. Unveiling of the memorial will occur with the reopening of the refurbished station in 2026.

Stage Three: Digital Pathways & Legacy Beyond the Memorial

Digital Pathways will be an educational resource that recognizes the contributions of Gray and other leaders and showcases the untold story of their place in American history. The Foundation intends to develop this interactive exhibit that will speak to future generations. The exhibit will serve to connect their values to present-day organizations, activities, and programs, as well as provide practical examples of how today’s youth can engage in democracy.

This digital resource will include audio, visual, and digital elements connecting visitors to Gray's speeches, interviews, and principles, paired with links to information, organizations, and events relevant to Gray’s values and mission. By providing historical context and linking to present-day groups, the digital memorial will educate visitors on Gray's lasting impact, celebrate the contributions of similar leaders, and inspire others to carry on his mission into the future.
This resource will be revealed in tandem with the physical memorial, with updates to complement future programming to inspire the next generation.


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