The Journey Begins
At Interface, Ray C. Anderson traveled a path he never imagined, all because he had the courage to ask, ‘What if?’ That question, and the answers to which it led, changed the world, igniting a global movement toward sustainable business practice and proving that a better way is possible. The Ray is the next leap in that journey, born of the same question.
Highways connect our communities, but they also create critical problems and divisions. They disrupt ecosystems and habitats by disconnecting and removing local flora and fauna. At an increasing rate, they threaten human lives as well. Since 2011, the US has seen a 5.3% rise in roadway fatalities.
In July 2014, the State of Georgia honored Ray’s legacy by renaming the stretch of I-85 that extends from exit 2 to 18 in West Georgia as the Ray C. Anderson Memorial Highway.
In the year that followed, the Ray C. Anderson Foundation created The Ray as an independent nonprofit, empowering it to catalyze this corridor into a global model for regenerative transportation. Between 2015 and 2017, the Foundation granted approximately $2.5 million in funding to pursue this work. In January 2018 the Ray C. Anderson Foundation granted an additional $2 million over a two-year period to The Ray.
The Ray will transform this road and its surrounding acres, serving as a global model for future transportation.
The journey has just begun. A Georgia Conservancy Blueprints for Successful Communities study funded by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and Interface yielded six pillars The Ray will address:
The Ray will reverse pollution and make the world a cleaner, more beautiful place.
The Ray will not only save but also generate resources.
The Ray will restore degraded ecosystems and create new, improved habitats as well.
The Ray will reduce highway fatalities, becoming the safest mode of transportation in the world.
Beyond reconnecting communities, The Ray in itself will become a venue for social interaction.
The Ray will instill moral awareness to empower all of us to be symbiotic with our environment.