More Whitman In Our Days

In 1855, Walt Whitman’s masterwork Leaves of Grass was first published.
Buried well into the preface was a poem that has become known as This Is What You Shall Do.
The poem is an aspirational instructional on how to live a life.
And in our view, how to build a foundation. We refer to it simply as TIWYSD.


Our impact takes the form of giving, grants, scholarships, and our own set of initiatives and programs. And through it, we aspire to help put more Whitman in our days. Current and future.


The foundation is led by our Founder, Jim DuBose, and our Operations Director, Chris Andrew. Chris reports to our Executive Board and is advised by an Advisory Board, Fellows, and Committee Chairs.

This Is What You Shall Do

Love the earth and the sun and the animals.

Despise riches, give alms to everyone who asks.

Stand up for the stupid and crazy.

Devote your income and labor to others.

Hate tyrants.

Argue not concerning God.

Have patience and indulgence toward the people.

Take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or any number of men.

Go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with mothers of families.

Read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life.

Re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book.

Dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.