555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios is a volunteer artist run organization providing affordable studios and workspace, gallery space, exhibition programs, arts education programs, and an Artist in Residency.
A Learning Journey in Detroit: A Brave New World Recreating Itself As Beloved Community
October 25-28, 2012
led by Margaret Wheatley in partnership with The Boggs Center of Detroit
and timed with the publication of Margaret’s new book
So Far From Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World
To register or for questions concerning this journey please contact in Detroit: Diane Reeder at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about the co-hosts, we encourage you to visit:
www.margaretwheatley.com or www.boggscenter.org
By Grace Lee Boggs
March 3rd, 2013
In his February 12 State of the Union address, President Obama referred, almost in passing, to the potential in 3D printing to revolutionize the way we make almost everything.
The following week, on February 21, the Home section of the New York Times featured a fascinating article about “A Factory on your Kitchen Counter.”
In this period of double digit joblessness, I hope that these two references to a new mode of digital production will encourage every concerned citizen to begin exploring how to implement it in our workplaces and communities.
Implementing digital production in our communities at this time on the clock of the world can be as profound and far-reaching as the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture 11,000 years ago and from agriculture industry four hundred years ago.
In his best-selling book, The Third Wave Alvin Toffler views a digital mode of production as the basis of a “prosumer economy” because it makes possible local production in small, medium and large quantities as needed.
A prosumer economy provides a local, consumer/community-initiated and consumer/community-controlled alternative to the globalized production which in the last few decades has been impoverishing and devastating our communities and cities while expanding and enriching corporations like Walmart.
To begin our understanding and exploration of digital production we need to distinguish between “additive“ and “subtractive” manufacturing. Wikipedia explains the distinction:
“Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is a process of making a 3 dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a digital model.” It differs from today’s manufacturing process which is mostly subtractive, i.e. relies on the removal of material by methods such as cutting or drilling.
Additive production is known as Digital Fabrication because it turns data into things.
In his article “How to make almost everything” in the Nov.-Dec. 2012 issue of Foreign Affairs, Neil Gershenfeld defines Digital Fabrication as “the ability to turn data into things and things into data.” He writes:
“A new digital revolution is coming, this time in fabrication. It draws on the same insights that led to the earlier digitizations of communication and computation, but now what is being programmed is the physical world rather than the virtual one. Digital fabrication will allow individuals to design and produce tangible objects on demand, wherever and whenever they need them. Widespread access to these technologies will challenge traditional models of business, aid, and education….. Many years of research remain to complete this vision, but the revolution is already well under way.”
Frithjof Bergmann, University of Michigan Emeritus Professor, New Work theorist and community catalyst, has been helping rural African women to manufacture dry compost toilets and to build homes in one day by using digital fabrication.
In Detroit Blair Evans is engaging young people in digital fabrication with Incite Focus. One of Evans’ uncles was the late Rev. Albert Cleage aka Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman, founder of the Shrine of the Black Madonna and of the Black Christian Nationalist Movement/BCN.
By Aljosie Aldrich Knight, National Council of Elders
March 10th, 2013
Fay Bellamy Powell, one of the South’s most amazing lifelong organizers for human rights, justice and social change, won’t be around to celebrate International Women’s Day this year. On January 4, 2013, she succumbed to cancer in Atlanta, Georgia.
On February 22 hundreds of people gathered in the auditorium of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History in Atlanta to celebrate her life and legacy.
Fay’s life is a road map for young and old, searching for inspiration, clarity, and direction.
Growing up in the small town of Clairton, PA. not far from Pittsburgh, Fay suffered the discrimination and racism experienced by all African Americans, but in 1955, when she was 17, the brutal murder of 14 year-old Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi, transformed her consciousness. Just being concerned with her own life lost its flavor. Then, in 1963, when Fay heard of the four little girls killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, she knew, she said, that “play time was over.”
Searching for the “baddest” Civil Rights organization, Fay joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was assigned to Selma, Alabama, to run the field office. With top notch skills acquired in business school, she became “the glue of the field operation.” Between the demonstrations held every other day and under dangerous, hostile conditions, she wrote press releases, worked with national and international press, coordinated logistics, documented operations and participated in the second Selma to Montgomery March.
In 1965, with co-worker Silas Norman she went to Tuskegee, Alabama, to talk to Malcolm X and ask him to come to Selma to speak. There is a photo of her sitting next to Malcolm in the pulpit of Brown Chapel in Selma.
In her essay in Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women of SNCC, she writes how proud she was that Malcolm complimented the work SNCC was doing and said that he wanted to work with SNCC. Three weeks later he was assassinated in New York City.
After joining the national staff of SNCC in Atlanta, Fay started a newsletter, The African American, to enhance communication and unity between office staff and field staff. She pressed SNCC to open travel opportunities to rank and file staff. Her own travel opportunities included the USSR, Europe, and Central Asia. During these trips, meeting with local people and learning more about liberation struggles, she grew in international consciousness.
Elected to SNCC’s Coordinating Committee and Executive Committee, Fay strongly supported black power, African liberation struggles, Palestinian Independence, and protested against the War in Vietnam. Her co-workers, James Forman and Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) are publicly recognized but nobody worked harder than Fay Bellamy Powell. After long work days, she volunteered nights in the law office of SNCC attorney, Howard Moore, Jr. In a letter read at the celebration of her life, Moore said that he would not have been able to handle the high volume of legal cases without Fay’s skilled typing and transcribing work.
Like most women, Fay Bellamy Powell, did not operate on just one front. She co-founded WRFG Radio Free Georgia (www.wrfg.org), a station dedicated to progressive information. Her show, “Inside Out”, remained on the air for 26 years. The program combined jazz, news, social commentary, and interviews. An initial focus on prison issues gained her a following with inmates at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Her strong, loving, intelligent, socially conscious, no nonsense qualities made her a mentor to many young women who are now community organizers and activists. She also developed her artistic and entrepreneurial capacities by converting some of her landscape photographs into greeting cards which she printed or mounted as wall art and sold to an appreciative audience.
Fay was my cherished friend, talented co-worker at the Institute of the Black World, a fierce worker for social justice and exemplar of female leadership.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to recall the life and legacy of leaders for these times. It is a day to gather our daughters and granddaughters as well as our sons and grandsons to read about the lives and legacies of women leaders. It is a day to talk with them about the children of Selma, Alabama who were the backbone of the Selma Movement, to read about Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Wangari Maathai (Unbowed: a Memoir, 2007), Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (My Beloved World, 2013) and 97 year-old philosophic activist Grace Lee Boggs (Living for Change: An Autobiography, 1998). Turn off the televisions and other electronic devices. Spend time together talking about women leaders in your community or your family.
I plan to share stories about “Ma B”, my mother, Mamie Aldrich Baker, a self-appointed community leader during my childhood in Salisbury, NC.
I will remind my children and grandchildren that we are the leaders we have been waiting for.
The Allied Media Conference cultivates media strategies for a more just and creative world. Held every June in Detroit, MI, it is the primary point of intersection in the U.S. for alternative media makers and committed social justice activists from around the country.
C.A.N. ART HANDWORKS, INC. – Architectural/Ornamental Metal Work & Design: Specializing in Old World Architectural & Ornamental Metalwork & Designs. Whether it’s a reproduction of an original casting, restoration, forging, or a custom design & fabrication project, C.A.N. Art Handworks, Inc. has the experience & metal-crafting expertise required.
Coalition Against Police Brutality and Peace Zones for Life present:
JAZZ and JUSTICE pre-election fundraiser!
OCTOBER 21, 2012 from 5pm – 9pm
Detroit Yacht Club 1 Riverbank Drive, Det, MI 48207
Guest Speakers Danny Glover, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. & Honorable Judge Claudia Morcom
Musical performance by Pianist Bill Meyer, Det’wah and more . . .
$100 – reception and event
$75 – event only
Table for 10 – $750 or $1000
Click here to download the flyer: Community Concert
Saturday, October 20, 2012
7:30pm – 9:30pmMarygrove Theater (Liberal Arts Building) 8425 McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221
In our quest for humane responses to gentrification, foreclosures, school closures, joblessness, emergency managers, transportation cuts, and police brutality, people are working diligently every day to re-imagine everything from democracy to public safety, education and work. This year, as we commemorate the 50th Anniversaries of Malcolm X’s Message to the Grassroots at the historic King Solomon Church, Dr. King’s march on Woodward in Detroit before over 100,000 people and James Boggs’ epic release of The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker’s Notebook, we invite the world to join us as we come together again this summer to build on the abundant soul growth that we experienced in Detroit last July.
For Immediate Release:
Future City Media Workshops Presents Speaker Series
Detroit – April 22, 2011 – Future City Media Workshops, part of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, presents Social Media Strategies from Egypt’s Revolution to Detroit’s Economy, the first of a bi-weekly Saturday Speaker Series.
The Detroit Digital Justice Coalition is comprised of people and organizations in Detroit who believe that communication is a fundamental human right. We are securing that right through activities that are grounded in the digital justice principles of: access, participation, common ownership, and healthy communities.
The mission of the series is to have community dialogue on creative communication strategies and digital justice. The series runs every other Saturday till July 31st starting Saturday, April 30, 2011.
Social Media Strategies from Egypt’s Revolution to Detroit’s Economy is an open workshop and discussion examining how social media was an instrumental tool in voicing the people’s frustrations and aspirations during the ongoing revolutions in Egypt and across the region. Featured speakers from the Middle East and North Africa will discuss how the combination of building community online and off brought the power of the people together. This workshop will also share best practices and how-to guides in using social media tools. From twitter to texting, attendees will learn how to build communities and opportunities with social media technology.
Featured speakers include:
* Atef Said (Egypt, Human Rights Attorney and Organizer)
* Khaled Mattawa (Libya, Poet and Professor of Creative Writing, University of Michigan)
* Lottie Spadie (Detroit Digital Justice Coalition and Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council)
* Nadine Naber (Author and Professor of Arab American Studies, University of Michigan)
The speaker series begins Saturday, April 30, 2011. The series takes place at the Future City Media Lab, 4126 3rd St., Detroit, MI 48201, 3:00PM to 5:00PM.
Childcare will be provided for attendants.
For more information or to RSVP please contact email@example.com.
The Future City Media Workshops are made possible through a grant awarded to the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition (DDJC) by the the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program of the American Recovery And Reinvestment (Stimulus) Act
Using art to provoke thought, promote discussion, inspire action and heal communities, the Heidelberg Project began as an outdoor art environment in the heart of Detroit, but it has grown into much more. Today the project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of creativity to transform all those whose lives it touches. The Heidelberg Project offers a forum for ideas, a seed of hope, and a bright vision for the future.
Tyree Williams has been selected as 1 of 4 high school students in the Country to debate at the Smithsonian Institute in DC for Policy Debate the week of April 17th, and of course his super proud mom, Tawana Petty who attends nearly everything, wants to be there front and center. However, due to recent car expenses, health expenses, etc., she cannot afford the trip to support him.
Please help Tawana to go support her son in Washington, DC.
The Marygrove College Institute for Detroit Studies presents a Defining Detroit event:
Henry Ford and the Rise of Protest Politics in Black Detroit
Lecture, Discussion, Booksigning featuring: Beth Tompkins Bates
Weds, October 17, 2012 at 7:30pm
Main Dining Room, Madame Cadillac Building
Marygrove College, 8425 W. McNichols at Wyoming, Detroit, MI
Free and Open to the Public
For more info, call 313-927-1291
Leopold’s is an independent bookstore located in the historic Park Shelton in Midtown Detroit. Founded by owners Greg Lenhoff and Sarah Winchell in August 2009, Leopold’s carries a curated collection of books, ranging from graphic novels and art monographs to local zines, literary fiction, and nonfiction. We also sell a wide range of magazines, with a focus on art and design.
By Grace Lee Boggs
March 17th, 2013
Detroit’s international Women’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 9, at the UAW-GM Center was more moving and revealing than any of the many IWD celebrations in which I have participated over the years.
Co-hosted by the UAW Women’s Department and the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, the celebration brought together hundreds of women from many different walks of life and generations.
The theme was LISTEN TO WOMEN FOR A CHANGE!
Besides short talks by UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada and myself, it featured a series of workshops which demonstrated that women are the ones needed to give leadership on the many critical issues now facing everyone in our city and country:
-Taking Back Our Households
-Creating Peace Circles: From War Zones to Peace Zones
-Making a Splash at the Ballot Box
-What’s Love got to do with it? (HIV)
-Seeing Past Hell and onto Hope
Workshop leaders included Andre A Jackson, Julia Putnam, Conja Wright, Bonnie Smith, Deb Kozol, Stephanie Purvis, Wanda Latham, Rev. Sandra Simmons.
In all the workshops it became clear that women are effective leaders because we/they have ways of communicating, caring, and compromising that are specially needed at this time on the clock of the world.
The celebration concluded with a multi-generational conversation.
The IWD organizers will be meeting Wednesday, March 20, 5 p.m. at Solidarity House , 8000 E. Jefferson, Detroit 48214.
The Michigan Citizen has been published every Sunday on a weekly basis since November of 1978. It was founded by Charles D. Kelly and is currently published by his daughter, Catherine Kelly. The Michigan Citizen targets the state’s African American and progressive minded community. From block club presidents to mayors, school board trustees to state legislators, activists and self-help advocates, The Michigan Citizen reaches those shaping the future of our communities.
Grace Lee Boggs
December 9th, 2012
This week in Doha, Qatar, on the Persian Gulf, delegates to COP18, the UN Framework on Climate Change, are discussing the urgent need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions if we and our planet are to survive.
OUTSIDE the conference hundreds of Arabs from the newly formed Arab Youth Climate Movement are calling on delegates to take action, getting governments and leaders to submit voluntary pledges for emission mitigation targets and take concrete steps towards a binding future agreement in Doha and a second commitment of Kyoto protocol to start in 2013.
INSIDE no targets are being set.
The reality facing the delegates and the world is that global emissions and the global temperature continue to rise. And unless the average global temperature rise is stabilized at 2 degrees Celsius by 2020 from a 2005 base level, people all over the world face increasingly catastrophic weather, more droughts, more wildfires, more Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.
The Doha conferees are hoping that governments will take steps to reduce emissions. China has pledged a considerable reduction. The U.S. also has a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target. In January 2010 after the Copenhagen Climate Conference the United States pledged to reduce emissions by 17 percent by 2020, relative to the 2005 baseline.
But we can’t and shouldn’t depend on China or the U.S government.
Instead we should be inspired by the Arab Youth Movement to take accelerated action at the ground level.
In every classroom from kindergarten to graduate school, in every household, every neighborhood, every congregation WE THE PEOPLE can and must begin taking steps to reduce carbon emissions.
It will mean growing our own food instead of depending on produce shipped from factory farms thousands of miles away.
It will mean producing our needs in neighborhood workshops instead of purchasing them at box stores.
It will mean a lot of walking and biking instead of driving.
It will mean giving up Black Fridays.
In other words, it will mean making the radical revolution of values or the cultural revolution that Dr. King called for in his 1967 “Break the Silence” speech.
All these steps at the ground level are possible and necessary.
We can live more simply so that we and future generations can simply live.
WE CAN DO IT! YES WE CAN!!!
By Grace Lee Boggs
April 7th, 2014
The Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership (BCNCL) has issued a new edition of Revolution in the 21st Century (65pp. $5.00).
It was originally published in 2010.
The contents of the 2010 edition were:
Changing Concepts of Revolution
Rediscovering the American Past
Naming the Enemy
Toward a Self-Governing America
Re-affirming Self-Evident Truths
Neighborhood Peace Pledge
Neighborhood Peace Codes
Two new articles have been added to the 2013 edition.
Re-Imagining Work: Another Production is Possible by Richard Feldman
New Work & New Culture by Barbara Stachowski
As the American revolution continues to gain momentum, BCNCL is hosting an increasing number of movement groups from different parts of the country.
For example, a few weeks ago we enjoyed a visit from Movement Generation, a Justice and Ecology group rom the Bay area which is traveling to different cities in order to establish connections between local movement organizations.
In New England they will spend time with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative in the Roxbury-Dorchester neighborhoods of Boston.
MG’s members are mostly people of color. Carla Maria Perez, a founder, is a community organizer of Native/Latin American heritage who graduated from UC Berkeley in 1999 with a BS in Conservation & Resource Studies with an emphasis on Environmental Racism.
We are hearing from university professors from around the country that their students want to become more involved. A number of professors include both The Next American Revolution and Living for Change in their syllabus.
Professors from local universities who feel the need of their students to connect their studies to the struggle developing in Detroit are also bringing their classes to the Boggs Center.
Mission: Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery promotes and inspires justice and peace through the visual and performing arts by: Serving as a forum for artists to present works which comment on social conditions… Project of Central United Methodist Church.
Click here to download the flyer: The 8th Annual Great Lakes Bioneers Detroit Conference
October 19 – 21, 2012
Connect, Collaborate and Celebrate!
Speakers and workshops on sustainability and eco-justice movements.
“Growing Resilient Communities”Marygrove College 8425 McNichols Rd. Detroit, MI 48221
Learn more and register at: www.GLBD.org
By Frank Joyce
March 24th, 2013
Forty years ago, on January 27, 1973, the United States officially stopped carrying out direct military attacks against Viet Nam. That phase of the war ended with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. Henry Kissinger and Viet Nam’s Le Duc Tho subsequently won the Nobel Peace prize for negotiating the agreement.
In Viet Nam the anniversary was a very big deal. I know because I was part of a delegation of Americans and other anti-war activists from around the world invited to participate in events commemorating the Paris Peace accords. An official ceremony in Hanoi was carried live on national TV. Deep gratitude was expressed to the U.S. civilians and soldiers who resisted the war.
The Vietnamese government wants young people to better understand the war and its place in Viet Nam’s past, present and future. They think it’s especially important because 80 percent of the population has been born since the war ended.
Many young Americans were also born since the Viet Nam war ended. But the number of stories in the US media about the Paris Peace Accords anniversary was Zero. That’s not really surprising because we really are the United States of Amnesia. It all goes back to slavery.
The United States is exceptional. Never before did a spanking new nation birth its economy and its government on capitalist slavery and genocidal policies toward the indigenous people. The consequences of that birth “defect” are very much with us today. One of them is that we are loathe to recognize how much the consequences are with us today.
The fact of slavery required a rationalization for slavery. When that ended, the fact of Jim Crow segregation required the moral justification of the Jim Crow system. And so it goes. Such moral excuses require a lot of mental gymnastics.
Given what we are beginning to learn about neuroscience, we can understand that rationalizing slavery (and genocide) form neural paths that become part of the collective DNA of our citizenry. Avoidance, denial, and hypocrisy are essential components of the process. Those thought habits get passed from generation to generation.
Given that the USA has yet to come to terms with slavery we have avoided many, many other issues as well. It’s what we do. So we also have yet to process our decades long 20th century brutality in Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos. Instead we just moved on to apply similar thinking and actions to Grenada, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Africa and Iran.
It becomes almost inevitable that we make the same mistakes over and over again in trying to force other nations to bend to our will and “way of life.” It also means that we fail to connect the viciousness we visit on other countries with the brutality that characterizes our own culture.
Does anyone seriously think we can control gun violence at home when we commit massive gun violence every day in countries all over the world? Or that “PTSD” homicides, suicides and domestic violence are not “blowback” (chickens come home to roost) from foreign aggression? Of course ,we elevate a distorted view of the second amendment which was originally passed for purposes of slave control to a preeminent position in the U.S. constitution.
There is, fortunately, another side to this story. The history and traditions of our nation also include an abolitionist movement. Whites died in the struggle to end Jim Crow segregation in the South. African Americans and whites died in opposing U.S. wars against Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia. And the anti-war movement did make a difference in bringing that war to an end more quickly than would otherwise have been the case.
In observing the end of the U.S. war, the Vietnamese made very clear that they see both sides of the picture. They know the reality so brilliantly described in the recently published book by Nick Turse, Kill Everything That Moves. Those atrocities were daily reality to the Vietnamese (and the Laotians and Cambodians).
As Chris Hedges says in his recent review: “Case after case in his book makes it painfully clear that soldiers and Marines deliberately maimed, abused, beat, tortured, raped, wounded or killed hundreds of thousands of unarmed civilians, including children, with impunity. Troops engaged in routine acts of sadistic violence usually associated with demented Nazi concentration camp guards.
“The few incidents of wanton killing in Vietnam—and this is also true for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—that did become public, such as My Lai, were dismissed as an aberration, the result of a few soldiers or Marines gone bad. But, as Turse makes clear, such massacres were and are, in our current imperial adventures, commonplace. The slaughters “were the inevitable outcome of deliberate policies, dictated at the highest levels of the military,” he writes. They were carried out because the dominant tactic of the war, as conceived by our politicians and generals, was centered on the concept of “overkill.” And when troops on the ground could not kill fast enough, the gunships, helicopters, fighter jets and bombers came to their assistance. The U.S. Air Force contributed to the demented quest for “overkill”—eradicating so many of the enemy that recuperation was theoretically impossible—by dropping the equivalent of 640 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs on Vietnam, most actually falling on the south where our purported Vietnamese allies resided. And planes didn’t just drop bombs. They unloaded more than 70 million tons of herbicidal agents, 3 million white phosphorus rockets—white phosphorous will burn its way entirely through a body—and an estimated 400,000 tons of jellied incendiary napalm.”
Yes, the Vietnamese know that reality and its ongoing consequences including continuing birth defects from Agent Orange and unexploded U.S. bombs that still kill and maim. But they also know and celebrate the contributions of the anti-war movement that helped shorten the war.
Here in the U.S. the government and the mainstream media see neither. The sooner we truly appreciate what we did in Viet Nam, the sooner we will make real headway at dealing with injustice and violence here at home.
Virginia Eubanks’ 2012 Book Tour
Monday, October 22, 2012 at 5pm
4201 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI
For more info.: 313-832-1155
Or visit www.digitaldeadend.com
YES! Magazine is an award-winning, ad-free, nonprofit publication that supports people’s active engagement in building a just and sustainable world.
The heart of our work is to spotlight practical possibilities for deep shifts in our society: we inspire people to say YES!; we support and connect individuals and communities working for a just and sustainable world; we reframe issues, reflect diverse human-scale stories, and offer tools for people to use and to pass along.