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 email@example.com
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.
The programs of CCSS began as a part of Cass Community United Methodist Church. The church is a diverse and vibrant congregation. The 11 a.m. Sunday worship services are loud and lively, mixing traditional music and liturgy with gospel selections, contemporary skits, and motivating sermons.
Throughout the week, the Cass congregation offers a variety of educational, recreational and volunteer activities that include weeknight programs for children and youth, an adult book club and cycling group, music classes and choir rehearsals, as well as men’s basketball.
Based in Detroit, Co-Lab Creative is an interdisciplinary group formed to initiate creative, educational projects that address social inequity and ecological distress. Our projects emphasize community involvement and involve Detroit youth at a variety of ages. Current projects include schoolyard gardening and grassroots product design. The goal is to create beautiful, well-crafted, quality designs and places that express respect for humanity and the natural environment.
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
About The Program: Dads from Day One (DFD1) is a program for fathers and their newborn child(ren). DFD1 partners with the community in Wayne County to help dads become involved with their child(ren) at birth. A strong bond between dad and his child will support the healthy growth and development of that child. As a father, it will be the most important relationship of your life. Call 313-629-3234 to make a difference in your child’s life.
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.
Detroit Summer is a multi-racial, inter-generational collective in Detroit, working to transform ourselves and our communities by confronting the problems we face with creativity and critical thinking. We currently organize youth-led media arts projects and community-wide potlucks, speak-outs and parties.
We are trying to get drugs off the streets and out of the hands of our children. With recent cut backs in our community we need something to make our kids think and understand violence is not the answer. We want to educate our youth by giving them information on ways to help them stay off the street. We want our voices to be heard loud and clear, “the violence will no longer be tolerated.” Help rebuild a vanishing generation. Thank you in advance for your help and support.
For More Information CONTACT: BabyGee Joshua (313) 304-9336
By Shea Howell
April 21st, 2013
These are unprecedented times in Detroit. One man has the absolute power to make every decision about the public life of our city. The Emergency Manager has complete authority over every single aspect of civic responsibility. The Mayor and City Council serve at his pleasure. They have no independent decision making authority. Contracts with unions, pension funds, health care, the delivery of basic services, the priorities of the budget, the use of public money, and the disposal of public assets all rest on his authority alone. Long standing covenants designed to increase public awareness and foster accountability in elected officials are all set aside. There are no requirements for public hearings, no application of the Open Meetings Act, and no need to notify or justify decisions about the sale of public properties.
This elimination of local control over civic life has been justified by the financial crisis facing the city. Although many cities and towns across the nation face financial difficulties, only in Michigan are these difficulties tied to the removal of elected officials. There are currently 23 states that have the power to intervene in municipal finances. Only Michigan ties this intervention to the elimination of the power of elected officials.
Moreover, the scope of the current enabling legislation, Public Act 436, grants broad power to a single individual. This is intentional. The current legislation changed the title of the individual from Emergency Financial Manager to Emergency Manager.
This change is more than semantics. It was in direct response to the efforts by the Elected Detroit School board to challenge the decisions of then Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb over curriculum, methods of instruction, and texts in the schools. The court upheld the responsibility of the elected School Board, stressing the emphasis on financial management, and limiting the scope of Robert Bobb’s actions. Not for long of course. The right wing state legislature rushed to enact Public Act 4, which expanded the powers of individual overseers of school boards and municipalities, converting all Emergency Financial Managers to Emergency Managers.
This act, successfully overturned by a hard fought public referendum, was met with yet another effort by the legislature to strip local governments. Thus we are now functioning under Public Act 436, which grants to the single governor appointed Emergency Manager the power to act “for and in the place of” all municipal authority.
This is a completely new situation. As the most recent court challenge to this law says, “Public Act 436 establishes a new form of local government, previously unknown within the united States or the State of Michigan, where the people within local municipalities may be governed by an unelected official who establishes local law by decree.”
Over the last few years, these emergency manager efforts have been met with unprecedented resistance. Elected officials in managed communities have mounted legal challenges, organized public meetings, and attempted to meet their responsibilities outside of authorized channels. Petitions were circulated and defended. At every opportunity, the people have voted down this legislation. Now we are witnessing protests, public meetings, and renewed court challenges.
But there is a deeper calling for all of us at this moment. It is the calling toward creating beloved communities that Dr. King evoked nearly a half century ago. Today around the city, in quiet and often unknown places, people are questioning, sharing, praying, probing, acting, and struggling to create new ways to secure our safety and to heal one another, our communities and the earth. Many people recognize that simply restoring representative governments will not solve the many challenges we face.
Instead, people throughout the city are invoking the idea of beloved community. This has inspired generations of people around the world to struggle for justice, peace and healing. It is a vision we can all call upon as we seek to transform war zones to peace zones, hatred to love, domination to shared community
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 Hush House offers leadership training, programs for homeless and low income families, space for community meetings and operates a community black world history museum.
Join Detroit Summer’s Live Media Arts Project (LAMP) for weekly artist community workshops. LAMP is a production of youth artists and adult artist mentors who have decided to respond to the crisis in education, particularly around the issue of drop-outs, emphasizing the critical voices of youth. Whereas mainstream dialogue on this issue reduces youth to mere statistics and puts forward a band-aid or reactionary solutions to the crisis, the goal of this project is to center the concerns and creativity of young people in the debate over the current crisis in education.
Matrix Theatre Company uses the transformative power of original theatre to change lives, build community, and foster social justice. It creates opportunities for children, youth, adults and elders, especially those in isolated or challenged communities, to become creators, producers and audience of original theatre.
MICHIGAN PEACE TEAM (MPT) empowers people to engage in active nonviolent peacemaking. MPT was started in 1993, in response to the growing need for civilian peace-makers both in the U.S. and abroad. We offer nonviolence training workshops and provide opportunities to join peace teams. We seek a just world grounded in nonviolence and respect for the sacred interconnectedness of all life.
By definition, a mosaic is an array of different pieces joined together to create a work of art. Accordingly, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit is founded on the richness of difference. Our young artists come from city and suburban schools, and a variety of social, economic, racial, cultural and religious backgrounds. Through our professional performing arts program, these young artists blend their ideas and talents and achieve excellence in their theatrical and musical performances. Yet, their success is perhaps best measured by how they excel in life. Mosaic proudly reports that more than 95% of its youth ensemble members graduate from high school and go on to college.
The mission of the program is three-fold: 1) To increase awareness about the impact of violence and educate the public on ways to reduce the incidents among at-risk youth, 2) To discuss with youth means for conflict resolution and the importance of making wise decisions, and 3) To increase the awareness about the abilities of persons with disabilities.
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.
By Marcia Lee
March 31st, 2013
For the past four years Forbes magazine has ranked Detroit as the most violent city in the nation. Some might argue that this is because we are a city without much financial capital and/or because there are too many guns on the street. Although there is truth in both these statements , I believe, as my colleague Henry McClendon likes to say, “The problem is not that we have a violence problem in Detroit; it’s that we have a relationship problem.”
There was a time when we did not go to the police to solve problems in our communities. Instead we would gather with the people in our communities, with our cousins and elders. Together we would solve conflicts in our communities.
There was a time when the focus was on listening to what people said had happened and working with the people who had been impacted to resolve the problem instead of forced separation and punishment. There was a time when elders guided younger generations and younger generations worked with elders to maintain the community.
Now is a good time to work not only to resolve conflicts after they occur, but to create spaces for healthy relationships that will mean fewer conflicts. Now is a good time to recall older practices, to build relationships with our neighbors, and to rediscover creative and community-guided solutions. Now is a time to share our stories and learn from each others’ wisdom.
This is the focus of restorative justice: working with people in our/their own communities to bring healing to the people who have been harmed by violence and conflict. We work on healing wounds and holding people accountable for their actions.
In line with this vision and in response to horrible violence, the Detroit Area Restorative Justice Center and Corktown Restorative Justice Network were born.
Over the past couple of years small groups have been meeting to envision how to work together to create peace zones in our city. We now have an office in the Hive Space at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
We host trainings on Introduction to Peacemaking Circles and a Speakers Series on alternating months. The office is currently open on Tuesdays if people want to drop in to talk through a conflict or set up an appointment. With the Corktown group, our focus is on supporting people who live in Corktown, but we are also happy to work with people or organizations in other areas to support them in resolving conflicts.
On April 27th, from 9am-4pm , we will be hosting a gathering for Restorative Justice practitioners to come together to learn from each other and create a vision of how to make Detroit into the Restorative Justice City in the United States. Grace Lee Boggs will begin the day for us by sharing her vision.
If you have questions about the Restorative Justice work happening in Detroit or want to become involved, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can make this vision come to life, one relationship at a time.
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