Boggs Center News March 26th, 2018

March 26th, 2017
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The Future of Food
Lessons from African Smallholder Farmers
Thursday, March 29th
6-7 pm
free admission
Health Professional Bldg.  Room 124 UDMercy

Presenter: Carol Thompson, PH.D

SPONSORS: GLBD is partnering with REBUILDetroit and Detroit Black Community Food Security Network


Thinking for Ourselves
Shea Howell
Reflection on EM

Last week we had an opportunity to reflect on the legacies of Emergency Management. Two schools of architecture, Taubman College of the University of Michigan and the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture of Columbia University, brought together scholars and activists from Detroit and around the country to probe what the experience of Emergency Management has meant to our city.

The call to the conference noted:

“Michigan has been the national epicenter of the development of municipal “emergency management”—a project that allows state governors to declare “financial emergencies” in Michigan cities and thereby replace democratically-elected city officials with appointed emergency financial managers.” As a result, “cities have seen the large-scale sell-off of public assets, the privatization of public institutions, the disinvestment in public infrastructures, the elimination of public services, the dissolution of municipal agencies, the hollowing-out of collective bargaining, and other acts of violence against the public sphere. Extending long histories of the extraction of labor, land, and wealth from communities of color in the United States, the transfer of public wealth and financialization of municipal governance under emergency management has been focused on Michigan’s black-majority cities; in the last 10 years, around 52% of Michigan’s African-American residents have been disenfranchised by emergency management as compared to 3% of white Michiganders.”

Although Governor Snyder announced in December of 2017 that no city or school district required an Emergency Manger, the law enabling their reinstatement continues. Moreover, most school districts and cites are subject to ongoing financial review boards that set strict parameters on local action. Emergency Management continues as a tool of state government in spite of being clearly responsible for the poisoning of the entire city of Flint, the shutting off from life giving water to 100,000 people in Detroit, the chaos of our public schools, and the gutting of cities across the state.

State legislators have refused to look at the limitations of this policy. The mainstream media is beginning to resurrect the idea that emergency management is a flawed but essential mechanism. They are pushing the narrative that the Flint disaster was an “exception” to an otherwise great policy that “saved” Detroit, setting the stage for its “comeback.”

Emergency management continues in the shadows of our lives, threatening to be pulled out should city leadership show any signs of independent, forward thinking that might challenge the relentless consolidation of white, corporate wealth.

Thus it was a welcome opportunity to gather and ask critical questions: “What has the impact of emergency management been on Michigan’s cities? What are the lessons that should be learned from Michigan’s experience with emergency management? How can the legacy of emergency management in Michigan inform resistance in other spaces of threatened or ongoing de-democratization?”

The emergency management experience has made it clear that racialized finance capital cannot tolerate even the weak democracy that characterized our public processes in this first quarter of the 21st Century. After nearly a century of progress in moving toward greater dignity for workers, more justice for African Americans, people of color, women and all those who have been disrespected and denied their full humanity, we are experiencing the viscous backlash of counter revolutionary forces. Sometimes these forces carry confederate flags and wear Nazi uniforms. Most often they wear business suits and carry a twisted logic of law as they deny and destroy the hopes of people for decent homes, clean water and a quality education for children. Emergency management has made it clear we are now engaged in a struggle for the very soul of our cities and our country.


Check out DPP’s weekly media round-up 

March For Our lives Detroit – Grace Lee Boggs

March for Our Lives – Detroit, MI

Rivard Plaza

1340 E Atwater St
Detroit, MI 48207

3.1 mi away

When: Saturday, March 24, 11:00 AM

The Detroit March for Our Lives is an inclusive student-led march being organized by a coalition of very dedicated metro-Detroit high school students, with support from a large group of university students and adult allies. People of every age, race, ethnicity, citizenship and gender will come together for this cause, and all are welcome. On March 24, students and community members of ‘March For Our Lives’ will take to the streets of Washington, DC and nearly every other major city in the United States to demand that their lives and safety become a priority. Detroiters will march at the Riverfront in view of and only .5 miles from Canada, a country that has 51 times fewer gun deaths than the United States. We need your help to deliver the message that mass shootings must stop in this nation and that governing action on gun laws must be taken. Our collective voices will be heard!

CRISIS OF THE MASS KILLINGS Grace Lee Boggs, “Beyond Civility,” MLK Day 2011

THE CRISIS OF THE MASS KILLINGS IS NOT ONLY A DANGER BUT AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
EACH AND ALL OF US TO MAKE A GREAT LEAP FORWARD IN OUR HUMANITY –Grace Lee
Boggs

In his 1967 call for a radical revolution of values against the giant
triplets of racism, materialism and militarism, King said, “a nation that
spends more on military defense than on programs of social uplift is
approaching spiritual death.” In recent years our spiritual death has
resulted in mass physical deaths all over the world and at home, e.g. at
Oklahoma City, Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, the
Immigration Center in Binghamton, N.Y. Each of these could have been the
wakeup call that this one can become.

We don’t have to limit ourselves to grieving or to calling for civility. We
are not just bystanders. We are citizens responsible for the safety of
ourselves and our fellow citizens in these very destabilizing times.

The time has come for each of us to be involved in creating what MLK called
a new concept of global citizenship, based on each one of us accepting the
responsibility for the safety of all of us,

This includes instituting more gun regulations and more mental health
awareness and facilities at the local level, instead of leaving it to
Washington, D.C.

It includes many more of us risking arrest by initiating or joining
non-violent demonstrations.

It requires more of us recognizing that the Old American Dream is dead and
accepting the responsibility for beginning to create, from the ground up,
in our neighborhoods, our cities, and our country, a New American Dream,
based on caring for each other in beloved communities, living more simply
in order that others can simply live, ending our wars and military
occupations around the world.

All of us, and not only borderline individuals, need this New American
Dream. And until the whole world knows that we are creating it in our
country, there will be no homeland security for any of us.

The crisis of the Tucson killings is not only a danger but an opportunity
for each and all of us to make this great leap forward in our and the
world’s humanity.

We must seize the time!!

From Grace Lee Boggs, “Beyond Civility,” MLK Day 2011

Riverwise Magazine’s First Birthday! Sunday March 11, 2018

 Riverwise Magazine’s first birthday!

Join us this Sunday (Mar 11) from 5-9PM  at Craft Work (8047 Agnes St, Detroit) to celebrate Riverwise Magazine’s first birthday! We will be enjoying food, drinks, music, dancing (if you like), and limitless, soul-stirring fun! It’s free.99, but it’s our birthday party so donations are welcome!

Buy a poster copy of Riverwise Magazine cover art!

We are selling select copies of Riverwise Magazine’s cover art from this past year of publication in poster form. These are $20 and will be available only while they last! If you want to purchase in advance, visit our Eventbrite page and RSVP with a donation and you’ll have one set aside!