Detroit Joins Hundred of Thousands to March for Climate Justice Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty Electablog
#DetroitClimateMarch #PeoplesClimateMarch #PeoplesClimate
Thinking for Ourselves Water, Detroit and Earth Day Shea Howell
“This Earth Day, join the effort to defend the vital public service role science plays in our communities and our world. Science serves all of us.
Mayor Duggan refuses to face reality. His approach to our water crisis is based on the same willful ignorance as that of Donald Trump. He has refused to look at the science behind a water affordability plan, he has refused to look at our ecological responsibility to encourage conservation, and he has refused to explore the real public health costs to a city denying many of its most vulnerable citizens access to water.
WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
IT’S TIME TO BREAK OUR SILENCE
An open invite to friends & family of Macomb County:
WHAT KIND OF COMMUNITY AND WORLD CAN WE ENVISION TOGETHER?
“We have a great opportunity to create beloved, caring communities… But
first, we must break our silence and have safe, serious conversations
about our history and how we reached this point.”
APRIL 22 from 2-4PM at GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH (115 S. Main Street, Mt. Clemens) ~ Sponsored by the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership ~ CONTACT US AT: Lejla@umich.edu // (586) 596-5059
Sent from my phone.
Break Silence Ferndale April 29, 2017
Living for Change News
April 17th, 2017
Thinking for Ourselves
Teacher and alums from the Bank Street School in New York visited Detroit this week on a learning journey. Since 1916, Bank Street has been a force for progressive education. Bank Street is both a school for children and a Graduate College dedicated to teaching and learning. It emphasizes experience based and collaborative learning. It has been a strong advocate for educating the whole child—heart, head and hand. In conversations at the Boggs Center the educators talked about how much they had learned from our city, how moved they were by its imagination and resilience.
They were a reminder that educating children in today’s world requires a lot more than what happens in many schools. Much of the thinking about education is dominated by two outmoded ideas: the factory model of mass schooling and the Enlightenment idea that children are empty minds, waiting to be filled up. In urban areas these ideas find their way into increasing efforts to control our children, to make them sit down, sit still, take tests, not talk, and respond to commands. This control is enforced by a military presence with methods of physical control, surveillance and psychological intimidation.
At a time when curiosity, creativity and imaginative solutions are needed for our very survival, our young people are denied the opportunity to develop and explore these qualities in much of their official schooling. Instead they are told if they are quiet, study hard, graduate and go to college, they can find a job and move out of their community. Most young people learn quickly that this story isn’t for them. It is no wonder that nearly half our children stop participating in a system whose rewards are to leave all that has nurtured them.
Recently, the assault on public education has taken a particularly insidious turn with the emphasis of STEM, pushing science, technology, engineering and math. These are all good things to explore, but the notion that they are the only things is destructive and dangerous. In thinking about this question it is helpful to read the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1954 Dr. King delivered a guest sermon at the Second Baptist Church in Detroit on the theme of Rediscovering Lost Values. He said:
“The trouble isn’t so much that our scientific genius lags behind, but our moral genius lags behind. The great problem facing modern man is that the means by which we live have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul. We haven’t learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. The real problem is that through our scientific genius we’ve made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we’ve failed to make of it a brotherhood.”
Dr. King went on to say that, “if we are to go forward today, we’ve got to go back and rediscover some mighty precious values that we’ve left behind.” Among those values is the principle that “all reality hinges on moral foundations.”
King explains, “It is not enough to know that two and two makes four, but we’ve got to know somehow that it’s right to be honest and just with our brothers. It’s not enough to know all about our philosophical and mathematical disciplines, but we’ve got to know the simple disciplines of being honest and loving and just with all humanity. If we don’t learn it, we will destroy ourselves by the misuse of our own powers.”
It is learning these values of our shared humanity that make democracy possible.
The future of race in America
‘Riverwise’ is a community-based magazine created by a team of authors, writers, photojournalists, parents, grandparents, students, organizers, activists, artists, educators and visionaries. We are working together to create media that reflects local activism and the profound new work being done in and around Detroit neighborhoods. We envision deepening relationships through media that serves as an essential part of weaving beloved communities. We will celebrate personal Detroit stories and the process of evolving ideas.
It is often said that we live in two Detroits– one affluent, the other neglected. We know there are many versions of Detroit and in some communities there is a striving toward self-determination and new, visionary ways of life. It is our goal through this publication to show these efforts that are rooted in community, sustainable, transformative and based upon new forms of citizenship. Detroit is a movement city. And our movements need creative media. By sharing resources and encouraging open participation of engaged citizens, especially people of color, ‘Riverwise’ shall help us to examine our own personal and political contradictions and generate lasting solutions.
WHAT WE NEED
‘Riverwise’ needs your stories of resilience, visionary resistance, place-based education, self-determination and sustainable, creative ways of transforming yourselves and your communities. Please contact us with article ideas and notice of programs taking place in your neighborhood. We’ll do our best to follow up. Or submit an article, personal anecdote, poem, interview, photo, illustration of your own for our next edition of ‘Riverwise’ by April 7, 2017. We will do what we can to tell your stories. We won’t be able to print them all. Some articles may also be printed in the Living For Change Newsletter put out by the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. Submissions should not be more than 1,500 words long and may be edited for content and/or space. They should also include contact information and proper credits and affiliations. Send digital submissions to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Hard copies may be sent to 3061 Field St., Detroit, Michigan, The Riverwise collective also invites you to join us for a series of community conversations. We hope to regularly discuss the direction of the magazine, story ideas and the future of our emerging Detroit communities with all interested parties. The next Riverwise community conversation will take place at the Birwood House on April 20, 2017 at 6:30pm.
Living for Change News
April 11th, 2017
Michelle Alexander and Ruby Sales
in conversation about Beyond Vietnam
a Sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.WATCH IT HERE
DEQ Public Information and Hearing
Reflection on Love and Struggle
How do we build a new future? How central to this work are love and power?
“Love is the answer.” “All you need is love.” “Love trumps hate.” Hopelessly naïve?
Love (noun): A sentimental feeling. An intimate, personal, private state of mind. The dullest of the weapons of the weak.
Or, can love become “a material force for change,” as Jimmy used to say?
“Power is the enemy.” “Change the world without taking power.” “Power corrupts, absolutely.” Hopelessly naïve?
Power (noun): A repressive, abusive force. The essence of domination and oppression. What they’ve got over us, or we’ve got over them—and we’d rather do without.
Or, is there also power with, the power we build and share together, as Grace used to say?
What, after all, is power? And what’s love got to do with it?
Earlier that week, Kelley joined Stephen Ward in Detroit to reflect on the lives and activism of James and Grace Lee Boggs, and on the complicated legacies of Martin and Malcolm. The discussion excerpted below, from April 3rd, takes up many of the same themes and questions…
And he says, you know: ‘You see, what happened is that some of our philosophers got off base. And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites, so that love is identified with a resignation of power; and power, with a denial of love…. Now, we got to get this thing right. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive; and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. (Yes.) Power at its best, power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.’
Right? So, think about the importance of love as a center for renewing our habits of assembly…. And recognizing that taking power, building power, is not something that we should resist, but we should claim.
We often are on the other side of power: we see power as something we resist, rather than something we take. And I wanna say that because, the other person who is, sort of, a huge influence on many of us is Grace Lee Boggs. And one of the things that she and Jimmy Boggs were working on, was they argued that dialectical materialism, as we knew it, was an epoch that was over. And to replace dialectical materialism they argued for dialectical humanism: that the fundamental struggle is not the class struggle between proletariat and capitalist—especially in an age when automation and other forms were, sort of, transforming the proletariat—but rather, our struggle to become more human, whatever that—and you know, we could debate about that—but the struggle to become more human.
And to become more human, is to basically recognize, you know, what it means, to live with… to live for, about, with… love. To build community, where there’s no outside.
You know, what does that mean? What does that require of us?
And you cannot build, or embrace, a new humanity for the future without actually acknowledging what Fred [Moten] began with, and that is: our planet is in peril, you know?
That to love the planet, and to love each other, and to love life, is not a sentimental love, but agape—that is, love where there is no outside, where you are constantly building community. And it’s filled with tension to do that, it’s a struggle to do that.
But that, to me, is the only way we could build the kind of futurity that you’re talking about. We can’t have a future that’s based on a false utopia—that is, you know, a land of milk and honey. That our future is actually here. We’re already in the future.
The question is, how do we hold on to that vision, that through power and love we could produce a world in which we’re not shaming each other, we’re not beating each other down, we’re not afraid of each other; where we’re not invested in economies that are based on both scale and profit; where we’re not trying to make, sort of, new entrepreneurs as the future, you know, as the only future available—that we’re not reduced to human capital, but human beings, whatever that means?
And that, to me, is really the essence of how to build a new future.”
WHAT WE’RE READING