Boggs Center – Living For Change News Letter – May 16, 2017

Jimmy and Grace  
Living for Change News
May 16th, 2017

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Thinking for Ourselves
Real People, Real Questions
Shea Howell

I have always loved streetcars. As a child, my bedroom window overlooked the last stop of the line that brought miners and mill workers to the top of the hill every morning. I was fascinated by the turn around of the car, achieved by men and muscle in those days. I imaged growing up to be a streetcar driver. So I wish I could find more joy in the new M-1 rail line that opened last Friday to incredible fanfare. Even the automobiles on the tracks, broken signals, delays and malfunctions of the first day could not diminish the enthusiasm of its backers.

Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans, who sank money and energy into the project and bought the naming rights, dubbing it the Q Line, said to the Detroit News, “QLine has already spurred billions of dollars of investment with billions more to come. “It is more than a transportation machine, it is a jobs-creating machine.”

Columnist Daniel Howes surpassed Gilbert’s enthusiasm, calling the line a “symbol of Detroit’s reinvention.” Howes argues that the 3.3 mile track reflects the “long game” of “powerful business and philanthropic interests” dedicated to the “revitalization of a downtown that a lot of Detroiters—in the city and in the suburbs—long ago gave up for dead.”

It is precisely this kind of enthusiasm that makes it difficult to celebrate the new streetcar. Howes, Gilbert, Penske, Rapson, Duggan, and Snyder cannot put their actions in perspective. Instead they use every opportunity to repeat the worn out narrative that some new downtown project will benefit the majority of the people of the city. They do this despite the fact that the majority of the people of the city know full well we are increasingly unwanted in their whiter, wealthier downtown serviced by these new cars.

The constant casting of criticism as “righteous cynicism” by people like Howes is especially reflective of the lack of vision of the power elites in their drive for self congratulations. Howes says of those who raise concerns, “How ’bout giving the venture a chance, and letting the real people living and working along downtown’s central spine have their say. It’s them, not the voices lobbing cheap shots from the comfort of their keyboards, who will decide whether the big bet will pay off.”

Real people, beyond Gilbert and his cronies, know this tiny line does nothing to touch the real challenges facing our city. Mason Herson-Hord, who was on hand at the opening festivities with the Motor City Freedom Riders to call attention to the limits of the Q as a transportation vehicle pointed out, “Most employed Detroiters have a job north of 8 Mile and for the thousands of Detroiters who need to use the bus system to get to work, that can be a pretty serious hardship because there aren’t many consistent lines that are moving across 8 Mile.”

The need for a real regional transport system is obvious. Q backers claim it is the first step. But this rings hollow as they were missing in action last fall when yet another ballot initiative to achieve this failed. One commentator argued, “The failure to wage an overwhelming campaign in support of the ballot proposal should be regarded as one of the biggest political misfires in Detroit history.” Much of the defeat rested with those who welcome Howes’s racist narratives and who will do anything to keep Detroiters from moving freely around suburban areas.

The QLine does symbolize the “long game” of the corporate elite. That “game” is nothing less than the remaking of the city as a playground for the white and wealthy. It is another effort to substitute public relations for serious debate. It evades the real questions of how to create a just city reflecting our best future.




Immanuel Wallerstein

Global Left vs. Global Right: From 1945 to Today

The period 1945 to the 1970s was one both of extremely high capital accumulation worldwide and the geopolitical hegemony of the United States. The geoculture was one in which centrist liberalism was at its acme as the governing ideology. Never did capitalism seem to be functioning as well. This was not to last.

The high level of capital accumulation, which particularly favored the institutions and people of the United States, reached the limits of its ability to guarantee the necessary quasi-monopoly of productive enterprises. The absence of a quasi-monopoly meant that capital accumulation everywhere began to stagnate and capitalists had to seek alternative modes of sustaining their income. The principal modes were to relocate productive enterprises to lower-cost zones and to engage in speculative transfer of existing capital, which we call financialization.



Click Here to watch Michelle Alexander and Naomi Klein Talk About What Is Needed for A Revolution of Spirit, A Revolution of the Mind, and A Revolution in America.


The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership


3061 Field Street
Detroit, Michigan 48214

Boggs Center Living For Change News Letter – May 2nd, 2017

Jimmy and Grace Our mission is to nurture the transformational leadership capacities of individuals and organizations committed to creating productive, sustainable, ecologically responsible, and just communities. Through local, national and international networks of activists, artists and intellectuals we foster new ways of living, being and thinking to face the challenges of the 21st century.
Living for Change News      May 2nd, 2017

Thinking for Ourselves
Development Possibilities
Shea Howell

Big developers across Michigan are celebrating. The State legislature is on a fast track to approve tax incentives to provide a collective $1 billion windfall to folks like Dan Gilbert and shift the cost of future private developments onto citizens. The plan would let developers withhold tax money from new revenue raised by projects on “blighted or long vacant land.” Governor Snyder is sure to sign the final version of the plan.

This is an astonishing abuse of legislative power. Even some Republicans have found this set of bills disturbing. Rep. Martin Howrylak of Troy, said this is “nothing more than a transfer of wealth” from the working class to “selected special interests” and is an example of “crony capitalism.

Michigan has not seen such a blatant abuse of legislative authority in support of private gain since the Quick Take law enacted to allow General Motors to flatten Poletown for a Cadillac plant. In 1981 the Michigan Supreme Court approved the power of the State to seize private property for a “public purpose.” They justified the forced relocation of 3,500 people and the destruction of 1500 homes, 144 businesses, 16 churches, a school and hospital. In 2004 that same Court decided they had made a mistake and overturned their earlier decision.

In the case of Poletown, there was at least a robust public debate over the appropriate role of government in fostering economic development.  The current plan is supported as little more than a moneymaking scheme for big developers. Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes asked simply, “Why not?”

Howes spends most of his column accurately outlining that most people object to this scheme because it is all about using public money to support private wealth. He then says there is nothing wrong with that. “Rich developers whose overriding purpose is to generate meaningful returns on their investment” cannot ignore what he calls “market realities created by a half-century of urban decline.”

Howes exclaims, “I got news for the skeptics: You can’t build your way out of 50 years of urban disinvestment on the cheap.” This declaration is apparently supposed to make “skeptics” and “recriminators” back off.

However, the same people and thinking that brought us the last 50 years of disinvestment are the ones backing this new scheme.

Every credible academic and economic study of the last 50 years demonstrates the failure of this kind of thinking. The Upjohn Institute senior economist Timothy Bartik said, “Incentives do not have a large correlation with a state’s current or past unemployment or income levels, or with future economic growth.”

Currently Michigan’s array of tax breaks and business incentives are well above average in the country. In a recent article offering a different view of development by the Brookings Institution, scholars argue for “holistic approaches to revitalizing legacy cities.”  They argue for “policies to increase human capital throughout the city, including improving public education and expanding employment and entrepreneur training.”

“The most important short-term strategy,” they say, “ is increasing employment levels among Detroit neighborhood residents.”

If we develop a “ healthy, sustainable local economy” they explain, “ increasing the number  of jobs by 100,000,  we would add more than $2 billion annually to the local economy, even if those jobs paid $10 an hour.”

Just, sustainable development is possible.  It requires the will to make it a reality and the willingness to refuse to fall for the schemes by those who claim a concern for the public interest while lining their own pockets.


22nd Annual PTO Conferance Comes to Detroit
Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty

The 22nd Annual Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed Conference (PTO) will be held in Detroit, Michigan from June 1st – 4th and Detroiters can attend the entire conference for just $30!


The PTO conference will be in Detroit commemorating the 50th Anniversary of 1967 Detroit Rebellion and Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence – in which he called for a radical revolution in values in the struggle against the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism.


This is a conference for students, educators, scholars, artists, activists, organizers, neighbors and people of all ages, places, identities, and experiences. If you want to create dialogue and come together to envision a more just society, you are invited, you are welcomed, and you are needed.
In July of 1967, responding to racist employment discrimination, segregated and substandard housing and public schools, lack of opportunity and police brutality, Black neighborhoods in Detroit exploded in what has been characterized as the most deadly urban rebellion in the United States to date.

Nearly 50 years later in Detroit and elsewhere, people are thinking about the meaning of rebellion and the role of radical love in transformation. Rebellions are often expressions of justifiable anger and pain, but are not typically thought of as acts of love. What is the relationship between these strategies? What’s love got to do with either of them? As a city and as a world, what are our critical, visionary responses to a system that constantly challenges our humanity?

Pedagogy of the Oppressed (PO) was born out of the needs of Brazilian peasants in a particular time and place, but Paolo Freire’s theory of liberatory education remains for all of us to use his own words from Pedagogy of Hope, “an adventure in unveiling…an experiment in bringing out the truth.” Theatre of the Oppressed (TO), born out of similar needs, was ironically triggered by what Augusto Boal himself noted was an error in judgement, when his theatre company presented a play that called for “shedding our blood to free our lands” without being willing to take up arms itself. Practitioners of PO and TO continue to support, challenge, and serve communities by developing techniques that promote transformative action and amplify the voices of oppressed people speaking their own truths.
Together we will learn learn, share and connect through interactive techniques developed by Paulo Freire, Augusto Boal, and others who have struggled against, or are struggling against oppression in order to create justice.

Now more than ever we must come together to share strategies to combat the many oppressions that continue to rob us of our humanity. PTO invites you to be part of its conference, commemorating a moment of rebellion in the past, but also engaging in a powerful effort to reimagine current and future struggles as acts of waging love.

Read more about Freire and Boal and their work, and register for the PTO conference at ptoweb.org.

The time has come to grow our souls. – Grace Lee Boggs



Rich Feldman
Emergent Savannah Heads North

14 folks drove 16 hours to Detroit and immersed themselves in conversations, tours and food asking, what does Detroit mean to their work in Savannah? Some of our Savannah friends were artists, ministers, disability justice inclusion activists, social work students and professors, and traveled under the banner “Emergent Savannah.” They stayed at the Hush House and were nourished by the wise and healthy food preparers, Rozia and Myrtle Thompson Curtis and the Healing Support Network.

They arrived late on Saturday and we spent Sunday together on the Boggs Center east side tour:  From Growing our Economy to Growing Souls. From the Elmwood cemetary where we can feel and experience the water flowing from Bloody Run Creek to the Packard Plant where we discussed the birth of the American Dream and its death as well as the spirited discussion about an emerging new epoch in human history.

From there to the Poletown Plant introducing the Georgians to the last 50 years of Detroit History from the Rebellion through automation, deindustrialization, the crack destruction, the rise of global automotive competition the end of the J-O-B.  We then visited Feedom Freedom Growers, Heidelberg, drove by the James and Grace Lee Boggs School and ended at Can Arts and the windmills, where we see the end of the Bloody Run Creek.  We were reminded of the resilience of the land and the resistance of Chief Pontiac and the Anishinaabe people which includes the Odawa, Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oji-Cree, Mississaugas, and Algonquin peoples and their resistance to the Western Europeans in 1760s.


We ended day one with a hunger to unleash our commitment to the importance of history, time and imagination and the commitment by James and Grace to assume responsibility for our cities and country.

Matt Birkhold a comrade and friend from New York and founder of the Visionary Organizing Lab facilitated a workshop on understanding systems and the relationship between systems and our power to become voices, actors and visionaries as we initiate our local work and moving beyond protest to resistance and alternatives. From Matt’s work with Immanuel Wallerstein to his forthcoming book on Detroit (1963 to 1975) he created a space for us to see the interconnectedness and emergence of the systems of wage labor, the enclosure acts, the emergence of cities, the destruction of the land (earth moving from source to resource), scientific thinking, the changing role of the the military, capitalist patriarchy, Protestantism, the destruction of Women’s ways of knowing and the loss of control over reproduction to the burning of women as witches and women used to as creators of black labor for slavery. All of this came from the question, What was necessary to create the Slave Trade and bring people in chains to the western world in 1619?  He ended with the questions:
How do we connect with values and initiatives that stop segmenting our thinking into silos and recognize that our crisis is a systemic crisis? What does it mean to be human? How do we engage in the journey to become creative, compassionate, caring human beings as we commit ourselves to walking the journey to the Next American Revolution?
By this time, all our minds and hearts were spinning. Folks then traveled to the west side and saw the African Bead Museum and then settled in for a discussion at the Birwood House with Kim Sherobbi, Michael Doan (Detroit Independent Freedom Schools), Janice Fialka (author of What Matters: Reflections on Disability, Community and Love) and we explored the question:  What is the difference between schooling and education?  We ended the day back at the Boggs Center where Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty (poet and activist) and Wayne Curtis (Emory Douglas Art Project and Feedom Freedom Growers) discussed art as resistance and art and revolution.

Our final day began at Earthworks with Shane Bernardo and Myrtle Thompson Curtis sharing their personal stories from their early days, raised on Detroit’s east side to their work in the food security and urban farming movement.  The theme, learning from the land and from our ancestors was joined together with the need and commitment to create liberated territories, and feeding ourselves so we can free ourselves.

A wonderful lunch at Avalon on Bellevue and then back to the Boggs Center for a discussion with Baxter Jones (Homrich 9 water activist), Lisa Franklin (Warrior on Wheels) and Yusef Shakur (Putting the neighbor Back In the Hood and author of Window to My Soul).  We discussed the importance of values, relationship building and the fundamental commitment that we need to heal ourselves to sustain ourselves through commitment to transformation and love. Each shared stories of their ability to move from pain to vision and evolve as leaders in their work.

(When you visit Detroit, there is also a west side tour: From Rebellion to Creating Caring Communities. To learn more about Matt Birkhold’s workshop: matt@visionaryorganizinglab.org)

Truthdig columnist and Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges addresses fascism and the rise of the Trump war machine in the keynote speech at the “After Trump and Pussy Hats” event in Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 3, 2017.



The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership


3061 Field Street
Detroit, Michigan 48214

Boggs Center – Living For Change News Letter – April 25th, 2017

  Jimmy and Grace Our mission is to nurture the transformational leadership capacities of individuals and organizations committed to creating productive, sustainable, ecologically responsible, and just communities. Through local, national and international networks of activists, artists and intellectuals we foster new ways of living, being and thinking to face the challenges of the 21st century.
Living for Change News April 25th, 2017
April 25th, 2017


Detroit Joins Hundred of Thousands to March for Climate Justice Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty Electablog
Three years ago, I was fortunate enough to join nearly 400,000 people in New York City for what has been called the “largest climate-change demonstration in history.” I was in NYC with water warrior, Monica Lewis Patrick of We the People of Detroit to attend the climate march and facilitate a workshop on water at the Church Center for the United Nations for International Day of Peace. We were also there to pay our respects to Ancestor Ruby Dee and attend her memorial on behalf of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, particularly her longtime friend Grace Lee Boggs. The memorial was fittingly a star-studded affair held at the historic Riverside Church in Manhattan. I don’t think I had a dry eye during the entire affair. I can only hope that I can do half the things Mama Ruby did to advance the cause for human rights.
The experience talking about environmental injustices and grassroots visionary resistance with organizers from Chile, Malaysia, and Appalachia at the UN convening was transformative. Monica was there to represent Detroit, and that she did. She made such an impression, that subsequent speakers referenced her in their presentations.
It was difficult for me to hold my composure as I listened to the stories of water injustices that spanned the globe. Part of my role was to listen with Water and Sanitation Expert Leanne Burney from UN DESA and to help synthesize what we heard to the public. There was also a moment where I was able to participate in role-play as Mother Earth. The events of that day forever changed how I view and interact with the earth.
By the time Monica and I made it to the People’s Climate March the following day we were emotionally full and a bit overwhelmed. As we headed towards the end of the enormous line of hundreds of thousands of people, organizers recognized our We The People of Detroit t-shirts and we were escorted respectfully to the head of the line. We were acknowledged as front line community members facing and struggling against tremendous environmental injustices. It was rewarding to see Detroit acknowledged in such a way.
When we arrived at the front of the line we were united with our comrades from the East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC), an organization consistently spearheading environmental justice organizing in Detroit. It was a tough time for all of us to be in New York, as EMEAC, Detroit and people all over the world had just lost our beloved Charity Hicks to a hit and run accident there a few months earlier. Charity was what I have lovingly called, the “Rosa Parks of water.” Seeing people from various cities and countries in tears at the mention of Charity’s name during Monica’s water demonstration at the UN a day earlier made clear her global impact. Chile even mentioned to us that they would be honoring her work.
It was soul growing to participate in the People’s Climate March and to share space with hundreds of thousands of people struggling for a better society and a healthier planet. So, when I was asked to join the organizing team for the Detroit People’s Climate March, I leaped at the opportunity. Detroiters have suffered significant health challenges because of a myriad of environmental injustices. The Detroit People’s Climate March provides an opportunity to shine a brighter light on those injustices, as well as to lift up the work of residents, organizers and environmental justice activists who have been on the frontlines of the struggle. The march also provides an opportunity for those Detroiters who cannot make the trek to DC for the People’s Climate March.
The Detroit People’s Climate March programming will begin in the auditorium of the Charles H. Wright Museum 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit, MI 48201 at 12pm and will be followed by a march outside of the museum at 12:45pm.
Following the march, we will end with “The Future of Detroit is NOW” celebration at nearby Peck Park from 2-4pm.
There are also some exciting ways to support leading up to the march. You can join us for the 2nd Detroit People’s Climate Art Build on April 24, 2017 from 3pm at Cass Corridor Commons 4605 Cass Ave., Detroit, MI 48201. We are hoping to make two 5x3ft banners and 50 -100 signs. Donations of supplies are being accepted. Check out this video if you need a little more inspiration.
We hope to see you at the march on April 29th!

#DetroitClimateMarch #PeoplesClimateMarch #PeoplesClimate




Thinking for Ourselves

Water, Detroit and Earth Day

Shea Howell
This year there was a renewed energy in the celebrations of Earth Day.  Facing an administration that has shown little regard for evidence, climate protection, ecology, or funding for basic research, scientists and their friends called for a March for Science.
They said:

“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.
It protects our air and water, preserves our planet, saves lives with medical treatments, creates new industries, puts food on our tables, educates the next generation, and safeguards our future.”
This is not the first time scientists have felt compelled to bring their skills and intellect to the discussion of public policies.  After WWII scientists helped us understand the enormity of the dangers the world faced from nuclear weapons. Their voices were critical in advancing the global movement to reduce the madness of the nuclear arms race.  Later they extended this understanding to nuclear power plants and waste.
In the 1990s it was science, especially here in Michigan,  that demonstrated the link between environmental degradation and racism. The School of Natural Resources helped give birth to the Environmental Justice Movement by documenting the clear correlations of toxic dumping and communities of color across the country.
Globally more than 600 cities joined in the celebration of Earth Day to support science.  Here in Michigan at least 15 cities participated, along with countless school, church and community events. People walked and ran for science, made art, visited zoos and parks.  In Detroit thousands gathered at Hart Plaza, many emphasizing the importance of the Great Lakes.
Last month the Trump administration proposed eliminating the $300 million annually spent on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.  This effort has been critically important in improving water quality and restoring the vitality of the entire water system.
In the face of all of this activity encouraging us to think more deeply about our responsibilities to our earth and one another, Mayor Duggan announced another round of water shut offs. His appointee, Gary Brown said nearly 18,000 homes face shut offs. Emphasizing the inability of the Duggan administration to grasp the enormity of this decision, Brown emphasized that the number is less than it was a year ago. He misses the essential point that no human being should be denied water.
In response to the news of renewed shut offs, Wenonah Hauter, the director of Food and Water Watch said, “This is absolutely unacceptable.” She went on to say:
“Community groups have been working to establish a water affordability program for over a decade, as water rates have steadily climbed over the past several years—partially to compensate for much-needed infrastructure upgrades. But nearly 40 percent of Detroit households live below the poverty line, and it is not fair to expect them to make up for the dwindling federal support for their water system. “While the city has implemented a payment assistance plan, shutoffs increased from 2015 to 2016, indicating that the plan is not working. Moreover, many of the recommendations issued by the United Nations when it investigated the shutoffs in 2014 were never implemented.”

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.
As we approach the People’s Climate March on April 29th at the Charles H Wright Museum in Detroit at 12pm, they Mayor can be sure we will continue to demand no more shut offs. Adopt an affordability plan. There is no other path to the future.




No Water, No Life

A short film about the Detroit water shutoffs in 2014, made by students at The Boggs School, with support from Detroit Future Schools.
check it out
Allied Media Conferance
watch here

The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership
3061 Field Street Detroit, Michigan 48214 US

Boggs Center – Living For Change NewsLetter – April 17, 2017

Jimmy and Grace  

Living for Change News
April 17th, 2017



Thinking for Ourselves
Educating Values
Shea Howell

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 Prision Factory
Al Jazeera

The US state of Alabama has the fifth highest incarceration rate in the world. Its prison system has become so dangerously overcrowded that in 2016, for the first time, the US Justice Department launched a federal civil rights investigation into the entire state’s prison conditions.


The future of race in America
Michelle Alexander



The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership


3061 Field Street
Detroit, Michigan 48214

Riverwise Detroit Magazine first edition

Riverwise Detroit



Mission Statement


‘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.


‘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 ‘riverwisedetroit@gmail.com’. 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.