Writings

BC – Living for Change Newsletter – April 11, 2017

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

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DEQ Public Information and Hearing
Nestlé Permit for Increase Water Taking
Wednesday, April 12th

Public Information: 4-6 PM
Public Hearing: 7-9 PM
Location: University Center at Ferris State University
More info: hildeheron@aol.com

TRANSPORT TO  THE HEARING:? A FREE bus will meet riders at noon at Central Methodist on the corner of Adams and Woodard and return there after the hearing, which ends at 9:00 PM. It’s a long day, but MCWC is providing food at Ferris State for bus riders upon arrival. To reserve a spot on the bus, email Peggy Case at michiganCwaterC@gmail.com


Thinking for Ourselves
Resisting Closures
Shea Howell

We are rapidly approaching the moment of decision on Detroit public school closings. The announcement in January by the State School Reform Office that another 24 schools would be closed in Detroit has been met with angry, vocal resistance. Parents, students, teachers and community activists are holding meetings. They have stages rallies, protests and speak-outs. Everyone agrees that more school closings will harm our children and our communities. The Mayor is on record as opposing closings and the newly elected school board has found the courage to file a lawsuit, claiming the closures violate state law.

In response, Governor Snyder commanded State Superintendent Brian Whiston to develop agreements that he hopes will defuse resistance. These agreements are a shameless scam. They will subject schools to stringent requirements and provide a pretext for continued state intervention, including the possibility of more closures and district takeovers. Unable to make the distinction between coercion and a partnership, the spokesman for the state education department, William Disessa said that if the schools “don’t develop a partnership agreement with the Michigan Department of Education by April 30, then they will be subject to the next level of accountability.”

These forced partnerships are not in the interest of our children or our communities. They are another pretext for relentless privatizing actions. The same forces that have been destroying our schools for nearly two decades designed these “agreements.”

Meanwhile the search for a superintendent has sparked additional controversy, especially given the State imposed restrictions on the process, including a short time line and unrealistic requirements for the job. Stephen Henderson of the Detroit Free Press wrote last week that the selection process was “ill advised,” and now “we have a bit of a mess on our hands.”

In this atmosphere parents are organizing to take a stand against the testing used to justify closing schools. These test scores have become a potent weapon in the drive to privatization. They reflect the effects of chaos created by State imposed instability and economic disparity, not the development of our children or the full context of the school. Some parents are refusing to participate. About 450 parents have already turned in letters opting their children out of the Michigan Student Test of Educational Performance. This effort is likely to accelerate as we move through a testing period that lasts to the end of May.

Parents, students, teachers and community activists are coming together to challenge what is happening to our children and to our communities. Schools are essential to the life of our neighborhoods and the development of our children. We are not only demanding that all schools remain open, but that education be provided in ways that reflect the deepest needs and aspirations of our children to become socially responsible, creative and fully engaged adults.

In the course of struggling to keep these schools open and to ensure critical, creative education, young people are learning how to become active citizens. They are learning that justice requires collective, organized actions to become real. The Detroit Independent Freedom Schools Initiative is part of this effort. They are hosting a youth forum at Bob’s Classic Kicks on Friday evening, April 29 at 6 pm.  Join us to hear what our young people are saying about the kind of education we need.

What_Matters_email_graphic3.28.17


Reflection on Love and Struggle
Robin D.G. Kelley in conversation with Fred Moten
Transcription and commentary by Mike Doan

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?

**
Transcribed below is part of a conversation featuring Robin D.G. Kelley and Fred Moten. The discussion took place in Toronto on April 3rd, 2017—one day before the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech, “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence,” delivered at New York’s Riverside Church in 1967; also a day before the 49th anniversary of King’s assassination.

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…

***
Robin D.G. Kelley (1:31:07-1:35:44): “To live together, and renewing the habits of assembly, are really critical…. We assume that somehow mass movements are sources of power, and I think we misunderstand power. And I was trying to talk about this Saturday night, you know, and there was a quote from Dr. King that I was paraphrasing but that I wanted to pull up here, that I think is really important, where he talks about why we shouldn’t be afraid of power.

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

10 Rousing Struggles for Public Water

Transnational Institute


The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership

.

3061 Field Street
Detroit, Michigan 48214
US

Boggs Center Living for Change News Letter – April 3, 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 3rd, 2017

DEQ Public Information and Hearing
Nestlé Permit for Increase Water Taking
Wednesday, April 12st

Public Information4-6 PM
Public Hearing: 7-9 PM
Location: University Center at Ferris State University
More info: hildeheron@aol.com

 

TRANSPORT TO  THE HEARING:? A FREE bus will meet riders at noon at Central Methodist on the corner of Adams and Woodard and return there after the hearing, which ends at 9:00 PM. It’s a long day, but MCWC is providing food at Ferris State for bus riders upon arrival. To reserve a spot on the bus, email Peggy Case at michiganCwaterC@gmail.com

Thinking for Ourselves
Silence is Not an Option
Shea Howell

The Reverend Dr. William Barber II marked the beginning of activities reflecting on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s call for a radical revolution in values in “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence.” On Sunday morning, April 2, Dr. Barber spoke at Riverside Church in New York City from the same pulpit where Dr. King stood to speak to Clergy and Laity Concerned.

Dr. Barber is no stranger to struggle. Pastor of the Greenleaf Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Goldsboro, North Carolina he has become a leading voice in the Forward Together Moral Movement that carried out weekly protests against the repressive in actions of the North Carolina Assembly. Just last month he was in Flint helping to bring attention to the lack of progress by state officials in addressing the water crisis there.

Drawing on Dr. King’s theme that there comes a time when silence is a betrayal to all we value and love, Dr. Barber pressed that today “Silence is no longer an option.” “We must challenge what is going on now,” he said, with the understanding that while the situation is “dire,” it is “not new.” Rather, “Trumpism is as America as apple pie,” and “every stride toward freedom is met with the same backlash.” This is the “call and response of American history” where every “season of racial progress” has been met with a “response of the progress of racism.” If we understand this history we should know that “we cannot afford the luxury of pretending Trump is an historical aberration.” He is “merely a symptom.”

Barber explained that we are entering a Third Reconstruction, marked by growing inequality, intentional voter suppression, apartheid redistricting, lying and suppression of humanity.  We have a war machine “out of control” in vain efforts to make us safe, while our “moral priorities are wrong.”

We are facing a great division where there are “those who see America as a community and those who want to keep everything for themselves.” This is a “moral deficit” that is supported by “early signs of fascism” including lying, cult worship, devaluing the press, increased nationalism, demands for unquestionable loyalty and growing nationalism.

So now people must speak. We must speak of love, of justice, and of mercy. We must again face the question, “Is America possible?”

Dr. Barber said he would, “Stick with love, strong, demanding love” that emerges as people come together in hope as “we dare to speak with our marching, our protest, our court cases, going to jail and a new non-violent army.”

Later that day more than 400 people gathered in Detroit at Central United Methodist Church to read the words of Dr. King. Responding to the Call from the National Council of Elders, people affirmed it is now “Our time to Break Silence.”

Throughout the week, across the city and across the country, similar gatherings will be held to reflect on our responsibilities at this most urgent moment.

The words of Dr. King inspire all of us to step forward, speak out, and turn to one another, “awakening a new spirit.” Our only hope today,” King said, “lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism and militarism.”Detroit No More Heroes Event

A message from from Food Field

I’m writing to let you know that we’ve launched a new focus area at Food First, Cultivating Gender Justice. Women are key to the transformation of our food, agriculture, and political/economic systems; this series explores how and why women are working to dismantle our exploitative food & economic system for a better future.

We just launched our first publication in the series – take a look here: http://bit.ly/genderagjustice
Excerpt pasted below, or click here to view in full.

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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

In Love and Struggle

a conversation between Dr. Stephen Ward and Dr. Robin D.G. Kelley

check it out!


The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership

.

3061 Field Street
Detroit, Michigan 48214
US

Confronting Our Own Contradictions by Grace Lee Boggs

CONFRONTING OUR OWN CONTRADICTIONS

By Grace Lee Boggs

Michigan Citizen, Oct. 29-Nov.4, 2006

I hope this reflection by an activist in her late 20s will encourage reflection and discussion by other activists.

“In the Black Political Study for Social Change, a group of grassroots activists, we discussed the slogan ‘Change yourself to change the world.’ Diehard militant and black nationalist that I believed myself to be at the time, my response was ‘We ain’t the problem. It’s capitalist oppression that creates chaos and insanity in our lives. ‘

It’s obvious that this chaos is directly attributable to capitalism which places profit seeking above the welfare of humanity. It’s also obvious that we must ultimately confront the social and political forces maintaining the current order if we are to usher in a new order. As James and Grace Lee Boggs put it, this is our “awesome task.”

What do we need to do to prepare ourselves for this task? The answer is simple, yet easier said than done. We have to confront our own issues. It is one thing to understand the role that oppression plays in separating us from our humanity. It is another to use this understanding to justify remaining on that level.

Those of us genuinely interested in social change have a responsibility to struggle with ourselves and those around us to confront the myriad of backwards, inhuman, anti-social behaviors that are impeding our ability to struggle.

How can we, as a leadership force, struggle with people to confront the status quo in a contest for power without first asking them to confront the contradictions in themselves? In their communities? How can we ask people to struggle for a just social and economic order when their consciousness has been abused and warped enough to accept the most gross injustices?

Teaching in an urban public school has allowed me to see firsthand just how far we have sunk.

One of my students brought a video to school. It was a series of live, amateur footage of extremely violent scenes in black neighborhoods. It showed black women smashing each other’s heads into car windshields and black men choking, stabbing and robbing each other. In one scene a young black man pours a container of gasoline on a homeless black man lying on the ground, then takes off the man’s shoes and stuffs them down the sewer. When the homeless man gets up, the young dude stabs his feet with the point of an umbrella, laughing as the man yells out in pain.

In another scene a group of young black men beat a black man within inches of his life, and then speculate on whether he is still alive as blood gushes from his mouth. Completely unnerved by the whole thing, I demanded that the student who brought in the video turn it off. Yet most students cheered and laughed, while the few who voiced some concern limited it to ‘that’s messed up.’

Where are we? Can a people so separated from basic human dignity effectively struggle for a social order in which human dignity is placed above economic gain? Malcolm X, who often chided the black masses, dealt with this question. James and Grace Lee Boggs caution against excusing backwards, anti-social behavior simply because the person is oppressed.

This tendency is rooted in Marx’s assertion that workers, when politicized, will rise to the occasion and carry out their revolutionary task of seizing governing power. In our movement, identifying the black working class as the social force most equipped to engage in a struggle for justice, has translated into a tendency to ignore or explain away serious contradictions in our social lives. pI have begun to see that there is nothing inherently glorious about us. This is as true of working people as it is of black ‘leadership.’ Being a worker, especially in the U.S., doesn’t automatically mean that you are capable of struggling for social change. It doesn’t mean that you are automatically prepared to accept the task of changing society or that you even unite with it. And being a self-avowed “leader” or “activist” doesn’t automatically mean that you are worth a damn.

Anyone can claim an idea. But how many are really willing to apply such high ideals in every sphere of their lives? Not just standing in front of a group of people yelling about what capitalism is doing to us, but what we are doing to ourselves.

So it goes right back to changing ourselves first. Before we can fight for humanity, we have to understand and embrace our own humanity and that of people around us. Before we can fully embrace high principles on how society should be organized and governed, we have to embrace principle in our own lives. It’s a simultaneous process.

At this point I am 100% committed to the struggle to put governing power in the hands of the masses. I am also 100% committed to doing what is necessary to prepare the masses to assume governing power.”

Email GraceBoggs Center,

 

Boggs Center – Living For Change – March 26, 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
March 27th, 2017
Thinking for Ourselves
World Water Day
Shea Howell

World Water Day passed without a word from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Soon it will be three years since he got control of the Water Department and he has done almost nothing with this power. His direction has failed Detroiters and he is failing the future. His lack of leadership is stunning.

In July of 2014 when he was given control of the Water Department, Mayor Duggan said he welcomed “the responsibility for dealing with the Water Department issues.” He promised a plan to deal with the shut offs, to provide support for people unable to pay their bills and to improve services. None of this has happened.  He has utterly failed to advocate for water as a human right and failed to address concerns for water as a public trust.

Instead, water shutoffs continue with one failed payment support scheme after another. The Mayor stubbornly refuses to make the Water Affordability Plan passed over a decade ago by the City Council a reality. Instead, he continues policies that enrich a private corporation, giving it what seems to be a blank check to go around the city shutting people off. The Homrich Wrecking Company has expanded its original $5.6 million dollar contract for water shut offs to $12.7 million as of last fall. That is as much as the City of Flint paid Detroit for its entire water usage prior to its own man made crisis.

Meanwhile, the Mayor ignores the public health consequences of these shutoffs and he has done little to address the real possibility that new sewerage costs threaten the very existence of hundreds of churches across the city.

Most disturbing is the Mayor’s refusal to provide leadership around the growing global crisis of safe, affordable drinking water. That is why the United Nations has asked people to participate in World Water Day. Since 1993, the UN General Assembly has understood it was essential to draw attention, thinking, and action to water. This year they have especially asked people to consider the implications of wastewater, as we poison the water we depend upon.

The UN declared, “This year, we focus on wastewater and ways to reduce and reuse as over 80% of all the wastewater from our homes, cities, industry and agriculture flows back to nature polluting the environment and losing valuable nutrients and other recoverable materials.” Currently, over 80% of the wastewater generated by society flows back into the ecosystem without being treated.

The Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, framed the issues we face clearly. She said, “Access to safe water and sanitation services is essential to the human rights and dignity, and the survival, of women and men across the world, especially the most disadvantaged.”

Rethinking our understanding of water is critical. She explains, “In the face of growing demand, wastewater can be a reliable alternative source of water – this calls for shifting the paradigm of wastewater management from ‘treatment and disposal’ to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle and resource recovery.’ Wastewater should no longer be seen as a problem, but as part of the solution to challenges that all societies are facing. Treated wastewater can be a cost-efficient, sustainable, safe and reliable alternative source of water for a variety of purposes – from irrigation and industrial uses to drinking water, particularly under conditions of water scarcity. For this, we need to change mind-sets, to raise awareness and redouble educational efforts to share the benefits of wastewater reuse.”

Thousands of people around Michigan understand we need to shift our thinking to see water as a human right and public trust. Many converged in Lansing on World Water Day under the leadership of The People’s Water Board of Detroit. They, not the Mayor, are thinking about the future of all of us.

1967 Shock Waves Flyer 5

In-Love-and-Struggle3 2
History, Time, Ideas and Vision Matter!
Rich Feldman

March has been a month for several tours and visits to the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center. During the last few weeks of March, artists came from Indonesia & Morocco representing the Ghana Think Tank and students came from Williams College. We’ve welcomed art students from Stanford, spring semester visits from University of Massachusetts in Boston, Georgetown University in DC, Concordia College in Minnesota, educators from Pittsburgh and women from the League of Women Voters. They came with a curiosity to understand the past and to imagine the future.

ghana think tank
Visitors come to both learn the story of Detroit, through the writings and organizing of James and Grace Lee Boggs as well as to begin to think differently about time & ideas.  From our discussions which focus on the difference between riot & rebellion & between rebellion and revolution we engage in site visits emphasizing the need to think dialectically and the importance of reflecting on our practice and our dreams.  The Tour titled: From Growing our Economy to Growing our Souls, (not growing our economy and growing our souls), provides a glimpse into changing space through historical discussions.  While some visitors are more prepared reading articles, viewing videos, and watching We R Not Ghosts  or the documentary of Grace Lee Boggs, American Revolutionary, we all engage in a serious conversation about the resilience of the land and the Anishinaabe indigenous presence which began more than 1,000 years ago and we emphasize the resistance which took place with The Battle of Bloody Run that was fought during Pontiac’s Rebellion on July 31, 1763 on what now is the site of Elmwood Cemetery.

These tours in 2017 emphasize the historical significance of the 50th anniversary of the Detroit Rebellion and the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence and provide an important discussion of the need to create new values and a new American Dream.  We need a new dream not a return to the past.  The tours are about counter-revolution and revolution.  Through our site visits to Heidelberg, the Boggs School, Can Arts, Avalon, and Feedom Freedom Growers we, witness the emerging commitment to create structures of hope, transformation and vision.

Our friends from the Ghana Art program were also engaged in creating a community art initiative in the North End, visited Incite Focus while our visitors from Pittsburgh were here to learn from and work with the Allied Media Project. People come to understand and learn about history and see/experience the future.  One of the Moroccan artists did a wood-craft of Grace Boggs.

wood carving

Everyone visiting leaves wondering how they can gain an understanding to challenge the current media-Gilbert-Illich narrative that downtown gentrification will be the resurrection of Detroit? Is gentrification anything more than displacement, ethnic cleansing and a renewed attempt to renew and continue the self-destructive and dying values of individualism, greed, materialism & racism?

The tour takes on the tough discussions of the pains of capitalism and acknowledges that “Taking back Detroit” for Hockey, Restaurants and the fun of a few at the expense of water shut-offs, foreclosures and “blight ticketing” will not create a Detroit we can all be proud to call our own.  Another Detroit is Happening and it is happening in the communities, not downtown.

While Donald Trump’s election has been a wake-up call and the removal of the veil of our nation’s history of exclusion, with a constitution that accepted slavery, our tour provides a narrative to see that we are movement city creating ideas, institutions, and structures based upon a call for  the “beloved community” and a radical revolution in values.

Detroit No More Heroes Event

What We’re Watching

Love & (R)evolution
Hull House, 2009

Jane Addams Hull House Museum hosts activist and writer Grace Lee Boggs in a discussion about the connection between evolution and revolution. This program was produced by Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV).

WATCH THE TALK HERE


The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership

.

3061 Field Street
Detroit, Michigan 48214
US

Boggs Center Living For Change News letter – March 20th, 2017

  bright blue t-shirt with revolution printed in white  
Living for Change News
March 20th, 2017
1967 Shock Waves Flyer 5

Thinking for Ourselves
Beyond Toxic Talk
Shea HowellHow we talk is intimately connected to how we think. Words define our world and give meaning to our lives. Thus, one of the many dangers of this moment is the deterioration of our capacities for political thought. When public values are reduced to single words, blasted in all capital letters on Twitter, we are all diminished. BAD, SAD, FAKE, LIES are judgments devoid of substance, but they infiltrate our consciousness and erode our conversations.

In sharp contrast to this dismal use of language, people around the country are consciously moving to deepen our capacity for reflection, conversation, strategic thinking, and powerful action. There is a growing recognition that actions must be enriched by reflection, that the path to a better future requires collective efforts to create a new vision.

For example,

Movement for Black Lives provides a thoughtful agenda about the kind of future we can create.  They invite everyone to join in the conversation and study of their platform saying, “We have created this platform to articulate and support the ambitions and work of Black people. We also seek to intervene in the current political climate and assert a clear vision, particularly for those who claim to be our allies, of the world we want them to help us create. We reject false solutions and believe we can achieve a complete transformation of the current systems, which place profit over people and make it impossible for many of us to breathe.” They invite us to study, think, argue and act in relation to these broad, visionary projections.Recently,

Movement Generation offered a new Just Transition Zine in both English and Spanish. The Zine “offers a framework for a fair shift to an economy that is ecologically sustainable, equitable and just for all its members.”They explain, “A Just Transition requires us to build a visionary economy for life in a way that is very different than the economy we are in now. Constructing this visionary economy calls for strategies that democratize, decentralize and diversify economic activity while we damper down consumption, and (re)distribute resources and power.  This zine is our offering towards that end – it is a humble point of departure for folks interested in building collective vision and action towards Ecological Justice that does not separate humans from nature, or social equity from ecological integrity.”

This week the Women’s March named its 5th action of the first 100 days

Reflect and Resist. Organizers say the action, “is designed to educate some, and refresh others, through study, reflection, and courageous conversations, so that we can all be empowered by, and learn from, the work of activists who came before us while being mindful not to perpetuate the mistakes of the past. Community is key to activism, so bring your huddles, neighbors, and your march partners back together, collectively choose a book or article to read, or film to watch. Take time to reflect and, together, discuss the topics that they highlight and the issues that women experiencing multiple forms of oppression have faced and continue to face”.The

National Council of Elders is asking us to organize public readings of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Breaking the Silence speech, to reinvigorate his call for a radical revolution of values against racism, materialism and militarism. They ask us to hold conversations following the reading about what his ideas mean for us today.These are just a few of the efforts emerging around our country. They are essential to counter the toxic talk flowing from those in authority. They are acts of resistance and of vision.  All of us need to join in creating these spaces for collective reflection. They are the sources of our best hopes.


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Detroit No More Heroes Event

What We’re Reading

Giving Up Toxic Masculinity To Build Real Resistance
Frank Joyce
Alternet

Fifty years ago the times were tumultuous, as they are now. Activists were fragmented by gender, race, tactics and issue silos then too. The machinery of surveillance and repression by local, state and federal government was intense and about to become more so.

Despite knowing the risk of speaking out, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King stepped forward to offer clarity and direction. His speech, Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence [3] was delivered on April 4, 1967, to an overflow crowd at Riverside Church in New York City.

Now the speech is receiving new attention, not for reasons of wistful nostalgia but as a vision even more relevant to our times than it was then. To learn more about events already organized to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s “A Time to Break Silence” speech or how to help initiate one yourself, go here [4].

In his speech, Dr. King identified the triplets of racism, militarism and materialism as the legacy we must overcome. Why triplets? Rabbi Arthur Waskow, a peace movement veteran, explains [5]: “Why did Dr. King use the word ‘triplets’ when ‘three’ or ‘triad’ would have been enough? Perhaps because biological triplets share a great deal of their DNA. What DNA do these triplets share? The DNA of subjugation, of top-down power.”

To be clear, Dr. King’s remarks did not incorporate the possibility of ecocatastrophe or the structures of patriarchy and sexism into his analysis and call. Can there be any doubt that today he would?

KEEP READING

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riverwisedetroit.org

contact or summit material info@riverwisedetroit.org


The James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership

.

3061 Field Street
Detroit, Michigan 48214
US