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I’m back from the Allied Media Conference – a collaborative laboratory of media-based organizing strategies for transforming our world, held every Summer in Detroit – where I co-created a session with “four bad-ass witches“:
Creator Kinship Workshop
“The music industry as we know it is breaking down, which means more opportunity for women and people of color who are struggling to be heard. In this workshop, we will envision the transition from consumerism to creator-kinship, a business model tied to strong and healthy relationships. We will share models of success for emerging and established independent artists, and those who support them. We will learn how to become financially autonomous and build our music careers in ways that are sustainable.” WATCH VIDEO
Check the extra fresh drummer-strategist Kiran Gandhi‘s powerful summary of the workshop we threw along with tïna-hanäé, Erica Castello, Te-Ash Freeman, Piper Carter from the Foundation of Women In Hip-Hop and all the beauty-full artists & organizers that came through in Detroit:
“I will say that being able to use valuable lessons from business school and bring them to people in the social justice and art worlds gave me a sense of purpose. That we can do incredible work and make our own rules using the very business techniques that once oppressed us. Business has a 1% energy to it, it has an ENRON face to it. But at its core, business is the ability to deliver value and joy to people and be able to sustain yourself off of it. And so it should be accessible to all. Nothing is more empowering for a human than to feel they have purpose, to feel they are contributing to a larger cause and to be able to live off of doing just that.” READ IN FULL FROM KIRAN’S BLOG!
Besides our session, I was able to go to panels, gatherings, film screenings and tours like:
-Community Technology Gathering
-From Growing Our Economy To Growing Our Souls Tour
-Defining Yourself: Collage As Self-Portrait
-Courage > Conflict
-Detroit Sound Conservancy Music Tour
-The Hijab: Through The Eyes Of Muslims
-Economy of Liberation: Cultivating Black Feminist Lives
-Speculative Cities: Becoming A Place
-The Birth: Creating A New Independent Media In Spanish
-Dance With Care: Interactive Strategy Sesh
-Aaron Swartz Documentary “The Internet’s Own Boy” Screening:
But really, I did not even scratch the surface on all the things I could have learned about. I will be way more intentional next year in my preparation and routing skills because there was so much I missed which I would have wanted to learn. See all the panels HERE.
“What time is it on the clock of the world?”
I learned about 100 year old Chinese-American organizer based in Detroit Grace Lee Boggs – not surprisingly, she was never taught to me coming up in Public School or College – but thankfully, there’s an amazing documentary on her out now which you can watch on PBS or Netflix called “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.” The Boggs Center is in the middle of their celebration of Grace’s 100th birthday. What a national treasure she is and though it took me 30 years to learn about her, I will not be the same now knowing about her work and legacy.
Finally, I wanted to acknowledge DJ Ratatomica from DC’s Maracuyeah for literally walking me through the process last year to even be a part of Allied Media Conference when I did a session on Networking For Tour. Attending 2014’s conference introduced me to new people who have completely changed my trajectory in life. This year, I will remember as a launchpad for empowering new ideas and endeavors. I look forward to 2016 and getting to know Detroit even more. Like I heard on a tour, Detroit represents the birth, death and re-imagining of the American Dream. The heart & soul of America. And we are all a part of that re-imagining from our locals to our global!