by Tawana Petty
This summer, local and national grassroots organizations will convene at a gathering in Detroit during the first two weeks of July for Detroit 2012: ReImagine the World, Transform Ourselves and Fight for the Future. During this critical time in Detroit and around the country, Detroiters are emphasizing the need to reimagine education, work, democracy, health, revolution, technology, leadership, politics, public safety, art and restorative justice.
In the wake of Arab Spring and the Occupy movements, there has been a global emphasis on protest politics. These movements have been successful in shining a national spotlight on the fact that change is needed, but a cohesive vision has yet to be developed. Although protest politics has its place, it’s time to move past the protest and into visionary organizing which not only empowers its citizens, but provides them with the information and resources to regain their independence. During Detroit 2012, it is our goal to nurture visionary organizers who will return to their communities all across the world empowered with new information on Aquaponics, Visionary Organizing, Beloved Community Development, Radical Education, Urban Agriculture and Public Safety.
By placing a global spotlight on the work that Detroiters are already doing in order to restore community, we aim to show the world that Detroiters and their allies not only have their hands on the pulse of what it takes to “restore the neighbor back to the hood”, but that the restoration is already in progress. The 5th Annual Back to School Supply Giveaway organized by Yusef Bunchy Shakur, has supplied more than 2,000 backpacks and school supplies to inner city youth. In the Brightmoor Community, support towards art, bike and mural projects has been headed by resident and school board member Bart Eddy. The Sweet Water Foundation’s Emmanuel Pratt brings the innovation of Aquaponics to Detroit, and the Young Educators Alliance have mastered the art of “Teach One Feed One” through supporting youth. It is our goal that by bringing people together from around the globe, we can nurture an international network of visionary organizers devoted to reimaging the world, transforming ourselves and fighting for the future.
Detroit 2012 will be kicked off with the 97th birthday celebration for legendary, lifelong activist, visionary organizer and philosopher Grace Lee Boggs in conjunction with the film premier of Melissa Young and Mark Dworkin’s “We Are Not Ghosts” with a feature performance by legendary poet and activist Jessica Care-Moore.
Visit www.detroit2012.org for more about Detroit 2012 as well as a list of events during this summer’s initiative.