Allied Media Projects

Media strategies for a more just and creative world
Photo by Vanessa Miller
Photo by Vanessa Miller
Photo by AJ Manoulian
Photo by Carleton Gholz

About AMP

  1. Allied Media Projects cultivates media strategies for a more just, creative, and collaborative world.

  2. We convene close to 2,000 people annually in Detroit to develop and exchange strategies through the Allied Media Conference.

  3. The conference is created each year through a participatory design process. Out of the conference emerge new projects, campaigns, and collaborations that continue year round.

Photo by Vanessa Miller
Photo by AJ Manoulian
Photo by Joe Namy
Photo by Diana J. Nucera

Sponsored Projects

  1. AMP sponsors projects by providing fiscal management, program design, evaluation, fundraising and other support that draws from the capacities we have built after 15 years of producing the AMC.

  2. These "allied media projects" are autonomous and interdependent, working together to grow their own capacity and the capacity of our network as a whole.

  3. Current sponsored projects include Digital Stewards, Detroit Future Schools, Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, Co.Open, and Complex Movements. Join us – fill out an assessment form for your project.

Photo by Vanessa Miller
Photo by Ara Howrani
Photo by Vanessa Miller
Photo by Ara Howrani
Photo by Ara Howrani

Allied Media Conference

  1. The Allied Media Conference is a collaborative laboratory of media-based organizing strategies for transforming our world, held every Summer in Detroit.

  2. The AMC is a network of networks – social justice organizers, community technologists, transformative artists, educators, entrepreneurs, and many others – all using media in innovative ways.

  3. The 16th annual AMC is June 19-22, 2014 in Detroit. Register today! You can also sponsor the AMC.

Photo by AJ Manoulian
Photo by Vanessa Miller
Photo by Vanessa Miller
Photo by Ara Howrani


  1. AMPTalk is a discussion and organizing system for the Allied Media Projects network.

  2. We use AMPtalk to coordinate, share, and document Allied Media Conference sessions, tracks, network gatherings, and practice spaces.

  3. Start a discussion on the AMPtalk Newswire or share job postings, grant opportunities, and calls for submissions on the Opportunities board.


  1. Contact us, we'd love to hear from you.

AMP partners with the Open Technology Institute to launch Digital Stewards Program

Oct 22, 2012

Communication is a fundamental human right. The Digital Stewards Program is an effort to actualize that right at the neighborhood-level in Detroit. This 10-week training, already underway, prepares teams of community organizers, people with construction skills and techies to design and deploy communications infrastructure with a commitment to the Detroit Digital Justice Principles.

The Digital Stewards are learning about mesh wireless technology, which allows neighbors to form their own local network and share an Internet connection. The Open Technology Institute, which is developing a highly-flexible mesh software called Commotion, is a global leader in using wireless technology for human rights. AMP, drawing on Detroit’s visionary grassroots history, our experience with Detroit Future Media, and lessons from the AMC network, is helping OTI figure out how to teach these skills.

In the first session, a tin can telephone activity helped us visualize the rich social network that exists between communities in Detroit and think about how technical connectivity could provide a layer of infrastructure on top of our existing social relationships.

Digital Stewards build upon already-existing digital and social resources within Detroit communities, such as public computer centers, block clubs, and community organizing initiatives. They learn how to cultivate this ecosystem, adding in their new capacity and technical skill to grow and sustain a community wireless network.

We have drawn participants primarily from the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition public computer centers to take part in the program. The inaugural class of Digital Stewards comes from an array of grassroots community organizations, including: Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, 48217 Health and Community Organization, The Reading Corner of Kemeny Rec Center, Fender Bender (which is housed at The Commons), Mt. Elliott Makerspace, and 5E Gallery.

Now in it's 6th week, the Digital Stewards Program has covered the basics: Internet infrastructure, a mesh wireless overview, community outreach, collaborative network-design and neighborhood mapping.

mesh network image

This week begins the section of the program where participants will learn how to conduct a site survey and configure the mesh software. Some will even get up on roofs and install the routers there, where their reach can extend from a few hundred feet to a few miles, depending on the type of router and whether any taller buildings are in the way.

The final phase of the program will ask, "Now that you have a network, what can you do with it?," facilitating participants through a process of envisioning all of the ways we can use a community network to strengthen neighborhoods and solve local problems, beyond simply gaining access to the global Internet.

"The Digital Stewards is a chance to rethink the shape of the Internet, much like Detroit Future Media has been an opportunity to create the online content our city needs." -Diana J Nucera

This initial Digital Stewards course is a warm-up. Based on this first run, we will be expanding it to 22 weeks and integrating it into Detroit Future Media beginning in February. With OTI, we are seeking partners in other cities and around the world who want to learn how to build their own mesh wireless networks.