How can organizers and community builders respond in the face of rapid gentrification and exploitative development? Is it possible to center justice and equity alongside property ownership? Yes, it’s possible. Movement leaders work to resist gentrification while investing in the ownership of space that is accessible, inspirational and responsive to the needs of their community. Join us for a rich conversation with Detroit leaders to discuss the complexities of investment and ownership that decentralizes capitalist gains and encourages relationships with a community’s history, culture, and legacy.
ASL, CART (English) provided.
Jeanette Lee is the Interim Director of the LOVE Building, a hub for creative community and social justice in Detroit. She has spent two decades cultivating networks of visionary organizing, media, art, and technology in Detroit and nationally. She was a Co-Executive Director of Allied Media Projects from 2010 – 2022.
Malik Yakini is co-founder and Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN). DBCFSN operates the seven-acre D-Town Farm and is spearheading the opening of, the Detroit Food Commons, in Detroit’s North End that will house the Detroit People’s Food Co-op. He serves as a board member of the co-op. Yakini views the work of DBCFSN as part of the larger movement for building power, self-determination, and justice. He is adamantly opposed to the systems of white supremacy, capitalism and patriarchy. He has an intense interest in contributing to the development of an international food sovereignty movement that embraces Black communities in the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa. He is a co-founder of the National Black Food and Justice Alliance.
Erik Paul Howard is a lens-based artist and cultural organizer born and raised in Southwest Detroit. Howard’s work serves as a comprehensive visual index of his community’s traditions, culture and history. He is the co-founder of Inside Southwest Detroit, a collection of initiatives that promote youth and community development; The Alley Project, a community-driven, indoor-outdoor art environment; and Young Nation, which promotes holistic development of youth through mentoring and passion-driven projects.
Ryan Myers Johnson is the Director and Founder of Sidewalk Detroit. Ryan is a curator of place-based performance and installation art, specializing in community engagement. Ryan is dedicated to creating opportunities for independent and alternative artists in Detroit, her leadership in this area grew through her role as Assistant Director of Kresge Arts in Detroit where she worked extensively in outreach, promotion and skill building for metro-Detroit artists. Her passion for community led her to found Sidewalk Detroit in 2012 as a means to celebrate Detroit landscape and culture through the lens of art and creative place-making.