Come to Detroit 2012 By Sara Perryman


Come to Detroit 2012:

July 1 – 14

By Sara Perryman

June 17-23,2012

There’s something special about Detroit. If you’re lucky enough to live here (or hail from here), then you already know it’s true. The city’s got heart and grit and an innovative spirit. It breathes life through punctured lungs and hangs tough through difficult times. Never mind what the mainstream media tells you. Or the governor. Or the Emergency Managers. We may not be flashy, but we’re solid, with our feet on the ground and our roots staying put. It’s a commitment thing. Strong, steady, going the distance. The hare might be fast, but the tortoise is wise.

Because, perhaps more than most, we know the pain of a history that has tied progress to technology and transnational capital. Detroiters experience first hand the limitations of representative democracy that isn’t really democratic and certainly fails to represent. We are steeped in our history, our land, and the legacy of our struggle. We believe in this city and work hard to create something other than statistics. Not easily categorized. Not easily fooled. We don’t fit standard policy models that bombard us with advice on how to manage our futures. We resist and this resistance is the heart of our imaginative journey.

But there’s a buzz in the air. From Oslo, Sweden, to Oakland, California, folks are curious about this town. And they keep showing up. To listen, to learn, to see, and to heal. They are farmers and filmmakers, artists and activists, tired of poverty and racism and the ruthless grind of day-to-day living. And what they witness when they get here is a sea change in how we think and what we do. It’s the kind of transformational action that sees dedicated Detroiters at work in their gardens and in conversation. Using know-how nurtured by years of struggle unique to this city, we are creating new forms of work and community that do not rely on government decisions or corporate investment.

So, in response to this interest, we’re inviting you, all Detroiters, yes, the whole city, to participate in Detroit 2012: {re}Imagine the World, Transform Ourselves, Fight for the Future! From July 1 – 14, people from around the country will gather in this city to take part in imaginative projects created by local Detroiters. Beginning on Sunday, July 1st, we will be celebrating the 97th birthday of Grace Lee Boggs with the international premier of the documentary film, We Are Not Ghosts, at the Charles H. Wright African American Museum. On Monday, July 2nd, we will meet at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary for the Opening Ceremony of Detroit 2012, featuring Grace Boggs, Ron Scott, Rev. Dr. Victoria Pratt-Davis, Pastor Bill Wylie-Kellerman, and Carmen Rembert.

For the rest of the two weeks, there will be all kinds of events and activities for young and old alike. Work projects at Feedom Freedom Growers, D-Town Farm, Earthworks, Brightmoor Woodworkers, and Urban Networks will be followed by panels on digital justice, aquaponics, radical education, public safety, and health and healing. There will be skill sharing workshops on leaderless leadership, arts in the city, organic gardening, and cooperative businesses. And for those looking to meet like-minded folks from all walks of life, there will be community meals, bike rides, music, poetry, and dancing. Participate how you can and when you can. It’s free and we need you to make this happen!

But, most importantly, Detroit 2012 recognizes that Detroiters have something truly profound to offer the rest of the world. There’s a history here and a future too. We aren’t the only ones who believe in this city. A {R}Evolution is growing. And we must nurture it by sharing our story, supporting one another, and creating the conditions for visionary change. For more information, please go to the following website: or call Tawana Petty at (313) 433 – 9882.


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