Creating a Beloved Community: Visionaries for an Inclusive Detroit

Creating a Beloved Community: Visionaries for an Inclusive Detroit

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Thursday, Jul. 17 4:45 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Thursday, Jul. 17 6:00 PM (Eastern)

Many reports about Detroit focus on decrepit houses and factories, constructing a narrative of ruin porn that promotes a curiously titillating mix of nostalgia and dismay. Others promote the Gilbertification of the downtown, suggesting that just one more massive giveaway to fund yet another stadium will turn the trick. Recently the governor insinuated that the real problem with Detroit is the people who live in it, suggesting that attracting high-tech workers (read: non-African-Americans) would guarantee rebirth. Our panelists are both more modest and more ambitious in striving to create a liveable, sustainable, post-industrial city with the people already here. They base their projects in Detroit’s neighborhoods, drawing upon their experience of day-to-day life in a seriously deprived environment, materially speaking. They strategize about food justice and affordable utilities; they care for the needy; and they sponsor creative projects for the young. Come learn how you can be a progressive ally for Detroit.



Will Copeland

Will See is an emcee, organizer, and cultural worker from Detroit. He works as EMEAC’s Stand Up Speak Out Youth Director. He served as Local Coordinator for the 2010 US Social Forum, organizing over 300 Detroit-area volunteers to host 20,000+ activists and community change agents to 5 days of workshops, panels, concerts, and work projects. He also was lead organizer of the 2011 Detroit 2 Dakar Delegation to the World Social Forum held in Dakar, Senegal. He has significant affiliations with the healing justice movements in Detroit and nationwide and is also a founding member of the D.Blair Theater Collective and LightBox Youth Media Productions in the Cass Corridor Commons. He has performed or taught at high schools, community colleges, prisons, conferences, and numerous rallies and political gatherings. He has written poetry and music to support movements based on environmental justice, food justice, housing rights, education justice, and cultural liberation.