2012 is our time to move beyond protest by providing a clear vision for an alternative way of living our lives. We are convening a national gathering in Detroit from July 1 – July 15 called Detroit 2012: Re-imagine the World, Transform Ourselves, Fight for the Future.
We are meeting in Detroit because the city’s unique history has created a space in which growing numbers of people have been able to free themselves from old ideas and undergo a paradigm shift which has allowed organizers and activists to move beyond protest and move toward visionary organizing by building alternative institutions and parallel structures. The depth of the crisis has challenged us to “Make a Way out of No Way!”
Since the Arab Spring of 2011, the world has been in a sustained period of political protest. In OUR country, the Wisconsin labor protests, Occupy Wall Street, and the 99% Spring represent an upsurge in protest not seen in many years. Despite the progressive nature of this increased grassroots political involvement, because these protests lack a clear vision for a new way of doing things and a new way of thinking, many of us feel something is missing. For us, it has become clear that massive protests and demanding new policies fail to sufficiently address the crisis we face. They may demonstrate that we are on the right side politically, but they are not transformative enough. They do not change the cultural images or the symbols which play such a pivotal role in molding us into who we are. What are the qualities of leadership that we need to explore? Why is the movement of the 21 century different form the 19th and 20th century? How do we energize the movement for revolution, locally and nationally?
Throughout the gathering, visionary organizers in Detroit and across the globe will come together and share their experiences of re-imagining work, re-imagining education, re-imagining technology, re-imagining art, re-imagining leadership, re-imagining politics, re-imagining public safety and justice, re-imagining community, and re-imaging health through panels, workshops, and hands-on organizing with Detroit organizers and organizations.
Our aim is to learn from one another and to transform ourselves in ways which will allow us to develop a clear vision of what the beloved community looks like and how the principles of a beloved community can be used to transform ourselves and all of our institutions. By bringing people from around the country together in Detroit we hope to develop a national network of visionary organizers working to transform the world and ourselves which can become the basis for a national movement rooted in visionary organizing and the principles of the beloved community.
While we are meeting for two weeks, you can come as your time permits. We are working to provide housing for all who attend.