News Reflections

Back from Detroit!

/files/graf.jpgWhat an exciting trip! Four of us from the Sanctuary just returned from the Allied Media Conference in Detroit this past weekend. It was great to meet like-minded people doing similar grassroots and community oriented media projects, spread the word about the Sanctuary, and see a slice of Detroit in all its building up from the decay of industry and making it for yourselves or its not going to happen at all glory.

Some of the highlights for me:
* The Youth Media Eco Justice track: Green Guerrillas from Ithaca who were here for the NY Shout Out and Toxic Soil Busters from Worcester, MA (my hometown:) spotlighted all the great organizing and media making projects they’re doing to bring environmental justice to their communities.
* The anti-Prison Industrial Complex track.  It was great to see the really successful work folks are doing to change the discourse around prisons as economic engines and the mixed success of prisons in making our society more just.
* Finally recording my “internet story!” Facilitated by the Media Action Grassroots Network and Free Press, a roomful of us shared our stories of why the internet is important to our lives. I had been meaning to do this for some time and it was great to do so in the context of larger organizing happening around the issue of preserving the open internet. I shared the story of the work we do in Troy and how important the internet as a neutral media distribution platform is for us to distribute our work and the stories of people in our community that otherwise don’t have a venue. MAG-NET and Free Press are using these stories to advocate for laws to preserve the internet as a tool for media innovation and democratization- got that? 
* The Graffiti tour of Detroit. The picture is from an abstract graffiti mural painted on 10 story building by youth and a Detroit-based artist. Some local work can be seen here:

I come back to the Sanctuary with some connections for films we might like to screen, some similar projects that we may be able to model projects after, and an energizing reminder that we’re part of a larger movement committed to doing all we can to make our world, communities and, lives better.

Here are some cool projects I’d encourage you to check out: