Voice and Justice: Michigan’s Deindustrializing Cities in the Global Order
Across Michigan, deindustrializing cities are exploring creative land uses and new forms of community engagement. Michigan is not alone: In various parts of the U.S. and the world, former industrial powerhouses are seeking new survival strategies, including urban agriculture. This search for new directions takes place amid challenges, including unemployment, population loss, vacant lots, food insecurity, home foreclosures and threats to climate and resources.
Voice and Justice brings together local activists, artists, students, and scholars to discuss the challenges of Michigan communities and to explore strategies that will enable us to thrive. This speaker series will consider questions that embroil cities in Michigan and the world: Do all urban residents (including homeless people, undocumented migrants, and “counterculture” youth) have a “right to the city”? Can urban agriculture be used as a tool to grow not only vegetables, but also food sovereignty, community empowerment and social justice? Who should have a voice in sustainability projects? How does diversity influence urban sustainability? How can city governments and planners work toward connecting equity and respect with realistic, credible and effective decision making around neighborhood revitalization? How can alternative media—from street art to digital justice projects—be used to enhance flows of ideas, beauty, and resources in our cities?
All talks are Thursdays from 1:00-3:00 PM in International Center Room ISP 303-305, unless noted:
October 7: The Right to the City? Elena Herrada (Centro Obrero and member of the Detroit school board), Vincent Lyon-Callo (Dept. of Anthropology, Western Michigan University), Pablo “Paul” Hernandez (Dept. of Sociology, Central Michigan University)
October 14 at 12:40 PM: Food Sovereignty. Ashley Atkinson (Greening of Detroit), Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
October 21: Sustainability and Empowerment. David Alexander Bullock (President, Greenation)
November 4 at 3:00pm in Natural Sciences room NS-128: National Media Reports on Detroit/Detroiters Use of Social Media. James Griffoen (photographer and author of the sweet juniper blog)
November 11 in room 103 Erickson: Re-envisioning Community Engagement and Neighborhood Revitalization in Flint. Christina Kelly (Lead Planner, Genesee County Land Bank) Regina Laurie (Director, LINK Community Arts, Flint), Franklin Pleasant (Community Advocate, Flint)
November 18 in room 135 Akers Hall: Community Art and Digital Justice. Adrienne Maree Brown and Diana Nucera (Allied Media, Detroit), Encarnita Figueroa (Spanish and Portuguese, MSU and Community Theater)
Peace and Justice Studies is an interdisciplinary specialization supported by the College of Social Science, the College of Arts and Letters, the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, and James Madison College at MSU. Students examine thematic issues (Human Rights and Rule of Law, Environmental Justice, Economic Justice, Political Violence and Sovereignty, and Networks, Social Movements, Activism and NonViolence) by developing critical analytic frameworks (Beyond the Global-Local Divide; Logic, Language and Discourse; The Presence of the Past; the Politics of Representation; Power and Structural Inequality). More information, email Elizabeth Drexler (Drexler@msu.edu) Co-Sponsored by The Labor Education Program/MSU School of Human Resources and Labor Relations; School of Planning, Design and Construction; and the Department of Anthropology