Here is a sample of what is happening at Detroit Independent Freedom Schools at the Cass Commons site. Piper Carter offered this summary of the discussion there last week.
• What is Justice?
• What is Freedom?
• What is a Safe Space?
• What is Freedom School?
• What is our Purpose for meeting?
• What do we need for this to be a valuable experience?
• What are some attainable Goals we would like to achieve as a group?
We learned that everyone in the group identifies as an Artist and that making Art should be a part of how we Organize.
Some ideas they came up with:
1. Transportation is PARAMOUNT to participation, especially high school age and younger.
2. Food is necessary at every gathering.
We’ve identified they want to:
• Do things in community
• Create our businesses
• Support Black owned businesses
• Make Our own garden
• Do things for the environment
• Make people more aware of environment
• Take care of our planet
• Make Justice Music videos
• Make a Justice Mixtape
• Record in a studio
• Learn Photography
• Go on trips
• Build Leadership skills
• Gain Knowledge of issues (Food Justice, Water Struggle, Education Struggle, Restorative Justice Practices, Gender Justice, Identity Training)
• Practice Meditation
• Do some Fitness
• Learn about Wholistic herbs and eating as medicine
• College Prep
• Connect with other youth groups
Regarding what a Safe Space looks like and what they identify as necessary to have a Safe Space and a Valuable Experience:
•Activities especially trips
•Attack the idea not the person
• Continue Building a safe space (Physically and Emotionally)
• As different come and go from the group establish a Safe Space at the get go
•Be responsible for the energy that you bring
•Leave negativity at the door
• Be comfortable with everyone being leaders
• Be open to helping each one become the greater version of themselves
•Bring resources together
•How do we adjust one another
uphold our own values
•Make the space comfortable enough for people to let someone know that their boundaries have been crossed
We ended the meeting with them starting to create a song they’ve come up with temporarily titled “Where is the Freedom?”
It’s a work in progress that they were inspired to create. We gathered around the piano while Kingg (from Southeastern High School) played various pop tunes they recognized until they all felt comfortable enough to freestyle rap & sing. So far there’s a possible chorus but mostly they just had fun playing around for about 20 minutes after the meeting. They decided that needs to be how we end every meeting.