This is a report on the Asheville delegation’s Allied Media Conference experience:
The Allied Media Conference energized us.
Hailing from Asheville, NC, the members of our delegation create community media for collective liberation. JMPRO TV covers social justice issues from the perspective of those most impacted by oppression. By training community reporters and building alliances, JMPRO promotes the collective ownership of the platform and centers voices of color. Date My City, led by Sheneika Smith, offers cultural and civic engagement in vogue. DMC’s initiatives, such as strategically produced events, promote the cultural advancement of black and brown communities. Accomplices Ami Worthen and Jason Krekel are writer artist activist musicians. The Asheville delegation also included four incredible children.
Traveling to Detroit together was an excellent way to strengthen our mutual connections. Friendships were deepened during our AMC journey. Our ability to collaborate in transformative ways was enhanced. Our children have new beloveds.
As hoped, our knowledge and perspectives expanded at AMC. We focused on the Movement Journalism track, engaging topics such as how narratives impact lives, the myth of objectivity, racism in the media, relationships with subjects, and telling stories as a political act. All of the sessions we attended were great, with #OwningOurStories: Race, Power, and Media being particularly inspiring for JMPRO. The content we absorbed from the Movement Journalism track will help boost our work in Asheville.
Our souls were filled at AMC as well. For Sheneika, Reclaim Our Futures: Take Back Land & Housing and Dear Black Women: The Power of Black Women Affirming Themselves (which her girls also attended) offered powerful motivation and spiritual nourishment.
In addition to gaining abundant insights from panels and sessions, Ami and Jason were educated on the Detroit Sound Conservancy Music Tour. After learning about the Black roots of techno on the tour, it was awesome to hear (and dance to) one of the genre’s first DJs, Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale, during Dance, Dance, (R)evolution.
Our delegation culminated our AMC with the essential ideas discussed during the Education for Abolition conversation between Mariame Kame and adrienne maree brown. “They reminded us that abolition is about imagining, organizing for, and building a more human, healing world.” – @EdLibPlanBook
Thanks to the AMC and to the Amy Mandel and Katina Rodis Fund for making this possible. To be informed by brilliant minds in a dynamic city while fortifying our relationships was profound.