Organizers in New Orleans coordinated to bring a delegation of a dozen representatives from a diverse spectrum of organizations to AMC2012. These included Neighborhood Partnerships Network, 2-Cent TV, New Orleans Youth BreakOUT!, and Kids ReThink New Orleans Schools. This was one of the most exciting delegations of the AMC, connecting New Orleans and Detroit, two cities with much in common and much to learn from one another.
New Orleans and Detroit have a special synergy. Both cities have made profound contributions to the cultural, political and economic identity of this country and both have experienced "unnatural disasters": the fatally negligent response to Hurricane Katrina, and Detroit’s "Katrina in slow motion" of disinvestment and deindustrialization.
"While urban revitalization is more than welcome in both of these cities," explained Tara Foster of the Neighborhood Partnerships Network, "It is becoming increasingly important for communities in these locales to have a deep, broad analysis of the racial and class-based injustices that have paved the way for current changes."
The NOLA caravan to Detroit was organized by Jocelyne Ninneman and Gia Hamilton of the Gris Gris Lab. (Jocelyne was miraculously multitasking, as she also co-managed the AMC’s nighttime music events and the Detroit Sound Conservancy Tour.)
The delegation was supported with funding from the Open Society Foundations and Common Counsel's Grassroots Exchange Fund.
The NOLA delegation presented some of the best attended (and most talked about) sessions of the whole conference: Art, Gentrification and Our Broken Beautiful Cities, RapidSkill Remix, The ReThinkers Guide to Hosting a Youth-Driven News Conference and Queer and Trans Storytelling in the South. Most of these sessions took place in collaboration with local organizers and each brought visions of media-based projects and initiatives that have impacted the policy, scope and community development of NOLA-based initiatives.
Following the trip to the AMC, Jocelyne and Gia facilitated an in-depth reflection process with members of the NOLA delegation to evaluate the AMC experience, plan for the next AMC, and for how to sustain connections between NOLA and Detroit. Here are some excerpts:
"We built lasting relationships with other organizations and individuals...we met organizations and funders who would like for us to attend their upcoming events and conferences."
"There are so many parallels between the education systems in New Orleans and Detroit, and there is tremendous potential to build a national youth movement around education reform."
"I think it would be great to explore the exports of both cities and how they play a role in the perception of the said cities. For example: how does each cities’ pop stars, events, products, image help or hurt the perception and problems of that city? And how can new ‘exports’ be created to help?"
We look forward to the New Orleans delegation's return for the 15th annual Allied Media Conference, June 20 - June 23, 2013.
Delegations at the Allied Media Conference are one of the best ways to experience the conference. Recognizing the amount of resources it takes to plan a delegation, we strongly encourage groups to plan far in advance to make the best experience for their group. We're excited to host groups from all over the country interested in enriching their AMC experience. If you are planning a delegation, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org .