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Afrofuture Youth

 
Portrait of Numi in front of an opaque white glass wall at the DIA

Adrienne Ayers

Co-Director
Adrienne Ayers (known as Numi in the Detroit community) is the Founder and Co-Director of Afrofuture Youth. Adrienne is a Detroit native who started her journey of community organizing and youth work in 2014. Her past roles include Lead Organizer for Black Lives Matter Detroit and working for the Children's Defense Fund Freedom Schools and with the Detroit Independent Freedom Schools. Her passion is using healing, political education, and empowerment to help black and brown youth create a more equitable world for all black lives. She has worked with community by utilizing healing centered frameworks the past 4 years and has used her skills as a reiki practitioner since 2018. Currently, Adrienne attends the University of Detroit Mercy as a Masters candidate in the Community Development program. She obtained her bachelor's from Eastern Michigan University.


Franchesca Lamarre

Co-Director
Born (1996) on the EASTSIDE of Detroit, Conant Gardens specific, Franchesca Lamarre is a private art school dropout. Influenced by both her Black American imaginative roots and her Haitian resilient roots; she is, (She ill), an illustrator, practicing the replacement of power in the Afro-Black Community. In 2014 she worked as Youth Programs Assistant at MOCAD, a Gallery Assistant at Arts Extended Gallery, and a Costume and Set Design Assistant at Caribbean Mardi Gras Production. Working under close mentorship of some of Detroit’s Black Magic Artivist, she was given access to reimagine resistance through positioning narratives that reject the provided marginalized identities of power.

Once dropping out of art school in (2015), she swiftly emerged into the detroit underground arts network where she began her journey as a fine artist. She emerged with a femme artist collective “Art Babes” in (2015) and adopted the street tag name, Queen Complex. As Queen Complex, she emerged with a dialogue of Black exploration and community based healing. Embodying queendom to weaponize against the violence of white complex systemic-oppression. Holding space for conversations centered in gender identity, colorism, creative license, ancestral healing, and Black femme identity.

In (2016), she completed her first mural “Bird Cry”at Detroit’s creatives community anchor “The Baltimore Gallery”. Her body adornments and photography were featured in activations for Allied Media Conference (2017) and (2018). In her interdisciplinary practices she uses the imagery of iconography, foreshadowing, and symbolism to signify Black metaphysical balance. Often questioning the normative presentations of autonomy, celebration, and identity, her artist practice and social work harmonize to actionize impact.

As a freelance photographer she’s navigated the small business network of Detroit, creating imagery that is equitable and inclusive. Working with businesses like Pingree, Detroit Clothing Circle, HER, and The MetroTimes to articulate the nuances of black life and landscape. Also as an emerging filmmaker in (2018), Franchesca premiered her debut performance film "A Good Cry" on navigating colorism through ancestral healing. In (2019) she plans to release her next film “Complex Melanin” a narration documentary highlighting the ritual practice of durag culture. She is an Afro-Futurist, hoping to evoke present thought and action; obtaining entry into a world unimagined by the Black eye.