Poetry & Storytelling for Freedom Track

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Creative resistance in our communities

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We exist in a time of conflicting narratives; let us imagine a different time, a new world. Poetry & Storytelling for Freedom Track is concerned with understanding the ways individuals and communities are affected daily by narratives of dominance and how we can unearth counter-narratives by speaking for ourselves-- through stories and performance. Within our cities and our newsfeeds, we see the effects of erasure on history, culture, and representation in society. Participants will walk away with strategies for "finding your voice", tools for building a fiction that can help repair reality, honoring the history of poetic insurgency, discovering methods of access and resistance, and generative techniques to support, execute and honor your stories. In this track, performance, poetry, and storytelling converge in our abilities to communicate the urgencies of our current reality and all possible futures–to imagine and build the new world that community organizing is searching for.

Coordinators of this track are Mïï Gun, Sheezy Bo Beezy, Sherina Rodriguez Sharpe, Megan Stockton, and Gabrielle Knox.


Call for Participation

Calling out to all humans with an urgent story to tell-

Dissidents, historians, poets, teens, wordsmiths, elders, thought leaders, students, teachers, performers, translators, critics, emcees, bloggers, publishers, Detroiters, neighbors creatives and non-creatives alike: let's share our stories!

Join the Poetry & Storytelling for Freedom Track to exalt your personal stories, deconstruct the popular narratives of representation, find tools for advocacy and access in performance, and take a historical look at how creative and charismatic voices have spearheaded movements for social reconstruction.

Lovers and healers have used traditional preservation of information and culture through storytelling and journalists, data collectors, diviners and builders alike have the skills for co-defining freedom and creating it through the bridges they make with themselves and each other.

We seek proposals that:

  • Honor the ancestral manifestation of words to build and create our future.
  • Prioritize healing, acceptance, and discovery through storytelling practices.
  • Dispel the notion that you must be creative to write and use your voice to affect change.
  • Investigate and identify people in history whose voices help push forward representations for marginalized groups.
  • Generate content for public access and understanding.
  • Recognize technological tools for determining and sharing techniques of storytelling.
  • Collaborate with and prioritize the influence of Detroit.

Suggested themes/activities


  • Hands-on workshops using accessible resources (open source software, Digital platforms, social media, etc.) for the preservation of/ access to cultural histories; self-publishing; and community shared storytelling, writing, and performance
  • Personal Practice: journeys through the process of finding your story, prompt writing, and investigations of content from social movements of the past and present
  • Poetry as a healing ritual: personal and political tools for reparations

Tours/ Field Trips:

  • Field trips to visit prominent storytellers in Detroit & those making permanent spaces to hold the stories of ancestors, honoring cultures, and preserving the stories of neighborhoods.
  • Highlighting the place where Allied Media turns 20, celebrating the fire within the citizens of Detroit to empower them into action and create the future they want to see.

Panel discussions:

  • Bringing together a variety of the many kinds of storytellers and poets who will widen the lens and scope of the connection Arts has always had with Action and the civil and social justice movements. Opportunities to put in context how important words and language are to media and our communities. (Example: Rappers, historians, wordsmiths, mothers, etc.)


  • Surrounding current themes in progressive storytelling; Providing platforms for publishing, public performance, etc.

When submitting your proposal, please let us know whether funding will heavily influence your ability to participate. If your proposal is accepted, we will do our best to support your involvement!

If you have any questions please contact:
mïïgun : miimiigunn@gmail.com + sheezy bo beezy : detroitsheezy@gmail.com

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