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Black Bottom Archives

People

Paige Watkins

Director & Co-Founder

Paige PG Watkins is a nonbinary organizer, facilitator and organizational strategist from Detroit. PG believes that organizing and storytelling are interconnected and is committed to using both mediums to shift dominant oppressive narratives and change the material conditions of Black people in Detroit and beyond. They co-founded Black Bottom Archives (BBA) in 2014 along with a collective of young, Black Detroiters who saw an opportunity to collect stories and experiences to weave a more complex and truthful narrative representation in a changing (read: gentrifying) Detroit landscape.

Their experience with organizational development, grassroots organizing and facilitating intergenerational healing and visionary spaces has given them the tools to lead BBA through a collaborative strategic planning process and create goals and priorities that will sustain BBA’s work and the legacy of Black Detroiters across time.

PG was formerly the Associate Director of Detroit Narrative Agency, where they co-led the process of supporting DNA filmmakers to develop moving-image projects and impact strategies and create opportunities to grow Detroit’s narrative-shifting ecosystem. They are a founding member of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)’s Detroit chapter and a board member of the James & Grace Lee Boggs Center. They graduated in December 2018 from the Master of Community Development program at the University of Detroit Mercy, with a concentration in Organizational Development. As BBA’s Director, PG is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach. The position reports directly to the Advisory Board. They have been working to develop a deep knowledge of the field, core programs, operations, leadership development and organizational models.


Advisory Board

Angela Abiodun

Angela Abiodun is creating her lived experience using knowledge gained through her yoga practice, doula experiences and interactions with nature. Her commitment to writing allows her to make sense of her world and practice taking up space in a world that has taught her to do otherwise. As Program Director for the Detroit Food Academy, she works to use culinary arts and business as vehicles for youth leadership and development. Through her participation with the Iyengar Yoga Detroit Collective, she deepens her understanding of self through through developing her body’s capacity to exist fully and practices alternative economics through supporting a cooperative space maintain. With her participation with the Detroit Area Restorative Justice Center, she learns and practices tools of restorative justice to incorporate in her communities. She maintains her commitment to education through organizing learning spaces to glean together community knowledge and practice bartering goods and services. She’s working on combining her love of food and storytelling, to deepen her connection to her lineage and support others in deepening and reconnecting to theirs. In her spare time, she reads, colors and dances under the moon.


Ever Bussey

Ever Bussey is a philosopher, researcher and media maker based in Detroit. Their main areas of interest are the roles technology, digital media and design play in the human experience and how these things can be utilized to dismantle oppressive paradigms and put power and security in the hands of marginalized people.


Steven Farrar

Steven Farrar is the founder of Linking Literature (linkingliterature.org), a platform that promotes literacy, expression, and understanding through an online blog, citywide events and book giveaways, and school partnerships. One of Linking Literature’s ongoing campaigns is to put one million books into one million kids' hands through the hashtag #LinkingLiterature1Million. Steven spends his spare time crushing stereotypes, making an impact where it matters, and spreading Black positivity.

Funders

NoVo Foundation

Sparkplug Foundation

Detroit Public Library Foundation