Get Ready, Stay Ready

Last month Detroit organizers B. Anthony and Halima Cassells, along with artist collective Complex Movements, led a day-long training on how to prepare for disasters in communities of color. The event was called Get Ready, Stay Ready. As we take in the disaster of last week’s election results, the call to Get Ready, Stay Ready takes on new meaning.

The explicit racism, misogyny, authoritarianism, and belligerence of the new administration pose an immediate threat to the safety of our communities and our planet. We must be ready to resist the leveling-up of violent and oppressive forces that are coming. In doing so, we follow the lead of those who have already been doing this work for too long – Detroit revolutionaries, queer undocumented people, trans elders, Muslim feminist collectives, the Movement for Black Lives, and so many other communities and movements who have been innovating strategies of preparation and survival.

We must be ready to care for each other and fight for the future with renewed resolve. We can learn, as we have been for years now at the Allied Media Conference, from Octavia Butler and other Black feminist futurists in our midst, whose ideas see through and beyond the current crisis.

We must be ready to keep visioning and building the world we need, right now, never waiting on a moment in the far-off future when it is deemed politically feasible for us to win our freedom and dignity.

Participants at AMC2015. Photo by Ara Howrani.

We are living in a moment when millions are questioning and challenging the legitimacy and credibility of mainstream institutions – from legacy media to political parties. This is a time of frightening uncertainty, but it is also a moment where the power of social movements and activism to reshape reality is more potent than ever.

A more just, creative and collaborative world is possible, and at the Allied Media Conference we will continue to model it and fight for it.

We offer the AMC as a space for our movements to converge and explore how we can use media-based organizing to dig up the roots of systemic hatred and violence. We offer the AMC as a space to create art that detoxifies the soil of this culture, so we can grow without its centuries of poison.

We offer the AMC as a space to explore technologies that will ensure we have the ability to communicate and circumvent attempts to silence us. We offer the AMC as a space to practice new forms of organizing, infused with greater creativity and deeper listening, and with greater synergy between diverse tactics. We need all of it now – the electoral organizing, the legal strategies, the direct action, the grassroots mobilization, and the small-scale, interpersonal transformations.

As the new administration threatens to silence and prosecute dissent, we offer the AMC as a space to develop a vigorous journalism that empowers us with the knowledge that we need to advocate for and defend our communities. We offer the AMC as a space for storytelling that creates empathy, and plants the seeds for healing, co-liberation, and justice.

AMC2017 will be the most important Allied Media Conference that we have ever hosted. Start thinking now about how you will contribute. We will begin collecting proposals for sessions in January.

For the coming conference, we will provide more financial and organizing support for delegations to participate in the conference, with priority support for delegations from communities facing heightened threats of violence. If you are interested in organizing a delegation from your community, please contact and we’ll start planning.

We have been building the skills and strategies of visionary resistance for decades. We have intergenerational wisdom to draw upon. We have the love of many, many thousands which, channeled through our organizing, is a transformative force. We need deep reservoirs of love now, because more than anything, this love is what will make us brave and offer us a vision of survival and hope beyond the horror of this current moment.

We rededicate ourselves to this work, and we are ready.

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