DFY set for monthlty gathering with 5E/Heru around cooperative economics

January 24, 2012

5E and the Heru will host the January DFY gathering
On January 28th, the art and media based organizations 5 Elements Gallery and Heru in partnership with Detroit Mural Factory will team up with Detroit Future Youth to host the latest monthly gathering of youth centered Detroit based organizers. The gathering will be the 8th in a year long series of gatherings that aim to help youth organizers become more familiar with the work of other youth organizers in Detroit. This month's gathering will focus on 5e Gallery, the HERU and Detroit Mural Factory's collaborative run youth leadership project called the BUSinESS Program, whose work focuses around cooperative economics. Cooperative economics as these organizations define it is an economic system whereby individual communities can be self-sustaining and autonomous.
"We have assessed that our community's greatest need is to be able to depend on it's community members and local natural resources for positive sustainable growth and development,” said Heru organizer, Bryce. “Our communities want to live abundantly through the practice of 'working together' to create mutually-exclusive revenue-generating endeavors, with zero dependence on or hinderance to economic growth based on the lack of fiat currency.”
In an effort to better demonstrate how cooperative economics can work within the community, the event will include among other highlights, a community marketplace. The marketplace will encourage community members to practice the skill of "going to market" as both consumers and sellers by bringing products with them to the gathering that they can then trade with others in a fair and equal way. But the marketplace is not simply about “economic trade.” It will also help to grow and develop a new understanding of individual and community identity. As Bryce says, "The community marketplace is necessary because through these, we grow in our practice of identifying as creators, skilled persons, entrepreneurs, and simply establishing community marketplaces serves as physical proof that we can and will create our own economic opportunities."
A highlight of the gathering will be a fashion show that will feature the outfits and various fashion skills of community members. The show is expected to be fun, but also to act as a real life situation that can best demonstrate how community members can use media for their own means. As Bryce says, "being that fashion for us is considered a form of mass-media (using textiles, apparel, and design brands to communicate specific social messages) this fashion show/concert was a great, natural, and highly engaging way for us to fuse our respective organizational capacities, create products cooperatively, and further the community conversation on what cooperative economics looks like and how easy, effective, and impactful it is to work collectively.”
The gathering is being co-organized by Detroit Future Youth (DFY), a program that aims to strengthen and deepen youth social justice organizing in Detroit by partnering with and supporting youth programs that focus on justice based education and multimedia creation.
As always, youth will take center stage in the gathering. Not only will they be participants, but they will also help to organize and run the fashion show and will even be doing music performances. As Bryce notes, centralizing youth is essential to helping to change Detroit for the better.
“Youth are the key players in the creation of a divine Detroit being that they literally are the population whose future will most directly be affected by our present adult decisions. It is the youth, with their unbridled imagination and perception of invincibility, that will fearlessly create new ideas to shape our Detroit's new path of love, community, and sustainability.”
The gathering will be held from 4-8 pm at 5e Gallery (2661 Michigan Ave). Prior to the youth gathering community members of all ages are invited to attend a community dialogue at the space from 12-3pm. Both the gathering and the community dialogue are open to the public, but people are encouraged to RSVP to youth@DetroitFuture.org to insure enough space and food is available.
Next month's gathering will be held on February 25th and will feature the work of Detroit Impact.