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Tracks, Practice Spaces, Network Gatherings

 

CHECK OUT BELOW INFORMATION ON LAST YEAR'S AMC. STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS ABOUT THE NEXT AMC, JUNE 20 - 23, 2013. 

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As AMC networks grow and deepen, we are designing new structures of conference content to nurture those networks. AMC2012 features three types of content structures: TracksPractice Spaces, and Network Gatherings. [Learn more about these new AMC content areas.]

TRACKS

Tracks are series of workshop sessions connected by shared strategies. Click the headers for each to view the full list of associated sessions.

Coordinators: Melissa & Nev, Pixelpowrrr; Jack Aponte, Palante Technology Cooperative; Karen, Chrysalis Collective; Geoff Hing

In this track we will explore and expand the web's potential for building communities and working towards social justice. Through creating and curating web content, coding and designing, remixing and sharing we can all find ways to plug into webmaking. In this track, we'll learn how to feed community webmaking needs; exploring everything from hacking and crafting a wide range of web technologies to creating sweet new web-based tools using free and open source software. Throughout our track we will be unpacking stereotypes and examining the barriers around who makes technology, who uses it, and what the webmaking process itself looks like. This track is for everyone, from curious beginners to experts who want to make their work more inclusive. 

Coordinators: Josh Redd Sanchez, Sicily Amaris McRaven

The Analog Track aims to provide skills to individuals frustrated with the dominance of digital technology and seeking alternatives to digital media. How do we create community beyond your Facebook status? How can we cultivate "real world" connections through things like sports teams, sewing circles, or street art crews? Can you make a magazine, book , or comic from your home and have it matter? Can you record and produce an album from your bedroom? Could you live without electricity or find your own water? Do you know whether there are plants and animals where you live that are useful, healthy, tasty, and sustainable? This track is open to anyone who wants to learn skills using hands on, interactive, analog approaches to media and community-building.

Coordinators: Kat Hartman, Data Driven Detroit; Yvonne Yen Liu, Applied Research Center, Colorlines.com; J. Rodriguez-Tanner, Detroit Future; Saba Waheed, DataCenter

In the Research Justice Track we will explore a variety of participatory research skills and engage in strategic conversations aimed at supporting social justice movements and community voices. We recognize that for many, "research" is "one of the dirtiest words" (to quote Maori scholar/activist, Linda Tuhiwai-Smith) in oppressed communities given our history of being scrutinized (and more) through outsider-led “research.” 

This track calls on those who engage (or would like to engage) in various forms of research to challenge the systematic ways in which marginalized communities are disregarded in decision making processes that impact our lives. It also calls on all oppressed peoples to create a powerful strategy to reverse the role of the passive "research subject" we’ve been conditioned to assume. We are redefining "research" as a positive, if not emancipatory, practice. The future of research is for it to be conducted by communities, for communities in accessible formats.

Imagining Better Futures Through Game Design and Play
Coordinators: Paul Emery, 3dcolab.com, VirtualDetroit.org; Una Lee; Cayden Mak
We play games because they are fun! They let us inhabit different worlds and help us tell our stories. Through designing and playing games that encourage experimentation, collaborative problem-solving, we are better able to understand and re-imagine the nuts and bolts of complex systems. 

This track is focused on building movements through creative play, questioning how games teach us, learning to resist the dominant narratives produced by the video game industry and working together to hone key creative and technical skills though hands on workshops. We will explore conventional games (such as board & video games), physical and movement games, and new forms of play like simulations and alternate reality. We will share how our communities are using gaming and simulation to collectively imagine, and build, a better world.

Coordinators: Candace Clement & Chance Williams, Free Press;  Betty Yu,  Media Action Grassroots Network; Carlos Pareja, People's Production House; Ernesto Olivo, Media Justice League

When we create loving, sustainable and just media policies, we inject creativity into our culture, accelerate the rate of social change and create stronger communities. Right now the music we hear on corporate radio, the lack of diverse viewpoints in mainstream media and our ability to access the information we want on the Internet and our cell phones are all the result of complex policies that are influenced by a few very rich and rapidly consolidating corporations. This is serious stuff, but together we are more powerful than corporate giants. Join us as we unleash our creativity, humor and collective power to vision a future with media policies that support social justice movements. We will break down complex issues into language that is relevant to us and redefine what’s possible. 

This track will feature games, interactive sessions, skill shares and alternative organizing tactics (i.e., humor/satire) to engage people with media policy issues and get them involved in efforts to create media change. You will leave with a deeper understanding of media policy and tools you can use to share this information with your community.

Coordinators: Jeff Rousset, Prometheus Radio Project; Adriel Thornton, Allied Media Projects; Ana Martina, Prometheus Radio Project

Have you ever imagined a media landscape where media outlets are owned and controlled by social justice movements and not by corporations? Have you wished that critical voices and quality local music would titillate your eardrums over the airwaves? This year the largest expansion of community radio in U.S. history will provide a monumental opportunity to build national media infrastructure for our movements. The Community Radio track will prepare groups to start your own FM radio station. We’ll offer trainings on how to conduct and record interviews, use digital audio equipment, master the skills of audio editing, host a live radio broadcast, webstream, podcast, and apply for a community radio license. Completed audio pieces will air on the AMC radio station.

In addition to providing hands-on instruction for building your station, this track will examine how immigrant organizers use radio to mobilize against raids and deportations; family members with incarcerated loved ones broadcast across prison walls; poets amplify creativity; and how radio is a medium for social justice and transformation across the world.

PRACTICE SPACES

A Practice Space is an experiment  in creating the world we want to see.  It is a space for a network to implement a practice that makes the conference more accessible,  transformative, and wonderful for everyone. Click the headers for each to view the full list of associated sessions.

Coordinators: Juan Martinez, Detroit Summer; Evan Bissell; Bec Young, Just Seeds; Nate Mullen, Detroit Future

The Transformative Art Practice Space is a place to put ideas into practice! Join our hands-on visual art practice space, "science fair" resource center, and skill-sharing sessions. In the hands-on visual art practice space, you can contribute to campaigns that support the work of AMC tracks and networks. In the "science-fair" resource center, participants can find "how-to’s" on a variety of art techniques and info on art projects happening throughout the AMC network. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in discussions and skill-shares about the role of art in movement building. Our approach is inspired by past visual arts spaces at the AMC and our own interdisciplinary art practices. The space is open to both "artists" and "non-artists."

Coordinators: Triana Kazaleh-Sirdenis, Whole Note Healing Collective and Detroit Full Circle Doula Collective; Autumn Brown, Rock Dove Collective; Maryse Mitchell-Brody, Rock Dove Collective

The Healing Justice Practice Space is an all-gendered, all-bodied space for practicing and receiving healing. We will offer all participants in the AMC community massage therapy, energy work, community acupuncture, herbal therapy, counseling, first aid, art therapy, dance, yoga, and more! We will also provide skill-sharing, creative documentation of our process, and '101 workshops' on health and healing justice and its intersections with media-based organizing. 

In this practice space we will collectively build an in-house and online Resource Center to hold the incredible wealth of information and strategies developed by fierce healers and activists around the country. Our work uplifts and politicizes the role of health and healing in our movements as a critical part of the world we are building. We recognize that medicine is media; how we heal ourselves is directly related to how we engage in individual and collective transformation.

Coordinators: Althea Baird, Art Factory; Irina Contreras; Mariana Castañeda; Nisha Ahuja; Wynne Burchenal

Our bodies are maps of our memories, our lineage, our scars, our beauty, the conditions we work and breathe under, our minds. The Movement//Movement space will explore the ways we use our bodies (from the dance floor to the stage to our paths down the sidewalk) to transform our environments, our communities, and ourselves. Decolonizing from the inside out: moving to release the injustice we've internalized in our bodies. We will share performance practices, explore movement and theater for many bodies and abilities, and manifest the relationships between body movement and social movements through structured and unstructured theater and movement classes, technical dance classes, conversations around the role of performance arts in education and our communities.

Coordinators: A'ishah Hils, Savannah Nicole Logsdon-Breakstone, Charone Pagett, Rachel Gadd-Nelson

We are a cosmic practice space happening all over the AMC, with the goal of making the conference more accessible and awesome for folks with disabilities and chronic illnesses. We are practicing the kind of community access, support, and love we know is possible, building fierce community and support by and for disabled and chronically ill folks! We are building on past work at the AMC  to create a sustainable model for crip-led, community-supported access. By building relationships, care, crip/disabled solidarity and solidarity with allies we are empowering those who have been traditionally marginalized, especially queer and trans* people, women, and gender non-conforming disabled/chronically ill people of color. We are resisting the individualization of access in movements and envisioning new ways of building community and being in movement spaces.

Coordinators: Diana Nucera, Allied Media Projects; Sasha Costanza-Chock, MIT Media Lab; Andy Gunn, Open Technology Initiative; Nina Bianchi, Work Department; Janel Yamashiro, Allied Media Projects

The Media-a-Gogo Lab is a multidimensional zone devoted to hands-on and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) work stations and skill-shares. Lab participants will learn DIY media making skills, collaborative design, innovative communications tactics, and build technology (transmitters, device controllers, etc) throughout the weekend. We will create opportunities to analyze, remix and transform our current and future media and technologies! This dynamic space is where we put the Walk to the Talk at the AMC.

Coordinators: Bhavana Nancherla, Lauren Karchmer, Ileana Mendez-Penate

Kids four to twelve will take a magical journey through the stars, planets, and the many tracks and practice spaces of the AMC galaxy. Travel with us through all kinds of space and time, taking trips across Detroit and diving into the depths of our imaginations to dream up infinite possibilities for the future. We will engage in activities where kids can explore their stories and visions for their families, homes, communities, and the earth through creative arts and play. Our goal is to facilitate kids’ involvement throughout the AMC and for every family member to participate in amazing media-making adventures!

Coordinators: Vanessa Maria Graber, Prometheus Radio Project; Sakura Saunders, Prometheus Radio Project; Andalusia Knoll, Thousand Kites; Martin Macias, Radio Arte; Joaquin Uy

Tune in and participate in the 5th annual AMC radio broadcast. Each hour is open to you. AMC track participants will be able to broadcast the latest news in grassroots media justice strategies and transformative organizing. Others new to radio will have the opportunity to learn firsthand the technology and logistics behind creating a basic radio broadcast and web stream. If you are unable get behind the mic, but have your own produced radio segments, then drop off your work for airing.

Coordinators: Leslie Jones and Jason Corwin Green, Guerrillas Youth Media Tech Collective/Guerrilla Griots Media Arts; Lottie Spady, East Michigan Environmental Action Council

Calling all lovers of life! Find out why sustainability is sexy by joining us beyond the four walls of Wayne State for any (or all) of 3 delicious dates: (1) an eye-opening eco-justice tour of Detroit, (2) a kiss-n-tell-yo'-friends intergenerational farm-to-fork dinner featuring a healthy heaping of local foods, and (3) a special edition taping of the new solar-powered tantric cooking show Live Food n Live Fuel for Live Fun in the Sun with Leslie Faith. We guarantee that this won't be any regular ol' courtship! We are going to collectively define what it means to be "green" by practicing principles of sustainability in real time. Life at AMC may seem short, but it sure is sweet. Come out with us this weekend as we live long, strong, and hot while staying cool with Mother Earth!

NETWORK GATHERINGS

A Network Gathering is a day-long mini-conference on Thursday of the AMC. Network Gatherings are strategic planning and organizing spaces to support the year-round collaboration of  groups within a network.

Nation Inside: Communication Strategies Against Mass Incarceration
CLOSED

This network gathering will build off the foundation laid by the Communication Strategies to End the Prison Industrial Complex track at AMC2011. The twenty grassroots organizations who participated in that track have spent the past year building partnerships and launching campaigns, including the national "Prison Phone Justice" campaign, the launch of a national grassroots prison radio project and many others. This year's network gathering will continue to build and advance media strategies for those working to dismantle the prison industrial complex in all of its forms, including: immigration detention centers, isolated prisons, prisoner renting, human rights violations, ICE raids, militarized police occupation of neighborhoods, and the separation of families. Bringing together urban and rural community media organizations we will develop powerful narrative campaigns—combining different forms of media (blogging, low-cost video, radio, print, web, phone, and viral communication) to organize resistance to policing, surveillance, and imprisonment.

May First/People Link 
OPEN TO ALL
We cannot count on using the Internet in the coming years they way we have used it up to now. Hardly a week goes by without a report of a gross violation of privacy, a security breach, an act of government censorship, or another merger or buyout cementing the privatization and centralization of Internet resources.
These trends are accelerating and will affect our ability to organize...unless we step up now. The seeds of the next generation of the Internet, one that counters these repressive trends, are currently being planted, but how they grow and what features are prioritized is still to be worked out.

May First/People Link invites our membership and allies to discuss our movement priorities for the Internet and make collective decisions on what we as a movement want to use and support in the future.

INCITE!
CLOSED - INVITE ONLY

Building on the last five years of INCITE! at the AMC, this year's Network Gathering will be an in-person meeting space for INCITE! network and Media Working Group members to develop our internal communications infrastructure, share skills and trainings, and strategize how to organize ourselves throughout the AMC and the rest of the year. We will continue year-round collaborations, including the participatory development of a Drupal website for communications infrastructure, work on the INCITE blog, and other media-based strategies used by the wider network.  The INCITE! Network Gathering will include skill-shares (may include: collective editing, blogging, chapter-affiliate work) and a zine-making workshop for those who do not wish to participate in the Drupal project. We will continue building a shared approach to ending violence against our communities through diverse media and growing solidarity between movements, organizations, and individuals.

Werk It! Trans & Queer Youth
OPEN TO ALL
Branching Seedz of Resistance and FIERCE are excited to bring you Werk It!, Trans & Queer Youth Network Gathering. Werk It! brings together lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth organizers from across the country for a day of fabulous, creative, and radical media-making and strategizing. Through interactive activities, skill-shares and strategy sessions, we will share knowledge, develop leadership and build a network for strengthening the power of our communities to fight back-locally, regionally and nationally.

Together, we will explore ways to use the AMC as an organizing space to activate ideas developed by queer and trans youth.  We will start implementing social media platforms to amplify youth voices, create mapping tools to share information, and explore ideas for broader collaborations.  We will also discuss ways to build and maintain active, sustainable networks that support youth-organizing efforts across geographical borders, helping us stay connected throughout the year.

Poetry & Music as Transformative Education
OPEN TO ALL

The Poetry & Music as Transformative Education Network Gathering will bring together literary and performing artists, educators, and organizers from across the country.  From youth to elders we will envision and lay foundations for a national literary and performing arts education network based in values of cooperation and collaboration. Over the course of the day, we will share and discuss struggles in creating sustainable models of network building and organizational development. We will explore the arts as a form of social justice education and share our visions for the community we want to be a part of.

Intergalactic Conspiracy of Childcare Collectives
OPEN TO ALL

The Intergalactic Conspiracy of Childcare Collectives (ICCC) is a network of collectives who support grassroots organizing by providing childcare at social justice events and meetings. We came together two years ago at the US Social Forum and continued building together for the AMC2011 Kids Track. Using this foundation, the ICCC Network Gathering will be a space to discuss shared politics and visions for ensuring that social justice movements prioritize family/kid-friendly spaces, intergenerationality, and communal care-taking. We will include conversations on how and why we do this important work, creative space for building resources, and general relationship-building.

This is our day to think through ways that childcare providers across the country can support each other in our work. We welcome childcare providers to attend.

Medios Caminantes 
OPEN TO ALL

Medios Caminantes is a network composed of various social justice groups that are part of the Spanish speaking immigrant community in the US, collaborating with media makers that are part of social movements in Latin America. At this network gathering we want to discuss strategies and organizing efforts against anti-immigrant policies within the US and neoliberal projects across the Global South.  Using a web-based platform, and joint radio broadcasts we hope to create a communication network where participating groups can exchange resources, experiences, skills, strategies and media productions throughout the year.

Medios Caminantes es una red conformada por diversos grupos de la comunidad inmigrante de hispano hablantes en los EU, en colaboracion con medios independientes y movimientos sociales en America Latina, cuya mision es la creacion de justicia social. En esta mini asamblea queremos discutir estrategias y promover la colaboracion para sumar esfuerzos contra politicas anti inmigrantes en los EU asi como rechazar proyectos colonizadores y neoliberales a lo largo de America Latina. A traves del uso de nuestra plataforma web y de transmisiones de radio conjuntas, esperamos crear una red de comunicacion en la cual los grupos puedan intercambiar recursos, experiencias, habilidades, estrategias y producciones mediaticas a lo largo del año.