A large group of Black folx joining the stage at the AMC Opening Ceremony, waving their arms in the air

The Allied Media Conference emerges out of 20 years of relationship-building across issues, identities, organizing practices and creative mediums.

Since the first conference (then the Midwest Zine Conference) in 1999, people have been compelled by the concept of do-it-yourself media. The zine conference was rebranded as the “Underground Publishing Conference” for a couple years and then became the Allied Media Conference in 2002. The shift to Allied Media attracted more people who were interested in using participatory media as a strategy for social justice organizing.

Allied Media Projects and the AMC moved from its home in Bowling Green, OH to Detroit in 2007. The move facilitated more young people, queer people, people of color and low-income communities to participate in the conference. More artists and organizers from Detroit were participating, and people from other places were excited to learn from Detroit’s legacy as a Black Power and Labor Movement city. Detroit offered many examples of visionary organizing models emerging in the midst of post-industrial crisis; at the same time, out-of-town visitors to the AMC brought with them skills and experiences from their home communities that were valuable to Detroiters.

At the core of the AMC is a theory and practice of media-based organizing, or any collaborative process that uses media, art, or technology to address the roots of problems and advance holistic solutions towards a more just and creative world.

AMC Team

Staff

Nadine Marshall on yellow background

Nadine Marshall, AMC Co-Director 

Nadine Marshall (They/Them) is the Co-Director of the Allied Media Conference. As the CoDirector their focus is on leading and stewarding the Biennial AMC convening in Detroit. Nadine joined the Allied Media Project’s team in 2017 where they co-organized the 20th AMC and facilitated the AMC’s Year in Chrysalis. 

In 2017, Nadine received their MSW from Wayne State University. Their work seeks to intentionally support and create spaces where artists, organizers, and social justice organizations can connect and grow their work. Outside of AMP, Nadine is a writer, a 2019 Lambda Literary Emerging Writers Fellow in Poetry and Crescendo Literary Poetry Incubator Fellow. Their work can be read in various publications online. 

Brenda Hernandez on a blue background

Brenda Hernandez, AMC Co-Director

Brenda (she/her/hers) is the CoDirector of the Allied Media Conference. As the CoDirector she will support AMP’s growth outside of Detroit by stewarding the Allied Media Seeds.She has extensive experience in art education, youth development, as well as event and exhibition production. Brenda has led community and youth centered initiatives at the Chicago Humanities Festival, Mozilla Foundation and Yollocalli Arts Reach; and serves on the Board of the Public Media Institute.

A proud Chicagoan, raised in Mexico, she enjoys living in the Southside of Chicago with her partner and dogs Conchita and Kirby. You may catch them watching cartoons and dancing to the smooth jams of the 70’s and 80’s.

Headshot of Liz Kennedy

Liz Kennedy, AMC Program Coordinator

Liz (she/her/they/them) is a storyteller and organizer imagining just and regenerative futures in Detroit (occupied Waawiyaataanong). She joined AMP in 2019 after attending her first Allied Media Conference in 2018. As Program Coordinator for the AMC and AMSeeds, she’s passionate about creating spaces for artists and organizers to strategize, celebrate, and cross-pollinate across movements and mediums. Prior to joining AMP she worked as a Research & Policy Analyst with the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, where she co-authored research on just transition, LGBTQIA+ responsive climate adaptation, and more. Outside of AMP, Liz alchemizes with Lead to Life, a collective of queer artists that transforms guns into shovels and other life-affirming tools through public alchemy ceremonies, and uses those tools to lead tree plantings at sites impacted by violence. As an intersectional black feminist, she’s committed to uniting and queering transnational struggles for justice.

– – – 

Nadine, Brenda, and Liz are supported by all of the Allied Media Projects staff and board, but especially:

Una Lee, Design Director

Jon Riley, Technology Manager

Soh Suzuki, Office Manager 

Jeanette Lee, Executive Director

A group of nine people of various races sitting on the floor of a classroom. They have their eyes closed and appear to be singing or chanting.

AMC2020 Partners and Consultants 

Mainstream Media, Virtual Production Partner (main events)

Peoples’ Hub, Virtual Production Partner (interactive sessions)

Tunde Olaniran, Opening Ceremony Producer

Eryka Marie, AMC@Night Producer

Ora Wise, Culinary Events Producer

Brian Oscar / Stableheed, Welcome Party Producer

RV Mendoza, Social Media + Digital Host

Imani Mixon, Social Media + live-tweeting

Lupe Pérez, Graphic Design

Zahra Agjee, Graphic Design Project Management

Ani Gregorian, Accessibility

Catalina Nieto, Language Justice 

Bex Hong Hurwitz, Digital Safety

Threespot Media, Website

Sean Coté, Website

Maya Chun, Tech Support

Olu & Company, PR

Once Custom City, T-shirts & Posters

The Detroit Safety Team

Healing by Choice

The Detroit Narrative Agency

AMC User Experience Testers

Jessica Lee

Fran Dorn

A group of four people filming another person outside on the grass.

AMC2020 Advisory Board

The AMC Advisory Board is made up of AMCers who have a love for the conference, experience organizing within the space, and a desire to see the AMC get better. In the past, the Advisory Board has focused on things like welcoming new participants into the AMC network, curating opportunities for more intergenerational engagement, and building the capacity of the Safety Team.

Shey Rivera
Rhonda Anderson
Sage Crump
Tameka Spruce
Jacob Wheeler
Bree Gant
Zena Addae
Shea Howell
Ahya Simone
Antonio Cosme

AMC2020 Session Reviewers

Halima Cassells
Erin Allen
Carlos Pareja
Ola Ronke
Anne Cong-Huyen
Kate McCabe
Robin E. Markle
Shiva Shahmir
Nick Wylie
Veronica Miller
Hana Sun
Naomi Silver
PG Watkins
La Tony Alvarado
Moya Bailey
Kristy la rAt
Joy Messinger
Ngoc Tran Vu
Jade Begay
Celeste Welch

History

Allied Media Projects and the AMC moved from its home in Bowling Green, OH to Detroit in 2007. The move facilitated more young people, queer people, people of color and low-income communities to participate in the conference. More artists and organizers from Detroit were participating, and people from other places were excited to learn from Detroit’s legacy as a Black Power and Labor Movement city. Detroit offered many examples of visionary organizing models emerging in the midst of post-industrial crisis; at the same time, out-of-town visitors to the AMC brought with them skills and experiences from their home communities that were valuable to Detroiters.

A group of a dozen or more people walking down a hallway during the AMC. They are smiling and wearing colorful clothing.

Brief Timeline of the AMC 1999-2019

  • 1999: Allied Media Conference founded as the “Midwest Zine Conference” in Bowling Green, Ohio.
  • 2002: The conference is renamed the “Allied Media Conference” (AMC) and Allied Media Projects is founded as the umbrella organization that coordinates the AMC.
  • 2007: The AMC moves to Detroit.
  • 2008: The AMC begins using “Tracks” to organize sessions that focus on a specific theme.
  • 2009: The AMC surpasses 1000 attendees.
  • 2012: “Practice Spaces” and “Network Gatherings” are introduced as new ways for attendees to engage at the conference.
  • 2015: The AMC surpasses 2,500 attendees – our largest attendance number to date. “AMC @ Night,” a five-day music festival during the AMC, showcases local and national musical talent.
  • 2016: The tenth anniversary of the AMC moving to Detroit!
  • 2018: The AMC celebrates its 20th anniversary!
  • 2019: The AMC takes a Year in Chrysalis

Program Guides

2007 Program guide cover
2013 Program guide cover
2018 Program guide cover

The Allied Media Conference began as the “Midwest Zine Conference” in 1999, with a focus on underground publishing and do-it-yourself media. In 2007 the conference moved from Bowling Green, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan. Check out the program guidebooks from past conferences:

Beyond the AMC

Since our move to Detroit in 2007, Allied Media Projects has supported media-based education and organizing efforts beyond the annual Allied Media Conference. From 2009 – 2013 we worked as part of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition to implement a city-wide media arts and technology initiative called “Detroit Future” through which we trained hundreds of Detroit community leaders in media-based organizing skills.

discoball

In 2014 AMP launched the Sponsored Projects program which provides a range of supportive services to projects that align with our mission of cultivating media strategies for a more just, creative, and collaborative world. These sponsored projects constitute a network of “allied media projects” who are pooling resources to access, through AMP, vital back-end management resources in accounting, fundraising, and communications. For our network’s grassroots projects, working under the AMP umbrella helps relieve the burden of having to choose between becoming an independent 501c3 and being under-resourced.

The work of organizing the AMC changes constantly, and there is no perfect formula for how we do this work. But embedded into every conference organizing cycle are a set of principles, which AMP has distilled from our network after years of listening. These principles are also threaded throughout the growing network of Sponsored Projects that AMP supports year-round. Read the AMP Network Principles.

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