Our Network 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” (no relation to Detroit Future City) through which we trained hundreds of Detroit community leaders in media-based organizing skills.
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 for liberation. These sponsored projects constitute a network of “allied media projects” who pool resources to access vital administrative support in the areas of accounting, HR, fundraising, and communications through AMP. 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. Approximately 50% of AMP’s 150 sponsored projects are Detroit-based.
Many of the projects in the AMP Sponsored Projects network were incubated through workshops, tracks, and strategy sessions at the AMC. For example, the Design Justice Network was seeded through an AMC2015 workshop where participants co-designed a set of design justice principles. Today, nearly 2,000 designers have endorsed those principles and are working together to make the field of design more equitable and just.
The AMC has also been a place where we practice small-scale pilots of the world in which we want to live. Some of those pilots have blossomed over time into large-scale organizing efforts. For example, the AMC Safety Team was created to provide emotional support to participants and to help address interpersonal conflict. It grew out of several years of AMC workshops and tracks focused on transformative justice and community accountability led by Shira Hassan, Leah Lakshmi, and many others. The Detroit Safety Team emerged out of this AMC pilot and is now a city-wide effort to support communities in building safety infrastructure that will offer alternatives to police.
In its 21 year history, there are many movements that have passed through the AMC and in doing so have shaped and been shaped by it, from the Movement for Black Lives, to the movement for Community Radio, the Disability Justice movement, and the abolition movement. The AMC is fertile ground that strengthens movements with critical connections. It enriches us with the ideas, skills, and relationships we need to create new liberatory worlds.