In June 2010, Detroit will be a city engaged in social transformation.

The12th annual Allied Media Conference (AMC) will be held at Wayne State University June 17-20, followed by the second United States Social Forum (USSF) in downtown Detroit June 21-26. The AMC is a network of networks – youth organizations, international solidarity activists, antiviolence organizers, technologists, educators, media reform advocates, alternative economists, musicians and artists, disability justice activists, and many others – all using media in innovative ways. These networks convene every summer in Detroit to cultivate strategies for a more just and creative world. For the AMC, Detroit is important as a source of innovative, collaborative, low-resource solutions. Detroit gives the conference a sense of place, just as each of the conference participants bring their own sense of place with them to the conference. The World Social Forum (WSF) was organized in 2001 in response to the annual World Economic Forum, where the world’s rich and powerful gather to plan the direction of the world. In response, people’s movements around the world, particularly the global South, asserted their own ideas for the direction of the world, and worked to come together to think about and plan this different world at the first WSF in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The movement continued to build, and the first US Forum was organized in 2007 in Atlanta, GA, where 15,000 people participated. More and more people realize the systems of violence and exploitation we have in place – no matter how much we organize within those systems – are not going to serve us. The organizers and participants of the AMC and the USSF already realize this, and are working on new ways we’re going to live and survive and be with each other. In Detroit, we have long traditions of alternative system-building – from our urban agriculture and our housing takeovers, to our legacy of independent media and cultural transformation through music and art. Both gatherings will lift up these models and bring new energy into them. We have a stake in making Detroit a place where people who grew up here want, and are able, to stay, and to where those who left to pursue their passions can come home. Detroit is also a place people fall in love with and decide to move to. We have a stake in making sure this happens respectfully and accountably. The AMC and USSF have the potential to shift the way people stay in Detroit and relate to Detroit. Inspired by the AMC's model where everyone teaches and everyone learns, the lessons of Detroit will be at the forefront of both gatherings and Detroiters will be able to learn from emerging solutions in other cities around the world. Both the AMC and the USSF are processes – these events are not the beginning and end of transformation in our lives and our world, but part of the larger process of movement building. They provide opportunities for us to turn from the practices of the last century, and begin new post-industrial, post-partisan ways of being. We’re all the leaders in that movement and in that turning, and believe this is a great time to bring thousands of people together to share in this experience and this moment. In 2009, the AMC theme was ‘We Are Ready Now.’ Detroit is ready to show the world what it means to be ready for alternatives, for new solutions, and to think intentionally about the type of transformation and change we need in the world today. Signed, The Allied Media Conference and the United States Social Forum April, 2010

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