This quote is from Allied Media Conference’s 2013 opening ceremony. Self-described as a “collaborative laboratory of media-based organizing strategies for transforming our world,” AMC is an annual convening of youth, media makers, artists and organizers in Detroit. Over the course of a few days, 2,000 people come to Wayne State University to strategize about how to make the world a better place, to learn together and to play together. AMC is place-based in nature, and many of the sessions are rooted in specific communities, from Detroit to New Orleans to Minneapolis.
This year, in partnership with Detroit Future Youth, Youthprise worked to cultivate and support youth-centered spaces, sessions, and movement building at the conference. With that in mind, we designed the “Youth Media & Movements” track. We know that youth are essential to movement building and we asked for session proposals that were youth-centered. This means sessions were designed and facilitated by and for youth; were accessible and hands-on; and promoted the diversity of voices, skills and wisdom that youth around the world have to offer.
In total, the youth track received an overwhelming number of 40 session proposals for 8 spots. Twelve of these session proposals were from Minnesota-based organizations, many of which are Youthprise partners. After the coordinators narrowed down the accepted proposals, four of the eight proposals accepted in the youth track were from Minnesota. They were:
- Akicita Teca: Decolonizing Education
- Juxtaposition Arts: Arts, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability
- Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center: Illuminate Your Cause
- SPNN: Youth Advisory Councils (General track)
In addition to supporting session proposals from other organizations, Youthprise’s Youth Research team coordinated a session as part of the Research Justice track, which offered an opportunity to share innovative work Youthprise is spearheading in Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) and research justice. In collaboration with Uhuru Black Scholars, Neighborhood Hub’s Health Disparity Project and Akicita Teca, Youthprise’s research team provided hands-on activities to show how youth-led research can be done.
Youthprise prioritized participation in AMC to achieve five goals:
- Build capacity for Youthprise grantees, partners and the field in Minnesota,
- Elevate Minnesotan organizations as a leaders in youth/adult partnerships on a national level,
- Create collateral for Youthprise’s media campaign designed to build capacity around youth/adult partnerships; and
- Grow internal capacity around the use of innovative technologies.