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Want to read my writing? Check People’s Production House

In order to simplify my life and give the company that pays me the full value of my work and energy, I will now be posting to my blog on the People’s Production House website. RSS feed coming soon.


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AMC promo spots for radio and video

Thanks, Nadia, for compiling these testimonials from the ’06 conference to get everyone excited for the 2007 AMC. Check it out on YouTube.

And thanks to the Detroiters who voiced and produced the audio psa. Let’s get it on the radio.

Speaking of getting on the radio, I got to hear about Detroit Summer’s Live Arts Media Project and their recent Midwest tour on the radio yesterday. I don’t know if there’s a podcast [update: to listen, go here and in the WDET Program Archives select Detroit Today for Thursday April 26] but I’ll be sharing more about that project soon. Detroit Summer is doing the most innovative, holistic media education and organizing that I know of. And they are the host of the AMC youth track host and organizer of this year’s Symposium on Popular Education.

The 2007 promos tell you much more about the conference than the radio and video ones we threw together last year. And yes, there will be bowling this year. Representation vs. Reality

Plus, don’t forget the AMC benefit art show “Representation vs. Reality” this weekend at the West Hancock Gallery of Wayne State University. This Saturday, from 5-9, come to the WSU Student-Run Gallery for an AMC-related art show! There will be work from local and national artists and media makers, engaging with the theme of media and media representation

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AMC 2007: The Time to Register is Now

The 9th annual Allied Media Conference:
“Breaking Silence, Building Movements”
June 22-24, 2007
Detroit, MI

With just two months left until we gather in Detroit for the 2007 Allied Media Conference, winter has finally fled the midwest. The conference program is taking shape and the website is humming with anticipation. That means it’s time for you to pre-register.

Pre-registration is the lifeblood of the AMC. It’s how we know what size venues to secure, how many bicycles to prepare, and how many programs to print. Your registrations also provide most of the funding for the conference.

Aside from ensuring the best conference possible, your pre-registration gets your organization listed on the participants page, gets you prime location for your display table, and – for the next 5 people who complete their registration – gets you a FREE 1 year subscription to Critical Moment, Southeast Michigan’s premier news-and-views publication.

Make this conference happen by registering now at

Thanks for all of your support!

The AMC 2007 organizers

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The 9th annual Allied Media Conference: “Breaking Silence, Building Movements”

The long awaited opening announcement of the 2007 Allied Media Conference, including the call for session proposals, went out this morning:

The 9th annual Allied Media Conference:

“Breaking Silence, Building Movements”

June 22-24, 2007

Detroit, MI

Because so many voices have been silenced by corporate media. Because media should be a tool for communication and transformation and not a commodity to passively consume. Because our stories have been misrepresented, misinterpreted, and straight up missing…

We need a participatory media movement to change the world.

To all of you brilliant supporters of the Allied Media Conference: It’s official. The 2007 AMC is coming to Detroit. Block off June 22-24 in your 2007 calendars for one of the most engaging and inspiring events that you will ever attend.

Keep reading for more information, or go to


It’s getting louder and louder out there. Though much of humanity is still silenced, more people than ever are speaking out. Whether it be with high-tech tools like blogs, video cameras, and MPCs, or lo-fi tools like spray paint or the spoken word, people are voicing their truths and forging new connections. For eight years, the Allied Media Conference has contributed to that by providing hands-on trainings, accessible discussions, and a supportive community.

Now in its ninth year, the AMC will continue to provide a critical space for us to strategize on the role of media in our communities and movements. In a time of escalating war, and the daily violence of neoliberal policies, we need media that amplifies the voices of those most affected by these crises. We need media that not only breaks silence, but mobilizes people to envision alternatives and to take action.

Read the entire AMC 2007 vision statement.


Let us know what you want to see at this year’s AMC. There is an easy-to-use form on the conference website where you can submit proposals for workshops, panel discussions, presentations, caucus, film programs, or speakers. You can let us know if it’s something you want to present or if it’s something you’d like to attend.

Propose a session. (Deadline March 15.)


The Allied Media Conference is an annual, weekend-long gathering of influential, alternative media-makers and committed social justice activists. The AMC is a vital contributor to the growth of a large-scale social movement around media that centers issues of race, class, gender and other systems of oppression at its focal point.

The Allied Media Conference brings together a phenomenal cross-section of media workers: daring filmmakers, ambitious radio producers, serious publishers, skilled web designers, and artists whose work “makes revolution irresistible.” It is organized by a team of activists in Detroit, supported by many local organizations and long-time conference participants.

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NCMR: Independent Media as an Organizing Tool

Adrienne Maree Brown, The Ruckus Society (moderator)
Shivaani Selvaraj, Philly IMC Media Mobilizing Project
Jenny Lee, Live Arts Media Project
Kat Aaron, co-Director of People’s Production House

listen to the mp3 of this discussion

(Adrienne was just telling me I don’t take credit for things. I hardly think that’s true – see every blog post where I crib other people’s ideas – but I’ll take her advice and admit I proposed this session. I was pleasantly surprised that it was accepted by Free Press. These are some of the most inspiring folks in the movement, along with all of the people they work with.)


Adrienne Maree Brown, The Ruckus Society

This is media that changes the producer, the participant, and hopefully the receiver forever.

We’re going to talk about it, then we’re going to do some popular education workshops so you walk out of here knowing how to do this in your own community.


Shivaani Selvaraj, Philly IMC Media Mobilizing Project

I love being an organizer. I have an agenda for building a social movement in this country. I have experience with different models of organizing:

Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Compaign inspired by MLK
Media Mobilizing Project of the Philly IMC
Media Empowerment Project, affiliated with the United Church of Christ

Today going to focus on MMP:

The media is less about informing the public, more about transformation. Fighting for a just media alongside fighting for a just society.

Working with taxi workers, hotel workers, anti casino, anti gentrification, and a collaboration with Head Start, which is poor-led. We help with political education, an analysis of power, a discussion of frameworks.

Nijmie Dzurinko, also with MMP:

sharing a story about the casino fight. We got involved because we live in a time when the state is doing whatever it can to enhance profit, making up shortfalls in their budgets from federal cuts.

Neighborhoods were having trouble because of the images being fed to them, the inability to get information about what kinds of profits

Focused on completing 4 or 5 minute-long pieces that engaged key issues, broke down casino-propaganda machine. Showing how different groups that had been divided along racial and economic lines were united in this issue. Worked with groups to complete the pieces, then distributed 500 DVDs around the community to get people involved.


Jenny Lee, Live Arts Media Project

Ilana described phase 1 of LAMP in the previous session. I’m going to talk about phase 2.

LAMP grew out of Detroit Summer, which was started over 10 years ago by veterans of the Detroit Black power movement.

Addresses the school crisis in Detroit, in particular the dropout crisis, which is
evacuation from the auto industry has crippled the city
DPS closed 50 schools
95 more will close by 2008
Catholic schools all closed last year.
Those that remain are increasingly militarized. Dress code that lead to suspensions that lead to more dropouts.
DPS is now the number one employer in the city, which makes the union extremely powerful.

The goal of LAMP was to center young people’s voices in this debate.

We trained youth to do interviews with other youth, they interviewed other young people, as well as the principals.

We saw that the process by which we actually make the media is a method of organizing.

After the summer, they completed the CD, and started thinking about distribution. How to get it into schools and into community centers?

The production process had yielded a supportive network of educators.

The way we distribute it is also an organizing tool.

Wanted to apply creative methods to distribution, as with production. That process needed to centralize youth as well, so they turned to popular education to develop the popular education curriculum.

The teaching is also an organizing tool.

Played a clip about criminilization of youth in the schools. The montage of interviews went right into a hip hop song about it, “12 Steps to Oblivion.”

Jenny then asked the audience what stood out to them in the track and asked a few other questions to bring out the impact it had.

Taking the CD on tour.


Kat Aaron, co-Director of People’s Production House

Kat’s also a producer of Wakeup Call, on WBAI, of which her co-director, Deepa Fernandes, is the host, Everyone who works at PPH is a media maker and a media teacher. We partner with groups to help them make media that supports their organizing. Radio Rootz which works with kids, media production and media literacy. And CNPI that works with low-wage workers.

We organize for media justice

Participatory media is about creating and distributing media but also understanding how it works, how it gets to you. “Opening the doors to media is not the same as media justice.” Different people are told different things about what stories are valuable, who is important.

Not that everyone will be a journalist, but emphasizing to young people that their stories are important and helping them figure out how to communicate.

We teach people how to edit, which is incredibly important so it’s not them gathering stories that the experts edit. We want people to be able to leave our organization, so they need to have the full range of skills.

One of the groups CNPI works with is street vendors. A POC and mostly immigrant workforce, they call themselves the smallest of small businesses. They get ridiculous fines. They had been attending City Council hearings on those fines, but when they came as press, it allowed them to confront Councilmembers in a different way. Their presence at the City Council hearings has an impact on the decisionmaking because the Councilmembers know someone is watching.

Played clip from Domestic Workers United. DWU went to Albany to make their case and they brought their own reporters.

They play these clips not just on WBAI, but around their community for other workers and the people they are trying to organize.

The summer program matched a group of youth with a community organization, which helped teach the youth about organizing. Instead of just publicizing their own
work, they all chose to address issues in their community that were not being discussed.

Played clip from group that addressed the issue of South Asian gangs, which no one was addressing. Now the community organizing group uses the piece to kick off discussions around their community.

Everyone asks, how do you engage people in discussing media policy. Kat ran a small workshop they use to teach 12-year-olds about media consolidation. Everyone writes down their own, idiosyncratic station play list. Then you crumple them up and force them to collaborate, which ultimately yields the lowest common denominator.

(Here’s my station:
Wakeup Call
Radio Rootz hour
LAMP hour
BBC World Service
Yankee games
Brooklyn Hip Hop hour)

End with big plug for Allied Media Conference, where these discussions and models are the main focus of the conference.

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The Ethos Group: Thoughtful Infrastructure as a Platform for Media Reform

There are two panels today with moderators from The Ethos Group:

Dharma, Sascha, and I are the principals of The Ethos Group, which we launched back in June.

To clarify the strategic underpinnings of our work and to make the case for building new, more democratic, community-defined infrastructure, we’ve composed a statement.

In short, digital convergence (the consolidation of multiple media into the single, digital medium of the Internet) and wireless technology (affordable networks that use open, unlicensed spectrum) make this a critical juncture in telecommunications history; now is the time to examine and invest in broadband infrastructure.

The Ethos Group is also very fortunate to have been awarded a grant from the nascent Media Democracy Fund to conduct and compile research in this field. We are seeing an explosion in research on and experimentation in wireless, but there is no one-stop-shop for information and there are many gaps in the knowledge.

More importantly, corporate wireless ISPs and their allies are learning at a faster rate than the community advocates who have to face off with them over the future of their local communications infrastructure. With this new support from the Media Democracy Fund, we aim to level that playing field.

Come to the panels to learn more or contact us.

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Fwd: Emergency Message from Clamor Magazine

Anyone who reads this blog is likely able to offer the cliché, “I gave at the office.” I’m sure many of you also donate funds to worthy projects.

But in light of this message below from Clamor Magazine and for all of the hard battles of the past year, I hope we can go even further in this particular season of giving.

I’ve donated to many of these groups in the past. This year, I’m trying to multiply my usual amount by 5 in recognition of increasing need and importance. (I’m also fortunate enough to have been employed about five times as much this year as in the past, so I can do that.) If ever there was a situation where every bit would help, this is it:

Subject: Fwd: Emergency Message from Clamor Magazine
From: <>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 09:01:43 -0600

First, we’d like to thank everyone for the well-wishes and concern you’ve shared with us following the announcement that Clamor would be ceasing publication.

Today we are writing to ask you to help us protect and sustain Clamor’s closest allies:

Just Seeds, Left Turn Magazine, Spread Magazine, Critical Moment, Alternative Press Review,, Faesthetic, Vegan Freak, and Left Out all use the online infoshop we’ve built over the last few years.

On Friday December 15, we received word that Sky Bank, one of the banks to which Clamor owes money, froze our bank account and intends to block the transfer of the infoshop to the crew that was going to take it over. This move runs counter to what we (our lawyer included) thought would happen, and it has profound repercussions for the people and projects that were depending on us to continue providing distribution and making regular payments.

The sense of loss we have felt in closing Clamor is completely overshadowed by the knowledge that we have jeopardized these otherwise growing and healthy projects. Without the money Clamor owes them, some of these projects will not survive.

WE NEED YOUR HELP to ensure that these valuable independent media projects do not go down along with Clamor. You are probably receiving many requests at this time of year. These are all incredible projects that you should support on a regular basis, but it is urgent that you offer that support right now.

Your direct donations will not affect our debt to them, but given the bank’s the strength and aggressiveness at pursuing our limited business and personal resources, this is only way we can see to repay them.

There are thousands of active Clamor supporters out there. Please stay active: use the following links to make donations directly to one or more of these projects or contact us to make tax-deductible donations of $500 or more.

justseeds has been the only spot to find socially conscious street art, anarchist literature and political printmaking all in one place online. Please donate to help Josh MacPhee continue this important work. The future of justseeds depends on you.

Left Turn is an international network of activists committed to exposing and fighting the consequences of global capitalism and imperialism. Through Left Turn magazine, and face-to-face forums, we amplify voices of those on the frontlines of radical struggles for social justice, and provide resources for strategy-building and reflection. We are on the brink of survival financially and the seizure of funds owed to us has been a major blow. We hope you will contribute and/or subscribe as a testament to the importance of supporting radical independent media.

$pread Magazine is a quarterly, glossy magazine by and for sex workers and those who support their rights. This current situation may have grave effects on their future ability to continue publishing. Please step up and donate using their link.

Critical Moment is an independent community newspaper serving Southeast Michigan. For the past three years, we have featured hundreds of authors, provided critical analysis of issues facing local communities, and championed various forms of resistance taking place in our area. But the future of Critical Moment is in jeopardy due in part to the recent collapse of infoSHOP direct. Please help us reach our modest goal of $1000 so that we can print our 20th issue and continue to provide a critical voice to Southeast Michigan. Go to to make a donation or subscribe.

———- & Practical Anarchy are the online resource for radical news, opinion, and information as well as the occasional zine focusing on practical aspects of anarchism. Please help them weather this storm by donating.

Faesthetic is a yearly graphic design & art magazine printed in small quantities with submissions from talented creatives from around the world. Please donate via paypal to his account info (at)

If you would like to donate to Jen and Jason’s legal support, please donate via paypal to our account at jason (at)

In frustration and solidarity,
Jason and Jen

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