Allied Media Projects Introduces a Virtual Spring Speaker Series

The series, dubbed ‘Bloom,’ brings togethers artists and organizers for discussions around music, healing, politics and more.

Allied Media Projects
Liz Kennedy of Lead to Life, 'Ancestral Ceremonies'

Allied Media Projects is flourishing with its new speaker series, Bloom. The four-part virtual experience will join together local and national artists, community organizers and changemakers to discuss everything from politics to environmental issues.

The series will begin with “Youth Power” on April 29, which will showcase how young people have and continue to lead the charge with regard to cultural and political reform. Nandi Comer, director of Allied Media’s Speakers Bureau says, “It’s the youth that are doing a lot of the work; it’s the youth that is on the front line. It’s been that way historically, and it feels natural that we start with the youth.” 

The program will feature Vanessa Ann Sanchez and Melissa Regalado of Yollocalli Arts Reach, along with Adrienne Ayers and Nia Barnes of Afrofuture Youth Detroit. Yollocalli Arts Reach is a nationally recognized, award-winning youth program that showcases the history of youth organizers and their impact in transforming their communities. Afrofuture Youth Detroit is a youth-led initiative creating spaces for Afrofuturism in tech, art and healing.  

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The second series on May 13 is “Undocumented & Unafraid.” This discussion will explore the people in the United States who live, fear, thrive and create communities here without legal documentation. Brenda Hernandez, Allied Media Projects events manager, says this conversation is important because, “Some people are uncomfortable naming themselves undocumented, and some people live in the truth and say ‘I’m here, and I’m not sad about it.’” 

Patrice Lawrence of UndocuBlack Network, Jennicet Gutierrez of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement will lead the discussion while Damon Williams and Daniel Kisslinger of the AirGo podcast moderate. UndocuBlack Network is a multigenerational community of formerly and currently undocumented Black people working toward their version of the American dream. Familia TQLM works to empower Latinx queer and trans individuals to bring liberation throughout the community through organizing, advocacy and more. 

The next series happening on May 27 is “Ancestral Ceremonies” and will feature the collective Lead to Life as they invite us into their ritual practices. Lead to Life is an Oakland-born trans collective led by Black queer healers, ecologists and artists, working to diminish racial and environmental issues through ceremony and art practices. 

Hernandez of Allied Media says, “They go to towns and request that people donate weapons, and they will melt them down in the ceremony to make gardening tools and use those tools to plant trees and flowers to shift the alchemy and the spirit of the material – and also of the energy of a particular space.”

The series concludes as they explore “Deep Work” on June 10. They will delve into the concept of transforming through the process of making and not the result of the made. It will feature artist and producer Sterling Toles and artist Boldy James, both Detroiters.

The two will showcase their collaboration Manger on McNichols, a decade-in-the-making album that led to transformation in their lives. Each recorded listening session is 60 minutes and will live on Allied Media Projects’ YouTube channel. They are offering ASL interpretation, speech-to-text and live Spanish interpretation throughout the series.

Tune in on April 29, May 13, May 27 and on June 10 at 5 p.m. Register at alliedmedia.org.

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