Freedom Dreams explores the many paths to building a truly just future for everyone. Centered in abolitionist thinking, this podcast, produced by the Detroit Justice Center, expands beyond the realm of criminal justice into conversations around what we could be building and prioritizing instead of punishment and further harm to make our communities genuinely safe.
How Do We Create Health Care that Meets our Needs?
In our penultimate episode of the season, we’re talking about radical solutions in health care. We look at the historical example of the 1970 Lincoln Hospital Takeover in the Bronx with former Black Panther and Young Lord Cleo Silvers. Casey also goes down the history rabbit hole discussing their MA thesis. We also sit down with Fiyah Angel and Rachel Thompson from the Radical Well-Being Center in Southfield, MI to talk about their work in the field of mental health and decolonized healing practices.
Want to learn more about the Lincoln Hospital takeover? We recommend two excellent recent documentaries: Emma Francis-Snyder’s Takeover and Mia Donovan’s Dope Is Death.
To learn more about the Detroit Justice Center and support our work, go here.
How Can We Heal and Reimagine Safe Communities?
In this episode, we explore the building blocks of community safety—namely knowing your community and working together to keep each other safe. We talk to Sirrita Darby, and Bri and Kris, two youth organizers with Detroit Heals Detroit about the work they do to host healing circles for youth in Detroit, and the importance of collective healing. We also sat down with Curtis Renee, a powerful organizer with Detroit Safety Team (and an excellent chef) to talk about the work they’re doing to encourage Detroiters to find alternatives to safety that don’t involve calling police.
Want to find out more about community safety initiatives where you live?
We recommend checking out:
One Million Experiments
Don’t Call The Police
How Do We Make School Ourselves?
In this episode, we explore place-based education (PBE)—the pedagogy behind it, and how it works in practice. We talk to Ethan Lowenstein, Director of the SE Michigan Stewardship Coalition about the impact being rooted in place can have on a child's education. We also speak to Julia Putnam, Amanda Rosman, and Marisol Teachworth of The James and Grace Lee Boggs School, a K-8 school on Detroit's east side that "immerses students in local heritage, cultures, landscapes, opportunities, and experiences, using these as a foundation for the study of language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum." And in the plot twist of the season, we learn that Casey taught art at the Boggs School for a year.
Want to learn more about James & Grace Lee Boggs? This article from Yes! Magazine featuring Julia Putnam & The Boggs Center are excellent starting points.
How Do We Ensure our City Budgets Reflect Our Priorities?
In this episode, we dig into participatory budgeting with Shari Davis, Co-Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project to better understand how an expansion of the democratic process can benefit communities. We also speak with Angelica Chazaro, an organizer with Decriminalize Seattle to discuss Seattle's movement to defund police, as well as PG Watkins, Director of Detroit's Black Bottom Archives, and community organizer about the durational fight for a people's budget in Detroit.
Want to learn more about how to organize around defunding police and investing in communities?
Interrupting Criminalization's The Demand Is Still Defund report: an excellent resource on how to run #defund budget fights.
How Can Cooperative Economics Help Us Build Collective Power?
In this episode we speak to DJC staff attorney Whitley Granberry and Jerry Hebron who runs Oakland Avenue Urban Farm in Detroit’s North End. Our guests deliver a powerful summary of what cooperative economics are, and how they serve to shore up equity for future generations. We’ll also talk to Jerry about ancestral recipes and how her farm's delicious Afro-Jam came about.
To learn more about and support our work, visit detroitjustice.org/donate.
Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice by Jessica Gordon Nembhard
Non-profit urban farm in Detroit still helping amid COVID-19 outbreak
How Can You Shut Down Your City Jail?
In this episode, we speak to Marilyn Winn and Xochitl Bervera, two lead organizers in the fight to close the Atlanta City Jail. Our guests lead us through the fight to get laws stricken from the books, ensuring that the jails population would dwindle or “starving the beast” as they call it. Learn more about their campaign and about the Center for Wellness and Freedom, the community wellness hub they intend to replace the jail.
To learn more about and support our work at the Detroit Justice Center, visit detroitjustice.org/donate.
The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale
'Starving The Beast': The Women Working To Close a Misused Atlanta Jail
Thoughtful and Thought-Provoking
The Detriot Justice Center team does a fantastic job tackling complex topics and making those topics easy to understand while making the episodes easy to listen to. I love that they include expert voices and give a platform for local leaders to share their thoughts and experiences. Casey and Amanda are incredible hosts, and I cannot wait for their next episode.
Such a great podcast!
It’s opened my eyes to dream bigger for social justice. I’m looking forward to learning more from whatever great projects and guests are featured next!