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Idlewild, MI - July 27 to 29, 2018

We The People - MI is bringing together local leaders from every corner of the state for The Idlewild Convening in Idlewild, MI. We will learn from each other while building relationships, learn with each other during workshops, and ratify the People’s Agenda that honors the voices, aspirations and struggles of Michigan’s diverse identities and regions.

We’re bringing communities that have faced struggle in isolation — rural white communities, Native communities, new immigrants, black and brown communities in Michigan cities — to begin building a strong foundation together. We chose Idlewild for this foundational event because of its rich history and cultural significance. There, we will create a culturally competent space that celebrates individual identities and our new community.


Schedule of Events


2 pm
Exhibit center — Get registered and settled in!

3:30 pm
Welcome & Opening Conversation
Conference hall — Learn more about We The People, hear what’s in store for the weekend, and set community agreements together.

4:30 pm
Why We Fight: Stories from Across the State
Conference hall — Leaders from around the state will share powerful stories of why they fight for their communities and for the future of Michigan.

5 pm
Honoring Idlewild
Conference hall — Hear from Judith Griffin and Colleen Carrington-Atkins, residents and visionaries of Idlewild. They’ll honor us with the history, struggles, and hopes for Idlewild.  

5:30 pm
Dinner and Table Conversations
Conference hall — We welcome Executive Chef Stef and jump into an interactive dinner program! We know that building long-term power in Michigan begins with strong relationships with leaders in every corner of the state. We continue that through dinner. 

7 pm
Ceremony to Honor Anishinaabe Land
Will be announced — Join Linda Cypret to celebrate and honor the Indigenous land we share this weekend with a Pipe and Water ceremony. Any women who are in their moon cycle during the time of the ceremony are asked not to participate. Absolutely no photography or video recording.



8 am
Conference hall — Join everyone for a light breakfast.

9 am
Morning Welcome with Guests
Conference hall — Special guests Saru Jayaraman and Jane Fonda greet us as we begin the day.   

9:30 am
Plenary Workshop: Corporate Power and Structural Racism in Michigan
Conference hall — Maurice BP-Weeks of Action Center on Race and the Economy, and Molly Gott and Munira Lokhandwala of Little Sis lead us in an interactive session on the historical roots, and modern manifestation of corporate power and structural racism in Michigan.

12 pm
Conference hall — The Idlewild Convening is half over! Fuel up during lunch so we can continue building with each other. Don’t forget the museum and gift shop are open on Saturdays! Be sure to check them out.

1 pm
Choose one of the following workshops

- Map the Power: Researching the Corporations and Billionaires We're Up Against
Conference hall 1 — Our movements must challenge corporations that shape our economy and dominate our political system. But first, we need to figure out who they are, what their agenda is, and what they care about. We will tackle these questions and share power research tools, including

- Out of the Box Solutions
Conference hall 2 — Sharing experiences of activism in
Detroit and Idlewild, Blair Evans, will discuss how to work for creative solutions. We will delve into how we build our own out-of-the box solutions that are attentive to the talents and resources of our communities.

- Exposing Native American-themed Sports Team Names and Mascots in Michigan’s K-12 Schools
Lower level 1 — The workshop will be on the historical overview of the Michigan Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media with discussion on the ongoing problem that has been with us since the early 1900's and still plagues Michigan Indigenous children today.  

- Babies Over Billionaires: Our Statewide Fight for Education Justice
Lower level 2 — Join the Michigan Education Justice Coalition, a statewide community-labor coalition, for a workshop on happening with school funding in Michigan and their plan to fight back.   

- Using WTP tools to support volunteer activists
Exhibit center — A panel discussion on how a handful of volunteers completely re-energized, trained, and focused their peers by restructuring and customizing the We The People workshop material.

- Breaking Down White Supremacy
Garden 1 — An introductory workshop on how white supremacy (individual, systemic, and structural) operates as a system of oppression, with examples from our daily lives and organizing cultures. This workshop is recommended for people who identify as white and want to be better accomplices in the struggle for liberation from white supremacy.  

- Creative Healing, Artists, Musicians, Poets, and Storytellers
Garden 2 — A workshop for artist-organizers to have the space to bring their full selves. Our workshop will consist of an opening exercise and introductions going into our blending of arts and social justice.

2:30 pm
Choose one of the following workshops

- Unconditional Values
Conference hall 1 — Daddys that Care organizes fathers of color to build parental development, community involvement, and civic engagement within urban

- One Fair Wage: Creating a Pathway to Economic Justice for Michigan Families
Conference hall 2 — A strategy session on how we educate and involve our communities in the One Fair Wage Campaign. It will discuss how we build leaders in our communities and workplace, and how to respond to opposition.

- The Harvest Movement: The Role of Allies in Immigrant Justice
Lower level 1 — A presentation and workshop that will explain how immigrant leadership is actively working for dignity, respect, and permanent protection for all 11 million under-documented immigrants in the United States. We'll cover the history of the movement and the strategy we will use to win permanent protection. Learn what roles allies should and should not take on in this important work.

- The Michigan Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival -- A New and Unsettling Force
Lower level 2 — This session has lots of opportunities for small group discussions and role playing how to engage in nonviolent moral fusion direct actions. Participants will learn how to form local PPC chapters.

- Organization/Group Leads Meeting
Exhibit center

- Cultivating Our Vision of Environmental Justice
Garden 1 — This workshop will reframe our understanding of environmental justice by moving away from classist, colonialist, supremacist ideas of nature, and instead exploring our own relationship to our bodies, breath, water, food, land, and life. Through reflection and dialogue, we will co-create our vision of justice.

- Voices From Flint: Fights for Water Justice
Garden 2 — Key community leaders from Flint share about their work, the ongoing crisis, and the need for water justice across our state.

- Strengthening Communities Through Art
Meet at north entrance — This workshop will explore creative ways to build stronger relationships across communities and promote the importance of taking care of ourselves and our people. Participants will get a chance to be hands-on and be a part of this collective art project.

4 pm
Open Space
Please use this free time to do whatever is valuable,
important or useful for you!

5 pm
Plenary Conversation: Building Shared Vision
Conference hall — Monica Lewis-Patrick from We The People of Detroit and Branden Snyder from Good Jobs Now lead us in a discussion about the importance of building aspirational vision for our communities and our state.

5:45 pm
Dinner and Open Mic
Conference hall — Time to eat! Get excited for what Chef Stef has on the menu. During our meal, we’ll also have an open mic opportunity for all our folks to share.

7 pm
Healing circles (optional)
Will be announced — We recognize that our individual and shared journeys are not always comfortable or easy. Consider joining a healing circle so that we are not just taking care of our community’s needs but of our own, too.



8 am
Conference hall — Good morning! 

9:30 am
Morning Welcome
Conference hall — We’ll spend our final day together plotting the course ahead. 

10 am
Shared Hopes & Linked Fate: Building Our People’s Agenda
Conference hall — This is the moment we’ve been waiting for! Hundreds of voices from across the state are echoed in our very first statewide document — The People’s Agenda. We’ll take a first look at it, have space to reflect and respond, and then ratify the words that paint our vision of Michigan.  

12 pm
Conference hall — We share a final meal together in Idlewild.

1 pm
The Work Ahead: Regional Breakouts
Conference hall — Using the People’s Agenda as a compass, we commit to our course.

2:30 pm
Closing Ceremony
Conference hall — Our time in Idlewild closes but the journey is just beginning.