DETROIT COMMUNITY COHORT

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DJ Stacyé J was only 17 when her mother helped her grab her first set of turntables. Afraid of what others might think of her and her new found love for turntablism, she kept her passion a secret from others afraid of being made fun of and what people might think. With the help of DJ Trixter, DJ Sicari and Piper Carter she was able to get her first gig opening up for the Foundation Celebrating Women in Hip Hop. That one show was all the motivation that Stacyé J needed in order to take the necessary steps to becoming one of Detroit’s most recognizable female DJs. Since pursuing her DJ-ing career full time, Stacyé J has had the opportunity to open up and DJ for many heavy hitters in Hip Hop and R&B such as: YG, Ab-Soul, Waka Floka, and Curren$y. She has also DJ’ed on BET’s “106 & Park” and The BET Experience with Detroit’s most promising artist Detroit Che.

Ryan Myers – Johnson is an arts administrator, dance educator and curator of place-based performance. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Film from the University of Michigan. Ryan has extensive experience in event planning, arts administration, management and leadership, stemming from her many years working in the feature film industry and dance production. After completing the obligatory traveling “muse” phase of her arts career, Ryan returned home to Detroit. Having grown tired of the “Ruin Porn” dialogue and cultural gate-keeping around arts access, Ryan founded Sidewalk as means to celebrate the city that nurtured her artistic practice. All of this was made possible by her exposure to arts in Detroit. Through Sidewalk, Ryan hopes to show people the magic Detroit that she knows best.

Dakarai Carter is a passionate young activist from Detroit. Starting at the age of 13 with his involvement in Detroit Summer, Dakarai has stayed committed to the struggle of young, poor, black and all Detroiters. His work includes being the Coalition Building Chair of the Detroit chapter of The Black Youth Project 100, one of the lead co-coordinators for the network formally known as Detroit Future Youth, a Classroom Coordinator at Detroit Food Academy, and Community Teacher at The James and Grace Lee Boggs School.

Kezia R. Curtis is an aspiring healer, reiki practitioner and lifelong peace activist from Detroit, Michigan. With justice passions encompassing Black liberation, Black and Palestinian solidarity, feminism and queer activism, Curtis currently works as coordinator at the Detroit Area Restorative Justice Center and Feedom Freedom Growers.

Detroit-based artist/ community advocate Halima Cassells occupies a myriad of roles that are unified by a deep and unwavering devotion to foster community inter-connectivity. In practice she designs spaces for authentic engagement, and collaborative artistic expression, as well as projects that engender new economy practices. She works as an independent artist and assumes leadership roles at Center for Community Based Enterprise, O.N.E. Mile project, Oakland Avenue Artists Coalition, Incite Focus Fab Lab, North End Soup, and the Free Market of Detroit.

Michelle Martinez is a Detroit Latin@ passionate about environmental justice. She is an activist, facilitator, speaker, and emerging writer. She has 15 years experience in intersecting issues including immigration and voting rights, environmental justice and women's rights. As a facilitator, she helps groups build collective vision and strategies to advance social justice, most recently [United Hispanic Workers of Detroit, Sierra Club Coalition for Justice, Swimming in the Detroit River Local History Project]. From 2009­-2012, she worked as a community organizer in Metro Detroit to end climate causing carbon emissions through the Sierra Club Cool Cities and Beyond Coal Campaign. She is passionate about creative resistance, and has collaborated in women ­centered spaces to co­ create art for direct action in Detroit. In 2010, with Centro Obrero de Detroit she helped anchor the US Social Forum. She currently volunteers with the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, which hosted the first­ ever state­wide Environmental Justice Summit in 2014. She loves cooking for others and gardening in her Southwest Detroit home.

As an artist, community organizer and mentor, Shane Bernardo works to address issues of social, economic, environmental, food and racial justice and healing from inter­generational trauma. Shane is a lifelong Detroit resident, grew up on the eastside of Detroit, lives in Southwest Detroit and works for Earthworks Urban Farm, a program of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. As the outreach coordinator, Shane helps facilitate relationships and connections between the soup kitchen and its guest, neighbors, community members and partners. Shane attended Center for Creative Studies where he studied industrial design. While there, he was involved in a student group called BART, Black Artist Researching Trends, that used art as a catalyst for building solidarity amongst black artists of all disciplines. Shane works to actively reclaim pre­colonial Filipino cultural and ancestral celebrations, traditions and rituals around healing . Shane is also a coordinator for the Detroit Asian Youth Project, a board member for the MI Farmers Market Association, a member of Uprooting Racism Planting Justice, People’s Platform Detroit and Swimming in the Detroit River, an environmental justice storytelling group.

B. Anthony Holley is a community organizer and entrepreneur in the Detroit area. He was born and raised in Detroit and attended Detroit Public Schools where he gravitated to mathematics and the arts. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from Hampton University, B. Anthony returned to Detroit to support community economic development and entrepreneurship in the city. Since his return in 2012 he has devoted his energy to uplifting young local activists, business development, and convening educational community forums and retreats on self-sustainability. B. Anthony is a water justice activist and has worked with several human rights organizations including the Detroit Minds Dying film project. He currently works as the Water Program Coordinator for the Water ResidentialA ssistance Program for Metro Detroit. B. Anthony is a co-founder of Conscious Community Cooperative ThinkTank (C3), a grassroots self-sufficiency organization, which provides awareness programs on the intersectionality of cooperative economics, emergency preparedness, sustainability, and holistic health. He also co-directs The Cooperation Group, B. Anthony develops local cooperative businesses and community owned businesses and along with other local leaders are launching the Detroit Community Wealth Fund to provide access to capital for local community owned business through non-extractive lending.