Detroit REPRESENT! is a project conceived by a handful of other LGBTQ youth of color from across the city. Although there are several social service agencies for young people in Detroit, we wanted a space not just to receive support resources, but to put our heads together and creatively solve the large-scale problems that formed our need for those resources. Detroit REPRESENT! is our attempt to create this space.
We decided that the best place to start, when addressing the issues of racism, homophobia, transphobia, and negative bias against Detroit youth, was with our own stories. Creating our collective, we partnered with the Allied Media Projects, CHASS Center's La Vida program, Detroit Latin@z, and a few other groups, to learn how we could use the telling of our stories to create a major culture shift in Detroit.
Our goal is to connect as many LGBTQ youth of color from Detroit as possible with each other, equipping them with the means to create graphics, videos, blogs, photographs, short stories, and even more art and media messages, which tell our personal stories of struggle, resilience, rejection, and inner strength. Sharing these stories with youth, adults, teachers, social workers, and Detroiters at large, we hope to fill the void of affirming media portrayals of youth like us, help others in our community to overcome isolation and feelings of powerlessness, and produce media that can be used as practical tools to fuel social justice.
Some of the topics we hope to address with our media include:
Our workshops culminate in a gathering of LGBTQ youth of color, where we will create large-scale media messages to share with our community.
Funded by Detroit, MI (February 2014)