To go along with our t-shirts the Detroit Summer youth wrote these pieces to explain the importance of the designs
School Closings and the Education Crisis
By: Keeya Williams
The “school issues” t-shirt design was created to reflect the monetary and authoritative problems, and lack of creativity in the Detroit Public School system today. Dozens of schools have been closed or privatized. An Emergency Financial Manager has been put in charge of our public school system, taking away the city residents’ voting power over school related decisions. Many students have dropped out or left the district, because they feel the schools system is failing them. Our design is displaying these different problems through the the people, materials and supplies, and money being dumped out from the closing school building. The hands that are squeezing the building were used to show how people in the community (students, their friends and families)are being drained of all possible hope because of a compassion-less agenda. We, Detroit Summer, as advocates for peace and justice, believe that something empowering needs to be done! To start the movement, we have decided to first expose the school issues to the youth through building relationships and conducting interviews. Next, we designed a t-shirt to illustrate injustices to those impacted most by the Detroit Public School system. Showing them that things may look bad, but it is important to ”Find the beauty in what’s left” by creating the education we want to see.
Youth Self Image
By: Damoni Carter
Mainstream media portrays Detroit youth as unruly and destructive. As a result, most people don’t believe that Detroit youth are doing positive things, including youth who end up with a negative self-perception because of these media images. That’s why it is important to uplift and encourage today’s youth,and give us the confidence we need to be better “cityzens” of Detroit. Organizations like Detroit Summer, Ruth Ellis, Young Nation, Rosa Parks Youth Program, Capuchin Earth Works, Detroit Asian Youth Project, EMEAC, Vanguard, 5E/Heru, Real Media, Detroit Impact, Michigan Roundtable, and Feedom Freedom, are not only building up better youth self image but also building healthier communities in Detroit. All of these youth organizations have been interviewed about the media images and self image of youth in Detroit, both how they perceive it and how they want to change it. On this T-shirt, the glasses represent how people may view Detroit through a negative lens. The images of group interviews, screen-printing, and gardening represent what is actually being done in the city by youth. We believe that by changing the way Detroit youth see ourselves, we can help change the image of the city as a whole.
By: Ashley Lee
Environmental injustice is a huge problem in Detroit today. Detroit has an environmental justice movement which shows us that if we don’t start respecting our environment and communities, we will destroy our world. Detroit is one of the most polluted cities in the country as a result of many factors, including being the home to one of the world’s largest incinerators, having thousands of trucks cross the US Canada border every day, and decades of industrial waste. More and more people are recycling, but recycling is not the only way we can help save the environment. We can create better solutions in our neighborhoods by planting gardens to provide healthy food for ourselves, consuming less, and fighting for cleaner air and water. This t-shirt design features dandelion seeds blowing toward the brain tree, to show how we are implanting a new way of thinking. The trees symbolizes the strong roots our city has grown and nurtured into the earth. The words “In our city we grow” were used to show how we nourish hope, justice, resilience, and strength. We believe that growing young minds and community is more important than growing industry.