“Water is Life! It’s A Human Right! The Time is Now! To Stand and Fight!” you hear the 60 plus youth and adult leaders yelling as they march down the streets of Detroit Saturday afternoon. July 15-19th 60 plus youth and adults came into Detroit for the 17th annual Rooted In Community Summit to “Wage Love, Build Power, Grow Change”
This year Rooted In Community took place in Detroit, MI a place of hurt that was turned upside down but is a resilient and ever rising to the challenges they are facing. We were staying in a small town right outside of Detroit called Ypsilanti at Eastern Michigan University. Groups arrived on Wednesday and registered while Gerardo Marin shows up with his parents and his brother who we all got to meet for the first time. They spend most of the summit with us.
After all the groups got registered with keys to their dorm rooms everyone went over to the cafeteria to eat dinner then headed over to the outdoor amphitheater for our opening ceremony. During our opening ceremony Gerardo Marin, Travis McKenzie from Grow the Future in New Mexico, Ayisah Yusuf from VA/DC and a few of the youth helped do a beautiful four directions ceremony. Ayisah played a beautiful native drum with some of the youth playing a few other instruments while Gera played his conch shell we said some prayers for the four different directions, the sky, mother earth and the spirit inside all of us and Travis burned some sage and prayed with us.
Once the opening ceremony was over, Ayisah introduced the RIC planning team then John Wang led us in a game of Elbows to Elbows which was a fun ice breaker for everyone. Next we did intention/culture settings with the youth where they got into groups and came up with norms for the summit environment. One norm that was cool that a few groups came up with was to say Farm Voice when you’re speaking to a group and they can’t hear you very well, you say Farm Voice to get them to speak up.
Day 1 #RIC2015 off to an amazing start with a dope opening blessing to a game of elbow to elbow & some intention settings with the Youth!