I anticipate that in the second decade of the 21st century we will deepen and broaden the visionary advances that became visible in the first decade.
In 2011 it will become clearer to more millions that our good health depends on our making the good food revolution. Instead of relying
on an industrialized food system that keeps us ignorant and powerless about what we take into our bodies, we will be producing most of our food locally, not only growing vegetables on neighboring lots, rooftops and balconies but
raising chickens in backyard coops and fish in home andother local aquariums.
This is not just a question of physical health.
As Wendell Berry wrote in Home Economics years ago, "We are each called to be an artist, to learn to give love to the work of our
hands. It is one of the last places where the maker…is responsible, from start to finish, for the thing made. This certainly is a spiritual value, but it is not for that reason an impractical or uneconomic one.
In fact, from the exercise of this responsibility, this giving of love to the work of the hands, the farmer, the farm, the consumer, and the nation all stand to gain in the most practical ways: They gain the
means of life, the goodness of food, and the longevity and dependability of the sources of food, both natural and cultural. The proper answer to the spiritual calling becomes, in turn, the proper fulfillment of physical need." read more
In 2010 joblessness and foreclosures reached record heights. In cities like Detroit and Milwaukee, 50% of African American males, ages 18-60, were unemployed.
In Afghanistan Obama's troop surge and U.S. air strikes were killing so many civilians that the Afghan people were viewing the U
.S. military and NATO as foreign occupiers.
Meanwhile, most Al Qaeda operatives have scattered across the Mideast, Central Asia and Africa. Only a few dozen remain in Afghanistan. Yet our government
continues to squander billions on the Afghan war, swelling government deficits and fueling Tea Party discontent.
In the midterm election Obama was shellacked because, stuck in a dysfunctional and obsolete political system, he has no inkling that
another world is not only both necessary and possible but in the making, and that our national security depends not on a war vs terror but on our continuing to make it known that this other world is in the making
I really want to thank each of you for your ongoing support and continued work to make our city and our country "better than we
found it." 2010 has been an amazing year we at the Boggs Center truly appreciate your ideas, practice and support. In 2011, we know that we need to move to hire some paid staff personnel, increase our
publications and begin to publish materials in Spanish. With your support we can make this happen.
James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership
This has been an incredible year. In spring we learned that our newly elected Mayor was planning to “shrink the city,” a
state appointed financial manager announced the closing of nearly 50 schools, Time magazine moved into our neighborhood intensifying the national spotlight on Detroit and we organized to help focus the
USSF not only on the ideas that another world is possible and necessary, but another world is already happening in Detroit.
In this coming spring we will see the release of The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace
Lee Boggs with Scott Kurashige and foreword by Danny Glover. You can read the opening chapter at the UC Press website where it is featured.
We are also planning two important gatherings in the coming year, a meeting of neighborhood organizations expanding the Detroit City of
Hope Network and working toward a coordinated vision of development for our city and a national gathering on the evolution of Labor and Work. Visit our soon to be revised website to get a sense of our
activities and other publications.
All of this takes not only energy and imagination, but money. We know there are many demands on your resources at this time,
so we especially appreciate any amount you can send to support our work, the center itself, and the exciting programs we are developing to help all of us create a new country that respects life and justice.
In the vacuum of leadership exposed by Obama’s shellacking, a growing number of people are beginning to look to Detroit and
the Boggs Center for the hope that is necessary to trump Despair and Fear.
You can send your check payable to: Boggs Center, 3061 Field Street, Detroit, MI 48214 or go to the website,www.boggscenter.org and DONATE. If you have any questions, please call 313-923-0797 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting
313-923-0797 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email. Boggs Center is 501C3.
Please share this letter with your family, friends and on Facebook@Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership.
The turning of the year invites reflection. It is a time when past and future flow together.
2010's end will bring no respite from the yearlong assault on Detroit. The effort to mold our city and its people into some grand design fostered by businesses and bureaucrats shows no
sign of concluding. Instead, politicians, corporations and the foundations supporting them seem more determined than ever to impose their will on the people of the city.
Many Detroiters refer to 2010 as a version of the shock doctrine. Wave after wave of attacks on basic public services were aimed at destroying the very foundations of shared community
responsibility. We have seen the gifting of our public hospitals to a private corporation, efforts to sell the water department, and now, the announcement of a closed-door deal to provide tax breaks to another company
intending to run the incinerator for the next decade.
This assault on the public sphere and the hopes of so many Detroiters was most concentrated in the struggle between the elected School Board and the Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb.
In the name of budgetary responsibilities, EFM Bobb produced a plan to reshape the public school system on a business model. He announced schools closings, increasing class sizes and an increase in for profit charter schools. read more
This Christmas season may be the last for many of the remaining 55 Catholic Churches in Detroit. In addition to announcing yet another round of church closings, the
Archdiocese confirmed that these closings would be in concert with the plans of Mayor Dave Bing to shrink the city. While the Mayor and his high paid consultants continue to tell us there is no plan,
officials from the mayor's office and from the Archdiocese have met to align church closings with neighborhoods affected by the Detroit Works Project.
Lory McGlinnen, director of the Department of Parish Life and Services for the Archdiocese, said it's "by coincidence" that the Archdiocese's discussions have
come at the same time as talks about shrinking the city. Stressing the logic of the coming decisions about which parishes to close, McGlinnen said there was no point in keeping parishes open in neighborhoods slated for the
wrecking ball. "If we have a church in a neighborhood that is going to be developed only to be demolished, it doesn't make sense to keep a parish there," said McGlinnen.
This latest announcement, greeted with anger, fear and fury by many parishioners, is consistent with the sordid history of the Catholic hierarchy siding with the city in its
development schemes read more.