Celebrating Five Years of DJC’s Fight for Freedom

At our celebration in August, we brought together over 160 partners, neighbors, supporters, and friends. We marked five years of DJC’s fight for freedom and raised nearly $20,000 to fuel our work. The room was filled with inspiration and an abundance of hope that we, together, can transform Detroit into a Just City!

The evening began with a word from our fearless and courageous Executive Director, Nancy A. Parker. She boldly shared DJC’s mission and uplifted the importance of movement work. 

We know slavery by another name and we are living it today. It is our duty to fight for our freedom. We are fighting for our brothers and sisters, and our non-binary and queer community. Everybody under the sun–there is a place for you in the future. And DJC is doing that work to create just cities across the nation.”

-Nancy A. Parker

As we danced the night away, we had a chance to hear from DJC staff who are making a difference in the lives of Detroiters. Nancy moderated the first mini-fireside chat, Abolition as Presence: Offense & Dreaming, with DJC’s Lauren Thomas, Angel McKissic, and Eric Williams. The panelists spoke to DJC’s groundbreaking work creating economic opportunities for Detroiters and turning freedom dreams into reality. 

Detroiters deserve to live in safe communities where they have access to thrive and DJC is committed to working hand-in-hand with our neighbors to ensure they have the resources to do so. This includes the community land trusts, bustling commercial corridors full of worker-owned cooperative businesses, restorative justice centers, and other life-affirming institutions we’re building up together. 

The second fireside chat, Abolition as Practice: Defending Detroit, moderated by Barakah Sanders, DJC Board Member, featured DJC’s Rubina Mustafa, Joe McGuire, and Nancy A. Parker. They amplified how our Legal Services & Advocacy Practice is continuously interrupting the cycle of poverty through our life-changing services that eliminate barriers to participating in the economy and most importantly, keep families together and safe! 

But this work isn’t done in a vacuum; we boldly defend Detroiters and stand up to individuals and institutions that have and continue to harm our communities thanks to the outpouring of support we’ve received over the past 5 years.

Listen to Staff Attorney Joe McGuire’s remarks during the fireside chat as he daringly states how DJC and our supporters are building a community of safety and care.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who came out to celebrate with us! It meant the world to have our community there—visibly reminding us of the strength and vibrancy of our movement.

This includes our dear friends at Detroit Jericho and Moratorium Now who joined us and invited our attendees to take part in the fight to free our political prisoners.

This time last year at our first-ever Black August Scavenger Hunt + Community Gathering, we were fighting for the freedom of Dr. Mutulu Shakur. As Nancy shared during the celebration,

“that fight was successful and we were able to bring our brother home. He was able to breathe fresh air, not being caged up like an animal, but with the dignity and respect that all human beings have and deserve. The great ancestors called him home just last month, so we hope that he’s proud of us and watching over us right now. But we will continue to reach back and not stop fighting until we bring everyone home!

Because we refuse to take money from actors who have played a part in destroying the Black community, we rely on you to sustain this work. Become a Freedom Dream Sustainer today and fuel our freedom fight for another 5 years!

Finally, if you’re feeling eager to revisit that special evening, scroll down to download your photo booth pictures and enjoy some great candids and videos from the event.

Thanks to our event sponsors!

saylem mississippi celeste
saylem’s installation

Thanks to our auction donors!

Thank you to our Vendors!