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2023 Summer Intensive Course - Virtual Participation


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2023 Summer Intensive Course - Virtual Participation

Friday 12:00 PM - Thursday 3:00 PM EDT

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Add to Calendar 2023-07-07 12:00:00 2023-07-13 15:00:00 America/New_York 2023 Summer Intensive Course - Virtual Participation As much of this year's social ecology summer intensive will involve site visits to community projects around Detroit and some sessions will be held outside, we can only enable virtual participation for part of the program. An updated program schedule of the sessions that will be streamed over Zoom will be provided.

Details to view the event are private and will be sent along with your ticket purchase.

As much of this year's social ecology summer intensive will involve site visits to community projects around Detroit and some sessions will be held outside, we can only enable virtual participation for part of the program. An updated program schedule of the sessions that will be streamed over Zoom will be provided.


In July 2023, the Institute for Social Ecology is hosting its annual summer intensive course in Detroit, Michigan in partnership with the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center. Participants—local as well as from across North America—will spend six days together studying and learning the core ideas of social ecology, popular movements for direct democracy and community power, and the practice and legacy of transformative community action in the City of Detroit. 

Note: This registration is only for virtual participation in the intensive. To register to attend in person, head to this page instead. 

In addition to site visits around Detroit, we will also be holding a number of talks, presentations, and discussions open to virtual participation, covering topics ranging from communal stewardship of land to the Rojava Revolution. Register here to attend virtually.

The program will begin the afternoon of July 7 and conclude the afternoon of July 13. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions.

The planned schedule for sessions you can attend virtually is below. These may be subject to change. All times are listed as US Eastern Time.


4-5:30pm - Detroit’s History of Struggle and Resistance

Charles Simmons discusses the history of radical movements in the City of Detroit, based on his experience in the League of Revolutionary Black Workers and his work as a radical Black historian.

7:30-9pm - What Is Social Ecology?
Mason Herson-Hord provides an introductory overview of the core ideas of social ecology: as an ecological philosophy, as a critique of hierarchical society, and as a revolutionary political theory.


9:30-11am - Thinking Dialectically

Chaia Heller, Wayne Curtis, and Mike Doan introduce dialectical philosophy and explore the connections between three different traditions of thought and practice: dialectical materialism for the Black Panthers, dialectical humanism for the Boggses, and dialectical naturalism for social ecology.

11:15am-12:45pm - Indigenous/Communalist Values vs. Capitalist Values

Roberto Mendoza and Eleanor Finley explore the relationship between Indigenous value systems, communalism, and revolutionary social change. Building on Roberto’s long-running seminar of the same name, this session will contrast indigenous values against capitalist values and clarify the ways in which communalist/social ecological worldviews and Indigenous worldviews overlap.

7:30-9pm - The Solidarity Economy

Emily Kawano introduces the solidarity economy, a practical post-capitalist vision for an economics that is grounded in values and real-world practices.


9:30-11am - Patriarchy and Women’s Liberation

Megan Douglass and Chaia Heller discuss the place of feminism in the broader project of revolutionary social transformation.

11:15am-12:45pm - Democracy in Maroon Communities

Modibo Kadalie walks us through counter-histories of autonomy and face-to-face democracy on the peripheries of empire by self-emancipated slaves and indigenous peoples in the Americas.

2:15-3:45pm - What Is Capitalism?

Emily Kawano and Peter Staudenmaier break down what makes an economic system “capitalist” and how capitalism functions.

4-5:30pm - Decolonizing Nature

Abundia Alvarado and Chaia Heller challenge the colonial concept of nature as that which is untouched by humanity, in favor of a vision and practice of radical stewardship and ecological abundance. Abundia will share some ideas born from her community experience defending the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta and Stop Cop City, and how these ideas re-shape, challenge, and inform our struggles and ways of fighting this climate crisis.

7:30-9pm - Building Black Food Sovereignty 

Malik Yakini will explore the work of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and its partners to build food sovereignty in Black communities locally, nationally and internationally.


2:15-4:15pm - Black Anarchist Legacies

Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin, JoNina Abron-Ervin, and Modibo Kadalie reflect on their personal histories in the Black Power movement, and on how their experiences in hierarchical revolutionary organizations (the Black Panther Party and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers) led them to anarchist politics. Facilitated by William C. Anderson.

7:30-9pm - What Is Real Democracy?

Eleanor Finley and Mason Herson-Hord challenge the idea that democracy means voting for other people to make decisions on our behalf, and pose the shortcomings of “representative” states against the possibilities of confederal direct democracy.


9:30-11am - Black Anarchist Futures

Ashanti Alston and William Anderson discuss the future directions for Black anarchism and its role in the movement for Black liberation.

11:15am-12:45pm - Smashing Fascism, Defeating White Supremacy

Peter Staudenmaier, Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin, and JoNina Abron-Ervin discuss the nature and the threat of fascism in North America and Europe and what must be done to fight it, drawing upon the legacy of the Black Panther Party’s work in the late 1960s organize a united front anti-fascist movement.

2:15-4:15 pm - Democratic Confederalism and the Revolution in Rojava

Eleanor Finley, Arthur Pye, Berivan Omar, and Anya Briy, activists from the Kurdish Freedom Movement, hold a rich and dynamic roundtable discussion about the Rojava Revolution (2012-present). They go beyond a “Rojava 101,” by diving into the participants’ lived experiences and unpacking the revolution’s enduring contributions, lessons, and challenges.

7:30-9pm - Dual Power

Mason Herson-Hord provides an introduction to the framework for revolutionary organizing strategy of building institutions of popular self-governance outside the state to contest with it for political power. He sketches out the foundations of such a dual power in the City of Detroit.


2:15-3:45pm - Zapatismo and Pluriversal Ontology

Linda Quiquivix discusses not just the political practices but the ideas of the Zapatista uprising and the philosophical foundations of their vision for a liberated world.


9:30-11am - Art as Resistance

Meryem Dipdere, Wayne Curtis, and the Solarpunk Surf Club discuss the role of the arts in movements for liberation.


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Institute for Social Ecology

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