ZUMIX Staff, Past and Present, Reunite At #AMC2017!

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Earlier this month, ZUMIX staff gathered with media makers, artists, and organizers alike at the 19th Annual Allied Media Conference (AMC) in Detroit, Michigan. The AMC define media-based organizing as: any collaborative process that uses media, art, or technology to address the roots of problems and advances holistic solutions towards a more just and creative world.

In Detroit, we reunited with former ZUMIX staffer, Sophie Kazis, fresh off of her time studying with the Transom Story Workshop in Cape Cod. Check out the latest piece from her, “Provincetown Remembers AIDS” here.

The weekend consisted of over 300 hands-on workshops, panels, film screenings, Detroit tours, art and music events, strategy sessions, karaoke, bowling, collaborative art and more! Some of sessions we participated in included panels on anti-oppressive facilitation, the link between artists and change makers, an in-depth historical tour from Black Scroll Network History & Tours, and hands-on workshops in poetry, audio gathering, and more!

We wanted to take a few moments to reflect on our weekend in Detroit learning from like-minded folks from across the country and exploring the city.

Our Reflections

“The Allied Media Conference allowed me to step away from my day-to-day responsibilities and focus on learning! The conference was attended by activists and indie media makers from across the globe and I learned as much from the other participants as I did the workshop facilitators.

From “Poetry as Speculative Activism” to “Real Talk with Major Donors,” the workshops covered a range of topics and disciplines. I would highly recommend this conference to anyone with an interest in media making, social justice, and grassroots organizing and fundraising.” 

– Kelly Baker, ZUMIX Director of Development

“Attending the Allied Media Conference gave me an exciting opportunity to learn with and from other media makers and organizers from all over, and to reconnect with my ZUMIX roots!

Jeeyoon and I attended a workshop called “Listening as a Revolutionary Act,” taught by journalists Jesse Hardman and Burgess Brown. Their project, The Listening Post, is a community media project that aims to facilitate two-way conversations around important local issues – directly countering “parachute journalism” that can feel extractive and exploitative. Jesse and Burgess have created an accessible storytelling platform for communities to implement themselves, with the goal of making media more representative and accountable to the communities it’s meant to serve. The Listening Post reflects all the values I saw in ZUMIX Radio, and that I hope to work towards in my own audio storytelling.”

Sophie Kazis, Independent Radio Producer

“This trip to Detroit gave me more than I anticipated, whether that came directly from the conference or from the city itself. The space that the AMC holds is unlike any other conference I’ve attended and I am so grateful for the projects and individuals I was able to connect with in our short time together.

I’ve come home to Boston thinking about the incredible impact the California Endowment has had in supporting communities to a healthier future by supporting projects like #SchoolsNotPrisons. I’ve come back looking for ways to be more intentional about how my work can connect with visual artists so that that link isn’t limited to transactional engagement when we need a poster or photos to document our programs. I’ve also come home with Detroit on my mind. I’m ready to dig in to this work and to do better.”

– Jeeyoon Kim, ZUMIX Events Associate

Last, but not least, we wanted to leave you with some of the gems we overheard last weekend in Detroit…

“Having strategic courage means knowing you don’t have to fight alone.”
 
“Speculative poetry offers a glimpse of a future world, one that is a little freer. Then it’s up to us, as activists, to figure out how to get there.”
 
“There’s a difference between feeling safe and feeling comfortable.”
“No matter what, we will fight, we will resist. It begins with love of self and the planet.” 

ZUMIX <3 Airtable

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Sweet dual-monitor set-up not included with Airtable software.

ZUMIX was originally introduced to Airtable, a web-based database, through a community volunteer who has been using this product for his own business. We had been experiencing issues tracking information about our students and parents in an easy and reportable format. He suggested Airtable, in the hopes that experimenting with this database would help us refine what our data-tracking needs were. Little did he know that Airtable was the database for us.

Whenever we ask, “can we do this?,” we usually find that we can.

ZUMIX has been experimenting with Airtable for the past 5 months and every day we find something new that we love! Our favorite part is how open-ended the software is. Whenever we ask, “can we do this?,” we usually find that we can.

Having a database that can create fields that run formulas, create drop down menus, and then filter quickly off of those fields has made reporting so much easier. The UI is clean, user-friendly, and easy to manipulate. The different field types makes tracking certain types of information simple and well formatted.

ZUMIX recommends this software for anybody who is looking to build their own database. Airtable has made tracking data easy and fun because it caters to your needs, what else could you ask for?