I’m a big fan of the Allied Media Conference, which is held at Detroit’s Wayne State University each June. It’s always a place where activists, artists, and ordinary people come together to think up innovative ideas. Case in point: for the past several years, activist Adrienne Maree Brown has been facilitating a popular workshop on acclaimed science fiction writer Octavia Butler and helping people think up ways to use lessons from her work in their own organizing. Now, it seems that work is branching out to places far outside of Detroit.
Brown and fellow organizer Walidah Imarisha have raised more than $15,000 in a crowd-sourcing campaign to put together an anthology of what they’re calling "radical science and speculative fiction by organizers and activists." The project is called "Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories From Social Justice Movements" and is due out in the summer of 2014. The money that’s raised is being used to cover the costs of design and printing the book itself, but also to fund a national tour of readings, writing workshops, and organizing strategy sessions. While the project has already surpassed its fundraising goal, it certainly couldn’t hurt to contribute and see a workshop near you.