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Revolution and Evolution: Lessons from James and Grace Lee Boggs


The Semester in Detroit program, Community Action and Social Change Undergraduate Minor (SSW), and the Boggs Center invite your participation in a discussion about James and Grace Lee Boggs vision, framework, and application of transformational social change and grassroots leadership.

Hosted by Boggs Center board members Stephen Ward and Tawana Petty, the session will explore  lessons learned from James and Grace Lee Boggs’ lifelong legacy of community organizing in the city of Detroit. Through structured facilitation and reflection, participants will engage in discussion that examines the following questions:  

  • What is (r)evolutionary social change?
  • What is the difference between a “riot” and a “rebellion”?
  • How do we move from a moment to a  movement?
  • What is the role of dialectical thinking in deep divides?
  • What are transformative aims toward social justice?

Participants are highly encouraged to watch the American Revolutionary film, and read the published work of James and Grace Lee Boggs prior attending this session for a historical overview.


Tawana Petty (Honeycomb): is a mother, social justice organizer, youth advocate, poet and author. She is the Director of Petty Propolis, where she gets to grow through organizing transformative art and education initiatives. Honeycomb is a four-time author and founding member and editor of Riverwise Magazine, a Data Justice Coordinator for the Detroit Community Technology Project, a member of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, a Detroit Equity Action Lab fellow and a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership.  To learn more about Tawana "Honeycomb" Petty visit her website at

Stephen Ward, PhD: is a lead faculty member with the Semester in Detroit program,  historian who teaches in the RC Social Theory and Practice program (STP) as well as the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS).

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