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Towards Humanity: A Conversation on Humanism and Antiracist Organizing


In honor of  MLK Symposium Events and the Community Action and Social Change Undergraduate Minor Program, 10 Year Anniversary: 

The following session will explore themes presented in Tawana Petty’s book Towards Humanity: Shifting the Culture of Anti-Racism Organizing. Through a lecture and panel discussion, the presenter will explore pressing issues facing antiracist organizing and  her vision and approach to a humanistic philosophy. Following the lecture, the speaker will host a conversation with community development organizer Lauren A. Hood to discuss how Detroit based organizers navigate questions, themes, and challenges in ant-racist organizing, applications of humanism, and other guiding philosophical principles toward change. This event is co-sponsored by the Community Action and Social Change Minor Program, SSW Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Semester in Detroit Program. 

Tawana Petty (Honeycomb): Tawana "Honeycomb" Petty is a mother, social justice organizer, youth advocate, poet and author. She is intricately involved in water rights advocacy, data and digital privacy education, and racial justice and equity work. She is Director of the Data Justice Program for the Detroit Community Technology Project (DCTP) and co-leads Our Data Bodies (ODB), a five-person team concerned about the ways our communities’ digital information is collected, stored, and shared by government and corporations. Tawana is a convening member of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition (DDJC) on behalf of DCTP, which organizes Data DiscoTechs (discovering technology) fairs and other initiatives to foster media and digital literacy. She recently co-produced with ODB, the Digital Defense Playbook, a workbook of popular education activities and tools for data justice and data access for equity, as well as the report, A Critical Summary of Detroit's Project Green Light and Its Greater Context, on Detroit's Project Green Light surveillance program. Tawana is a co-founder of Riverwise Magazine, a quarterly magazine which lifts up community stories by Detroit residents, which might otherwise be misrepresented or underrepresented in local and national media. Riverwise Magazine recently produced a special surveillance issue, Detroiters Want to Be Seen, Not Watched. She is a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership (Boggs Center), a Detroit Equity Action Lab (DEAL) Fellow, and the organizer of an annual art festival and artist retreat in historic Idlewild, Michigan, which convenes over 30 artists, organizers, herbalists and innovators each year to create art, share healing practices and respirit each other and the communities they serve. Tawana is the recipient of several awards, including the Spirit of Detroit Award, the Woman of Substance Award, Women Creating Caring Communities Award, Detroit Awesome Award, University of Michigan Black Law Student Association's Justice Honoree Award, was recognized as one of Who’s Who in Black Detroit in 2013 and 2015, the Wayne State Center for Peace and Conflict Studies' Peacemaker Award, and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in 2018.

Lauren Hood: Born & raised in Detroit, Lauren A. Hood brings double consciousness to the practice of community development. Being both a trained practioner and a lifelong resident, Hood serves as a translator/negotiator between development entities and citizen stakeholders. Through her work as an Equitable Development Strategist, Hood develops engagement frameworks, facilitates dialogues, and creates platforms that allow for the emergence and inclusion of often unrecognized place based expertise in city planning and neighborhood development processes. Through her consultancy Deep Dive Detroit, Hood produces workshops and events on community engagement, equitable development and racial justice for civic, philanthropic & institutional clients. Passionate about preserving the city's cultural heritage, Hood regularly writes and delivers keynotes on the value of placekeeping, preserving black spaces and how to authentically engage community. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the City of Detroit Planning Commission and on the board of directors for Detroit Sound Conservancy, MoGo, and on the advisory board of the Urban Consulate.  She holds an undergraduate business degree and Masters Degree in Community Development, both from the University of Detroit Mercy. To learn more about Lauren A. Hood visit her website at


Please note that the RSVP For this program is closed. Additional overflow space will be available in the School of Social Work Building, McGregor Commons lobby.

The program will also be available for remote access through live stream. See link below 

Live Stream »

This event is co-sponsored by the Community Action and Social Change Undergraduate Minor, SSW Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Semester in Detroit Program. 

Event Details

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