expressions of an emerging community
arts program builds culture of resistance and family
by Eric Thomas Campbell
Siwatu-Salama Ra, a mother and community leader in Detroit, was just trying to defend her family when she was violently confronted by a person who rammed her vehicle into Siwatu’s car while Siwatu’s two-year old was playing inside, and then tried to use the vehicle to run Siwatu’s mother over. Fearing for their lives, Siwatu, who is a licensed concealed gun owner, held her weapon in plain sight, hoping it would stop the person from running them over. The gun was unloaded and no one was hurt. Still, she was sentenced to two years in prison and is now behind bars and pregnant.
Siwatu’s legal team is pursuing various tactics, including requesting she be released on bond pending appeal, reversal of the conviction, and a commutation and/or pardon. After already going through one high-risk pregnancy, Siwatu’s doctor warned the judge of the serious health threats she will face while in prison. Her lawyers are doing everything they can to get her home so she can have a healthy pregnancy and birth.
‘Riverwise’ is a community-based magazine created by a team of authors, writers, photojournalists, parents, grandparents, students, organizers, activists, artists, educators and visionaries. We are working together to create media that reflects local activism and the profound new work being done in and around Detroit neighborhoods. We envision deepening relationships through media that serves as an essential part of weaving beloved communities. We will celebrate personal Detroit stories and the process of evolving ideas.
It is often said that we live in two Detroits– one affluent, the other neglected. We know there are many versions of Detroit and in some communities there is a striving toward self-determination and new, visionary ways of life. It is our goal through this publication to show these efforts that are rooted in community, sustainable, transformative and based upon new forms of citizenship. Detroit is a movement city. And our movements need creative media. By sharing resources and encouraging open participation of engaged citizens, especially people of color, ‘Riverwise’ will help us to examine our own personal and political contradictions and generate lasting solutions.
‘Riverwise’ needs your stories of resilience, visionary resistance, place-based education, self-determination and sustainable, creative ways of transforming yourselves and your communities. Please contact us with article ideas and notice of programs taking place in your neighborhood. Or submit an article, personal anecdote, poem, interview, photo, illustration of your own for our next edition of ‘Riverwise’. Send digital submissions to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. Hard copies may be sent to 3061 Field St., Detroit, Michigan. The Riverwise collective also invites you to join us for a series of community conversations. We hope to regularly discuss the direction of the magazine, story ideas and the future of our emerging Detroit communities with all interested parties.
Riverwise quarterly magazine is a community project, produced by a collective of thinkers, dreamers, writers, artists, & culture workers. Riverwise Magazine belongs to all of us and thrives on our vision and energy. Together as a collective, we also rely on the financial generosity of community members like yourself to print. Help keep the current. Support and sustain community storytelling.