Published: Jan. 26, 2022

group of students in garden in Detroitgroup of students in garden in Detroitgroup of students in garden in Detroitgroup of students in garden in Detroitgroup of students in garden in Detroit

Richard Feldman (left) from The Boggs Center hosts the first group of INVST students


INVST is thrilled to announce an evolving relationship with friends new and old from Detroit, Michigan. 

In July and August 2022, plans are in the works for INVST to travel to Detroit for a meet-up with the Visionary Organizing Lab and Semester in Detroit, two social justice training organizations with whom we have a lot in common. This exchange will be the centerpiece of the Economic Justice Summer for the INVST Class of 2023, marking a new phase in our relationship with some of the most visionary community leaders in Detroit.

Semester in Detroit is an interdisciplinary blend of Detroit history and culture, creative writing, and community organizing for environmental justice and public engagement. Led by Stephen Ward, professor of Afroamerican & African Studies, we have linked up with this organization because of our previous relationship with the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership. An exciting array of activists and grassroots efforts inspire INVSTers. For several summers, INVST has been visiting Detroit to study the legacy of Jimmy and Grace but in 2022, we will add these new friends from Semester in Detroit to the mix.

We will also spend meaningful time with the Visionary Organizing Lab, an incubator for social change. Visionary Organizing Lab uses history and an experimental approach to education to teach college students how to see and transform historic divides and systems of oppression. Already, they led us in a three-day workshop in August 2021 and we cherished our time together. It provided the foundation for some of the action-taking we are now up to, back at home. Meeting up again in 2022 gives us something fabulous to look forward to!

It has always been a unique feature of INVST to travel straight to the places where social and environmental problems are being tackled by bold, creative, powerful solutionaries. That’s a term from Grace Lee Boggs: solutionaries. Our travels in July/August 2022 will be invigorating. 

Get ready to grow and expand, Dear Students!

INVSTers will be immersed in the community. Through a tour of the city and opportunities to work on urban farms and sit with community leaders, they’ll explore topics including the historic rise of auto worker organizing, art in social movements, and the unique environmental challenges facing Detroit. INVST students will learn to see and transform historic divides and they will come to understand systems of oppression. With expert facilitators, students will (re)learn the wisdom of their own voices and create their visions to build and sustain a more humane world. 

INVST students and staff volunteer at Feedom Freedom Growers, one of many community farms in Detroit that partners with The Boggs Center. Wayne and Myrtle Curtis at Feedom Freedom say, “Creating healthy, productive, life affirming communities begins with a collective of people who are giving their work and time to make a difference. We have to create for ourselves the conditions that are best for us, and by educating our minds and hearts we can take control of what goes into our bodies and what comes out of our pockets and purses.”