Kim Sherobbi is a retired Detroit Public Schools Teacher who has lived in her Birwood Street neighborhood for over 50 years. Kim is the founder of Birwood House; a community space where she is a listener, visionary organizer and active community member who is committed to local sustainability. At Birwood House, Kim encourages Detroit residents of all ages and visitors from across the country to take responsibility for their neighborhoods, families, and futures based on inclusion, voice, vision, love, and critical connections. Kim is also a long time Board Member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center.
‘I’m a native “Detroiter” who has lived in her childhood house her entire life, except when I was away for school. But I would say that doesn’t count. I am a retired Physics teacher with Detroit Public Schools. I think is important to say that because it gives some background into my interactions with families and children.
Aside from that, I started off as a general volunteer for what I call “traditional organizations” like “Boys and Girls Club”. Then, I came into this “social justice, humanitarian, and environmental” kind of activism by way of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center. Now, I’m working in my neighborhood, which is similar to Sweet Water Foundation. I do programming with young people, mostly around education. Some young people from my community and I are putting together a landscape design for a lot that’s on a major street in the neighborhood so it can become a creative and safe space. My focus is on creating alternatives to this “America” that we are living in right now.’
With few resources, block clubs find ways to stabilize and rejuvenate communities across Detroit
Most of my childhood was spent skateboarding in the streets of metro Detroit. I went to community College and then Wayne state, while living in a few different intentional communities… I moved to Brightmoor in 2012 and was introduced to Bart Eddy around that time. While in Brightmoor I repaired an abandoned house, experimented with gardening and worked with students creating and building…
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Stephanie Rearick is founder and former Co-Director of the Dane County TimeBank (DCTB), and Creative Director of Humans United in Mutual Aid Networks (HUMANs), a new type of networked cooperative ‘creating means for everyone to discover and succeed in work they want to do, with the support of their community.’ In addition to her work in timebanking and growing grassroots-up economic and community regeneration, Rearick is co-owner of Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse, and also works as a musician.
Naim Edwards is the Director of the MSU-Detroit Partnership for Food, Learning, and Innovation, one of the nation’s first urban agriculture research sites. He is blessed to have travelled the world and experience life outside the U.S., which along with his faith, informs how he lives life. Naim strives to live simply, love his neighbor, and heal the damage humans have and continue to cause. He is originally from Harribsurg, PA, and holds degrees from Morehouse College and the University of Michigan.
Director of the Low Residency Painting Course
Active in the Visual Arts
Laura Summer is co-founder of Free Columbia with Nathaniel Williams. She has been working with questions of color and contemporary art for the past 30 years, since she completed a painting training at the Atelier House School with Jennifer Thomson. Laura’s approach to color is influenced by Beppe Assenza, Rudolf Steiner, and by Goethe’s color theory. Her work, to be found in private collections in the US and Europe, has been exhibited at the National Museum of Catholic Art and History in New York City and at the Sekem Community in Egypt. She founded two temporary alternative exhibition spaces in Hudson NY: 345 Collaborative Gallery and Raising Matter – this is not a gallery. She has published seven books, four with painting and drawing exercises and three with stories.
Melody Brink is a storyteller, singer, puppeteer and social artist. After studying painting and puppetry at Free Columbia in upstate New York, Melody went on to study the art of storytelling at the International School of Storytelling in the UK in 2012. She since became an intern at the school and obtained a Masters in Social Sculpture from Oxford Brookes University. Melody has created and performed puppet shows in Belgium and the UK. She performs and teaches storytelling workshops internationally and her recent performances include Goethe’s ‘The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily’ and ‘Parcival’, co-performed with her partner Ianthe Lauwaert. Melody is a collaborator with stART International, and recently traveled with them to Lesvos, Greece. There, she brought songs, puppetry and crafts to bring a little bit of warmth, joy and safe holding to the camp, while working closely colleagues there.
John Bloom has served as General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America since October 2016. He writes frequently for being human and is an active member of the Council of Anthroposophical Organizations. He recently retired from RSF Social Finance, San Francisco where he served as vice-president for organizational culture. As part of his work at RSF he developed and facilitated conversations and programs that address the intersection of money and spirit in personal and social transformation. He also developed a spiritually based leadership program to support nonprofit organizations. He continues to deepen that work independently and is part of forming a new organization, Spirit Matters, serving anthroposophical initiative. He has written extensively on money and culture and has fostered collaborative dialogues on the challenging social aspects of money. He is a founder and trustee of Yggdrasil Land Foundation, a national land trust committed to supporting biodynamic agriculture and land-based regional economies. He has led numerous workshops and written about issues of land preservation and community supported agriculture. He has written two books, The Genius of Money, and Inhabiting Interdependence, both published by SteinerBooks. He is currently working on his next book of essays and lives in San Francisco.
Bart Eddy is an educator, entrepreneur and community development advocate who has worked in Detroit for more than 35 years. During that time he has Co-Founded the Barnabas Youth Opportunities Center (1983), Detroit Community Schools (1997) and the Sunbridge International Collaborative (2012). He currently directs the “Brightmoor Makers” program for youth employment and advocacy and is passionately committed to helping young people find their sense of vision, mission and purpose in the global community. Bart was a class teacher at the Detroit Waldorf School from 1988-1996.
The Brightmoor Makers and Sunbridge International Collaborative have been engaged in youth employment ~ community transformation since the summer of 2009 by working with young people from Detroit Community High School, the community at large and University of Michigan students in year round, hands on, experiential learning initiatives. We currently operate programs in construction, woodworking, bike/industrial trike mechanics, gardening/landscape and screen-printing. Our partners are neighborhood block clubs, community organizations and the University of Michigan Stamps School of Art and Design with whom we operate the Brightmoor Maker Space. Right Livelihood through community well-being and sustainable economics is an on-going focus of our work, and we have incorporated “healing through the sheathes” as an aspect of the Developmental Pathway of Work which seeks to awaken the inherent gifts that live in all of us and transform traumatized neighborhoods. With Covid-19 and the issues surrounding racial injustices, we are turning our attention to outdoor classrooms in the community to re-imagine what the “School of the Future” might look like.
Dottie Zold creates space for youth encounters and intergenerational communities and healing through practical work and conversations.
She met Rudolf Steiner’s work at 29 and her first book was Archangel Michael His Mission and Ours. She founded Elderberries Threefold Cafe in 2008 after seeing the Youth Section housing at the bottom of the Hill in Dornach and is cofounder of the Have Seeds Initiative House in Los Angeles, Urban First Aid – Art As Medicine and the How We Will forums that take place each year in different parts of the United States.
As a threefold activist she has led youth to Moral Monday Los Angeles, Standing Rock, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, cooking meals for the March Against Monsanto events and works with houseless youth and adults with special needs. Now in Chicago a second threefold cafe/cultural hub is forming with an eye on working with Thresholds, a live in high school for youth who have aged out of the foster care system.
Looking to form curative communities, she co-founded ALIANT Alliance, a sister seed to Alianz ELIANT of Europe with Frank Agrama. Dottie’s question is how can we strengthen our civil society voice through policy and legislative boards pertaining to education, agriculture and medicine: uniting those who share the same values regardless of political parties.
Her parents, Michael and Christ are her guiding Lights.
Frank Aleph Agrama
In 1924 Rudolf Steiner spoke of an ‘unbreakable agreement’ where he and the students would return within 80 years as something new had to be implanted into earth for its future evolution. The aristoteleans and the platonists would now find a way to work together in the world at this turning point in time.
If we look to see what is dying and what is becoming, what is uniting and yet seeking to divide, we see an even greater need for an emergent healthy social organism that initiates a regenerative threefolding of our societal forms in the economic, cultural and political/rights realms with the essence of the human being at the center.
Frank Alepha Agrama is an artist, woodworker, musician, community activist, Youth Section organizer and co founder of Elderberries’ Have Seeds House, How We Will Forum, Urban First Aid- Art As Medicine and Elderberries Biodynamic Outpost in Chicago.