Past Speakers, 2023

Charles Simmons, Hush House

Charles Simmons is a life-long activist. He is an emeritus professor of journalism and law at Eastern Michigan University and along with his wife, Sandra, has established The Hush House Black World Museum and Leadership Training Institute for Human Rights in Detroit. He has worked and travelled all over the world documenting and reporting on struggles for human rights and liberation from Cuba to China and many lands in between. He was an international correspondent for Muhammad Speaks Newspaper, published by the Nation of Islam, in the late 1960s to early 1970s. He was part of a Black Liberation delegation to Cuba with the late General Baker and continued thereafter to connect the struggle for liberation in America to struggles around the world.

Khary Frazier, Detroit Is Different

Khary Frazier is an entrepreneur and the founder of Detroit is Different, an online magazine, podcast series, and community that shines a light on the people, places, and things that shape Detroit culture. He also runs Creative Differences Marketing, which provides marketing and business support to artists and content creators. Khary Frazier through Detroit is Different has publicized the voices and stories of legacy Detroiters and those positively impacted by their talents.

Mark Crain, Dream of Detroit

Mark is the executive director at Dream of Detroit, an initiative to combine community organizing with housing and land development to revitalize a neighborhood and build a thriving, healthy community on the Westside of Detroit. DREAM organizes local residents as well as folks from throughout the metro-area Muslim community in the fight to achieve racial and economic justice in Detroit’s neighborhoods. Prior to DREAM, Mark honed his skills in digital strategy and community organizing at MoveOn, the Obama 2012 campaign, and the Inner-City Muslim Action Network. He also has significant organizational development experience and currently serves on the boards of the Detroit Justice Center, ReThink Media, and Emgage Foundation.

Brittini Ward, Poet

Detroit native, Brittini Ward, is an Emmy award winning, interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer who uses spoken word for change. She has performed for many cultural events, community organizations, virtual conferences and award winning plays. She was awarded an Emmy for her slam poetry and received the 2015 Kwanzaa San Antonio Unity Award. Brittini is the poet laureate for The Irwin House Global Art Center & Gallery and a member of “The Guild,” spoken word organization. She curates many open mic spaces, showcases and is known for her efforts to uplift and preserve the Detroit poetry community. 

Kwasi Akwamu, The Shed @ Martz Park

Kwasi Akwamu is a Detroit-based conscious citizen of the Republic of New Afrika. He declared his citizenship in 1992 while in prison for black-on-black crime, and has since championed the need for personal transformation as a core and indispensable element in the movement for the liberation of New Afrikan people. Back in the community since April 2000, he has been active in various capacities, all in service of New Afrikan self-determination.


Malcolm X Day

May 19, 2024

4605 Cass Ave