Detroit REPRESENT! began in June, 2011, as a short-term summer program created by and for LGBTQ youth of color from Detroit. The drive to create Detroit REPRESENT! came, in part, from a desire to build spaces where LGBTQ youth of color could work creatively to solve community problems at the macro level, through a grassroots organizing model, as a supplement to the more popular service-provider / recipient approach, which we feel is oftentimes disempowering to youth, and ultimately less effective, as a model of change. Due to lacking resources, facilitation support, consistent meeting space, and solid program structure, our 2011 launch was never completed. Frustrated, but not discouraged, we took a short hiatus, and then went back to the drawing board, determined to address barriers to the project’s success. In early 2012, we began meeting regularly, as we prepared to plan for an initiative that would remain true to the original spirit of Detroit REPRESENT!, but would prove stronger and more successful than its predecessor.

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