Support the work of Detroit Future Schools by Becoming a Monthly Sustainer!

monthly_sustainerDetroit Future Schools is an in-school digital media arts program committed to humanizing schooling in Detroit and beyond. We work in a small number of anchor schools where we develop and evaluate core instructional practices. We then share our best practices through the DFS Network, a local and national network of teachers, artists and community members. By the end of 2013, DFS has worked in 24 schools, where we’ve used digital media arts and critical pedagogy to cultivate essential skills in students, teachers, and teaching artists alike. Since our inception in 2011, we’ve worked with over 3,000 students and 25 teachers across the Metro-Detroit area, employed 10 teaching artists, and produced dozens of student media projects. DFS has demonstrated alasting positive impact on individuals that we work with. We were recently featured in a story on Michigan Radio.

Here are two quotes from DFS participants:

As an 8th grader, I never thought I had the power to change my city. But with DFS, I see I can start with myself and my class then eventually the city...I learned that it’s not always about you – you have to care about the community and what’s going on outside of your home and your situations because if you don’t, then you won’t know what’s going on. It’s not just about watching news, because you’re just watching what’s going on, you’re not actually helping. – 8th grade DFS student

Immersion in the DFS network dramatically transformed how I conceptualize my role as an educator and my own vision for how a successful classroom functions. Before DFS, I had a much lower bar for measuring success. Since DFS, I look for elements of rigorous engagement, character development and student leadership to signify the success of my classroom. – DFS Teacher

In Detroit Future Schools, we understand our community as an ecosystem comprised of many interdependent systems, people, and structures. Strategies for addressing a problem within our ecosystem must consider the whole network of relationships that feed its existence and are fed by it. Similarly, effective solutions must be supported by the whole ecosystem.

In this spirit, DFS is seeking sustainers to help us grow our work.

The schools we are working in are strapped for funds. Likewise, relying on grants and foundations leaves DFS susceptible to financial instability. We cap the amount we ask from our schools and work hard to seek funding elsewhere in order to not only grow our work in schools, but also share our work through a number of free and low-cost gatherings open to all educators, students, parents, and artists across the nation.

As a sustainer, your automatic monthly recurring donation will allow us to:

  • grow our work in our anchor schools without increasing the cost to them
  • organize yearly Network Gatherings which are open and free to the public
  • continue to offer the DFS Rida Institute to educators all over the nation
  • develop a DFS online resources so that we can open-source our resources, practices and toolkit for educators and community members

We accept monthly contributions at any level, you can give $1 per month or $100. You can also make a one-time donation if you prefer.


We appreciate your support! It means the world to us.

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Help Build the Detroit Future Schools Network at the AMC

dfs-indiegogoSupport the growing Detroit Future Schools network by making a donation to the first-ever DFS Network Gathering, Thursday, June 20 in conjunction with the 2013Allied Media Conference. The state of crisis in Detroit's education system is well-known. Yet the work for transformative education within classrooms all over the city, despite the many levels of systemic failure, remains largely invisible.

Detroit Future Schools is making that work stronger and more visible by weaving a network of teachers and digital media artists who are committed to reinventing the purpose and practice of education in Detroit. In DFS classrooms, education is a process that prepares youth and adults to envision and actualize a more just, creative, and collaborative world.

Read some reflections from the 2013-2014 school year on how Detroit Future Schools is using digital media arts to foster metacognitioncuriosity, and critical consciousness in students-- from 2nd grade to 12th grade. Seeing this work in action led one local journalist to conclude, "It was evident that the students I met were in the process of developing valuable technology skills, of course, but also extraordinarily sharp analytical skills and a powerful sense of their individual ability to investigate, understand, and change their communities."

While the Network Gathering is primarily for youth, we are making a limited number of seats available to adult allies within the field of transformative education. These seats will be offered as "perks" for donations of $250 and higher. As an adult ally participant in the Network Gathering you will have the chance to:

  • learn directly from DFS students and teachers about the current state of education in Detroit
  • experience DFS core practices for fostering authentic student leadership in the classroom
  • witness student media projects that grew out of the DFS model for digital media arts-integration with core content.
  • learn about new models for participatory documentation and evaluation, such as the DFS 11 Essential Traits Rubric.

Our goal is to raise $4,000 by June 15, in order to cover food and conference registration costs for DFS students, teachers, parents and community members.

Watch this awesome video to learn more!

Share the link for our IndieGoGo Campaign on social media!