This year's conference theme is Building Power Towards Sustainable Community and will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2022.

We will focus on the importance of understanding interconnected injustices as well as the movements towards collective liberation by centering issues related to housing disenfranchisement, land sovereignty, and sustainable living. Join us in expanding our understanding of the movements toward collective liberation surrounding community design and urban land.


Building Power (BP) is an annual student-organized conference designed to build collaboration within the University of Michigan and larger communities’ anti-racism and social justice work. BP aims to center community knowledge in the fight against white extremism by challenging ourselves to explore how we have internalized the culture of white extremism so that we can embody love and wield power in our communities, institutions, and society at large. By spending an interactive and introspective day learning together through breakout sessions on special topics, affinity group meetings to connect individuals with shared identities, and the wisdom shared by our keynote speaker, we can grow and Build Power together.

Keynote Speaker Confirmed!

Mama Shu

Shamayim ‘Mama Shu’ Harris is a mother, a community activist, a former school administrator, and the founder and CEO of Avalon Village, a sustainable eco-village in Highland Park. Her dream of building this urban oasis arose after the tragic loss of her son, Jakobi RA, who was killed by a hit and run driver in 2007 at the age of two. Shu chose to heal and honor Jakobi’s memory by transforming blight to beauty and creating something wonderful for the people of Highland Park.

Learn more about Avalon Village and Mama Shu's work here!

Let us know if you'll be attending!

Registration is open from 9/28/2022 to 10/19/2022. To register later, please email