SLAM exists to end prejudice by developing lifelong, cross-cultural friendships within the art community.
SLAM is a Metro Detroit artist collective united by a common dream to end prejudice in our region. The chief goal of SLAM is to invite people into lifelong, cross-cultural friendships. These kind of friendships serve to destroy prejudice based on contact theory - which is simply that the more time someone spends in close relationship to someone, the more likely they are to develop intimacy, even in the face of major personal, ideological, and historical differences. To establish these friendships, SLAM employs a three part strategy. The first part is SLAM Live, which are events that bring artists from two different, yet similar, art forms together for a unique battle that gives the audience an unforgettable experience. Live events are build as gathering moments, where communities from vastly different backgrounds and neighborhoods. If people are interested in getting further connected, SLAM offers Studios, which are hang-outs where artists get to hone their craft alongside other artists, practicing together and picking up skills they likely never would if they only surrounded themselves with artists from the same medium, which leads to new relationships. Finally, if someone wants to go further in relationship, they can join a SLAM Circle. SLAM Circles are honest discussions between people of all backgrounds, artists or not, who are willing to take on the fight against prejudice head on. It’s at these Circles that people enter the ultimate process of reconciliation and build life-long, cross-cultural friendships.
While SLAM is not a religious organization, it’s focus on reconciliation and ending prejudice is inspired through the person of Jesus. Any group that truly works to tear down the walls of hostility between people, promote understanding, and create new friendship is a kingdom-growing initiative.
Through the coaching and financial investment of Become, the initial SLAM Circle and SLAM Live event were formed, including the addition of Executive Producer Phoenix Moore who produced the Poets vs. Actors SLAM. Become helped in the process of creating the initial strategy.
SLAM hosted it’s first SLAM Live event in May 2018, welcoming over 90 people to a battle between 13 different poets and actors. Poets performed spoken word poems while actors performed monologues, all in front of the same panel of judges made up of 2 poets, 2 actors, and 1 judge who had no experience in either medium. The format forced artists outside of their comfort zones to engage audiences and judges they usually do not have to consider. Out of the momentum of SLAM Live, a SLAM Studio for the artists who performed has been created, while an ongoing SLAM Circle that began in October of 2017 continues to meet explore what it means to truly be friends, reconciled to one another.
The next SLAM live event will be taking place in January 2019 featuring break dancing vs. tricking.