Los Angeles, December 22, 2014 — The Metabolic Studio today announced its 2014 Chora Prize will be awarded to Detroit activist and philosopher Grace Lee Boggsin in recognition of the work that spans her lifetime.
We can begin by doing small things at the local level, like planting community gardens or looking out for our neighbors. That is how change takes place in living systems, not from above but from within, from many local actions occurring simultaneously.”
— Grace Lee Boggs
“Through decades of dramatic change in the city of Detroit, Grace Lee Boggs has been a grounding force for the activist community,” said Metabolic Studio director Lauren Bon. “Her work has touched countless individuals, especially young people looking for ways to transform their communities. At nearly 100 years old, she remains committed to asking questions — challenging us not only to criticize the way things are, but also to create new models for the way things could be. Her life’s work helps us understand crisis as an opportunity to create a more just and democratic society.”
Born in 1915, Boggs has devoted herself to seven decades of political involvement encompassing the major U.S. social movements of the past hundred years. A daughter of Chinese immigrants, Boggs received her B.A. from Barnard College and her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. She developed a twenty-year political relationship with Marxist C.L.R. James, followed by extensive Civil Rights and Black Power Movement activism in Detroit in partnership with her husband, James Boggs.
With a voice both compassionate and powerful, Bogg’s presence is felt all over the city of Detroit. In 1995, the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership was created to forward her legacy of revolutionary ideas and visionary organizing. Its mission is to nurture the transformational leadership capacities of individuals and organizations committed to creating productive, sustainable, ecologically responsible and just communities. Through visionary organizing — local, national and international networks of activists, artists and intellectuals — the Center fosters new ways of living, being and thinking to face the challenges of the 21st century.
In 2013, the James and Grace Lee Boggs School was launched near Bogg’s home on the Eastside of Detroit by place-based educators dedicated to nurturing creative, critical thinkers who contribute to the well-being of their communities. Boggs remains involved as a community activist and weekly columnist for the Michigan Citizen.
Today, Boggs continues to devote her life to the struggle to stretch our humanity toward revolution, which she defines as the ability to transform oneself to transform the world. The Metabolic Studio grant recognizes this outstanding individual whose lifelong work serves as a beacon for others to continue to nurture the creation of productive, sustainable, ecologically responsible and just communities.
To learn more about Grace Lee Boggs, go to: http://boggscenter.org/.
About the Chora Prize
Chora is a project of the Los Angeles-based Metabolic Studio created to support the intangibles that precede creativity. The Chora Prize acknowledges a fully realized project of originality and merit; it stimulates the incorporation into institutions of “out of the box” ideas. The term “chora” is ancient Greek for vessel and is used by Plato to refer to that which precedes realization being more real than the thing itself. Past Chora Prize winners include artist Felicity Powell for her exhibition entitled Medals of Dishonour (2009); and Drew Cameron for the Combat Paper Project, an organization that conducts workshops around the country to teach military veterans how to make paper by hand from their old uniforms (2012).
About the Metabolic Studio
Led by Lauren Bon, the Metabolic Studio is a conduit by which resources that would otherwise be used to maintain the status quo are employed to shift it. Derived from the Greek word for change, ‘metabolism’ is the process that maintains life. In continuous cycles of creation and destruction metabolism transforms nutrients into energy and matter. Working to sustain these cycles, the Metabolic Studio transforms resources into energy, actions and objects that nurture life.