Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

MEJC Statewide Summit

 

The Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, founded in 2009, became revitalized in 2012 through the work of activists throughout the state of Michigan. These activists wanted to plan a Summit in order to bring together groups and individuals from throughout the state who seek a clean, healthy, and safe environment for Michiganders by working with residents to hold public and private institutions accountable to the communities for whom they serve and in which they operate. The Coalition wanted to connect these individuals and groups in order to build a stronger movement for environmental justice advocacy in our state and encourage future EJ summits and action in Michigan. 

By providing perspectives and stories of environmental justice organizing and policy in Michigan, the hope was to build community among those from across the state to share strategies along with experience, and support along with solidarity.

The the main day featured speakers from the national, state, regional, and local level and included a poster session for local organizations and community groups to share their research, programming, and experiences with the rest of the participants. Seated in round tables, all participants were encouraged to reach out to build their network to include new organizers, community leaders, researchers, and members of the government. After the main day, MEJC members created democratically elected working groups, where each room was filled with those interested to build a plan together to address issues such as pollution in neighborhoods to maneuvering the bureaucracy of the multiple levels of government. 

The planning organization for the Summit included member organizations of MEJC: Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice; East Michigan Environmental Action Council; Ecology Center; Green Door Initiative; Michigan Environmental Council; NAACP of Southeastern Michigan; National Wildlife Federation; Sierra Club Environmental Justice Program; Michigan State University; Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition; Urban Regeneration LLC; & Zero Waste Detroit; in collaboration with the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project; the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment; The University of Michigan Provost’s Office, Idle No More Michigan; and West Michigan Environmental Action Council. 

These groups lent their expertise and experience to building a solid action plan for the MEJC moving forward. The relationships and connections build at the MEJC have maintained the ability of the Coalition to continue its work and programming. 

See below for the agenda of the Michigan Environmental Justice Summit:

 

 

 

Save the Date and Agenda – Michigan Environmental Justice Summit

Unfinished Business: Environmental Justice in Michigan

20th Anniversary of the Executive Order 12898

50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act

 

Plenary Presentation

Charles Lee, Environmental Protection Agency

September 12th, 2014, Lansing, MI

Union Baptist Missionary Church / 500 S Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

The Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition (MEJC) is convening a summit to bring together groups and individuals from throughout the state who seek to achieve a clean, healthy and safe environment for Michiganders by working with all residents to hold public and private institutions accountable to the communities for whom they serve and in which they operate. This summit will provide perspectives and stories on environmental justice (EJ) organizing and policy in Michigan and will lead to greater connections among organizers, community leaders, researchers, and government. This summit seeks to motivate future EJ summits in Michigan.

If you are interested in attending, have any questions, or are interested in participating in the summit or planning process, please contact Kyle Whyte, ejsummit@michiganejcoalition.org

The planning organizations include member organizations of MEJC: Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice; East Michigan Environmental Action Council; Ecology Center; Green Door Initiative; Michigan Environmental Council; NAACP of Southeastern Michigan; National Wildlife Federation; Sierra Club Environmental Justice Program; Michigan State University; Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition; Urban Regeneration LLC; & Zero Waste Detroit; in collaboration with the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project; the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment; The University of Michigan Provost’s Office, Idle No More Michigan; and West Michigan Environmental Action Council.

 

Agenda – Michigan Environmental Justice Summit

10:00-10:15am           Opening Ceremony

                                              Comments from Bunyan Bryant

10:30-12:15pm           Snapshots of EJ organizing and policy in Michigan, the United States and Globally

This session includes stories and perspectives on EJ in Michigan, from Anishinaabek efforts to protect culturally significant plants, animals and places to African-American struggles to protect the places where they live, work and play to labor movements to reform working conditions in agriculture and industry to the development of the 2010 Michigan EJ Plan. The session will also connect these stories and perspectives to U.S. and global EJ policy, such as Executive Order 12898 and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

12:15-1:30pm             Plenary Speaker

Charles Lee, Deputy Associate Assistant Administrator for Environmental Justice, Environmental Protection Agency

Mr. Lee is widely recognized as a true pioneer in the arena of EJ. He was the principal author of the landmark report, Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States. He helped to spearhead the emergence of a national EJ movement and federal action including Executive Order 12898, EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, National Environmental Justice Advisory Council, and the Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice. As a member of the Michigan Coalition, formed pursuant to the historic University of Michigan Conference on Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards, Mr. Lee will speak on the EJ movement in the U.S. and the significance of Michigan in the movement.

Lunch provided (Vegan, Vegetarian and Meat Options) Zumo Catering

1:30-2:45pm               Representatives from the State of Michigan

This session will be a panel of state representatives from Michigan agencies who describe their approach to environmental justice.

2:45-4pm                    Open Microphone Sharing Session

 Summit attendees will have the chance to describe their EJ work in Michigan and ask questions of the state representatives.

 4-5pm                         Networking & Poster Session

Organizations from around the state are providing posters that describe their work and that will be placed around the perimeter of the main room. This session allows attendees to network with poster presenters and others who are there.

5pm                             Closing: Toward Future Michigan Environmental Justice Summits

 

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