A number of nonprofits and coalitions are doing environmental justice-related work in Detroit and southeast Michigan. Here’s a sampling of some of them.
Published: August 18, 2011
Complete Streets in Detroit
The idea of complete streets is to make roadways safe for all users — pedestrians, bicyclists and public transit riders, especially. The Compete Streets coalition — a partnership of the City of Detroit Health and Wellness Department, the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition — is advocating for crosswalks, bus stops, bike lanes and other features to help offer transportation options, improve the environment through less transportation pollution and increase safety.
Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
DBCFSN promotes its cause of food security through public policy advocacy, promotion of agriculture and healthy eating habits, and encouraging young people to adopt careers in food production fields. The mission is clear and well-defined: end hunger in Detroit through healthy, sustainable means.
Detroit Food Justice Task Force
This task force brings together a wide-range of people — activists, business and community leaders, politicians, food specialists and more — to provide broad support for their goal of “food sovereignty” in Detroit. They host monthly meetings in Eastern Market about food justice that are open to the public.
Detroit Vacant Property Campaign
A coalition of community groups, nonprofits, businesses and governmental leaders are working to mitigate the negative effects of vacant property in Detroit neighborhoods. The initiative is supported by the Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and led by Community Legal Resources.
Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice
With its Green Jobs Training program, DWEJ is helping train Detroiters to work in the “green” economy, an emerging focus for the environmental justice movement. The Midtown-based group also runs education and community monitoring programs for youth including “hazards awareness” training.
East Michigan Environmental Action Council
One of the area’s oldest environmental justice organizations, EMEAC’s emphasis on youth has led to outdoor labs and corresponding education programs at four schools, a summer camp, the “Stand Up, Speak Out” initiative that helps students advocate for environmental justice. Other programs include assisting with the Detroit Media Economy Collaborative and the Detroit Food Justice Task Force.
A member-based organization of environmental advocates, the Ecology Center promotes environmental issues around Michigan and has many ongoing programs for education including recycling and toxic chemical removal.
Great Lakes Detroit Bioneers
A local chapter of the national Bioneers organization, GLBD’s mission is to promote sustainable communities with an emphasis on southeast Michigan. The group will host an Oct. 14-16 conference and is looking for volunteers to help with the event.
Great Lakes Environmental Law Center
Part learning experience for Wayne State University law students, part environmental advocacy group, the law center works on issues related to environmental justice, including clean energy and clean water. The center also has worked on legislation including the provision to allow property owners to install small-scale renewable energy systems and make other efficiency improvements to their homes, paying back the cost through property taxes.
Green Door Initiative
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