Michigan Environmental Justice Summit

Date: September 12, 2014
Location: Union Baptist Missionary Church, 500 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

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

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, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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

Unfinished Business: Environmental Justice in Michigan

20th Anniversary of the Executive Order 12898

50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act


10-10:15 a.m.           Opening Ceremony
Comments from Bunyan Bryant


10:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.           Snapshots of EJ organizing and policy in Michigan, the U.S. 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.


12:15-1:30 p.m. 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) by Zumo, a community supported micro farm


1:30-2:45 p.m. Representatives from the State of Michigan

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


2:45-4 p.m. Open Microphone Sharing Session

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


4-5 p.m. 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.


5 p.m. Closing: Toward Future Michigan Environmental Justice Summits