Hot In My Backyard | This American Life After years of being stuck, the national conversation on climate change finally started to shift — just a little — last year, the hottest year on record in the U.S., with Hurricane Sandy flooding the New York subway, drought devastating Midwest farms, and California and Colorado on fire. Lots of people were wondering if global warming had finally arrived, here at home. This week, stories about this new reality. -
A really important discussion on Global Warming, including conservatives talking to other conservatives about global warming and how tied up in identity politics global warming really is. It is not a hard transition for liberal reformists to imaging a “green economy” because their identity is wrapped up in that idea. It IS difficult for conservatives because their identity is NOT.
But I think the most important observation in this show—what happens when everybody realizes that what each individual does is not going to clean up carbon haze? That it’s going to take MORE than identity and lifestyle choices to fix what is going on.
Oh, another great observation: when you cut down to the chase, upwards of 40% of conservatives are actually very concerned about climate change—how can understanding the connection identity has to climate discussions and that a big population of people who we think DON’T want to talk about climate actually DO change how we approach and discuss?
Part of the recent Community Celebration at East Michigan Environmental Action Council included a re-enactment of EMEAC’s 40 year history. The above picture is of the re-enactment. The history that was read is below. The capitalized stuff was read with extra emphasis. So our actors knew that they better put their all into those words. :D
IN THE BEGINNING
Concerned citizens, doctors and academics came together to form the East Michigan Environmental Action Council (then called Environmental Action NOW) in 1973 - they meet in the basement of the Buhl building downtown Detroit to discuss what to do about OUT OF CONTROL pollution, and EXPLOSIVE algae blooms that were CHOKING out the Great Lakes. They girded their loins and tackled the issues. A cornerstone of EMEAC’s formation was the belief that informing the public about environmental issues would lead to solutions to environmental problems.
For forty years, EMEAC has been working in the:
legislature, in the courts, in township halls and in schools,
playing a role in BIRTHING most of Michigan’s environmental laws.
EMEAC has used those laws in court to protect air and water quality, wetlands, natural areas, farmlands and wildlife. We have drafted regulations for local governments and have provided public information and environmental education opportunities throughout Southeast Michigan.
A cornerstone of EMEAC’s formation was the belief that informing the public about environmental issues would lead to solutions to environmental problems.
In 1985 The Evergreen Alliance formed in Detroit to challenge the Detroit Incinerator. At the time this challenge was viewed by many as the more elite “greens” PITTED against the poor and labor.
A few years later working class and under-employed women, mainly mothers, in LA PROTESTED and shut down a large incinerator. It was a major VICTORY and this challenged many people’s idea of what is an activist is.
In 1990 ‘race and the instance of toxins’ was published by U of M professor Bunyan Bryant. Environmental Racism EMERGED as a field and NEW COLLABORATIONS BLOOMED between greens, environmentalist and labor, low income workers and people of color.
1992 - first people of color summit in DC - IT WAS AN EPIC MEETING OF THE MINDS and the Environmental Justice principles were created! There was much CELEBRATION.
2002 - second people of color summit held - youth and non-english speakers protest and close down the summit - causing many to re-think the GREAT MOVEMENTS’ DIRECTION.
In 2006 Diana Copeland is hired as executive director and in the following years the organization GREW TREMENDOUSLY
EMEAC makes itself known as environmental health and justice organization – esp for children– passing the anti- idling ordinances in the greater Detroit area. EMEAC has demonstrated the organizational, financial and coalition building capacity to LEAD this broad-based planning effort. EMEAC has worked on a wide variety of successful environmental health campaigns. Our CLEAN AIR for Kids Campaign, a collaborative effort led by EMEAC to retrofit and limit pollution caused by diesel school buses, lessened the risk from school buses to children and bus drivers. In 2008 EMEAC worked with Michigan Network for Children’s Environmental Health to increase the profile, understanding, and policy action on children’s environmental health issues in Michigan.
EMEAC begins a new and FRUITFUL PARTNERSHIP with the University of Michigan School of Social Work and School of Natural Resources and the Environment to create community residencies in Detroit Schools as part of our outdoor classroom and nutrition education programs. WORKING with Detroit Public Schools to provide environmental justice leadership and civic engagement trainings for students. EMEAC develops a reputation and track record of fostering STRONG relationships and partnerships with communities and organizations across southeast Michigan.
In 2008 EMEAC is chosen by national grassroots activists after a VIGOROUS SEARCH and INTENSE SCREENING PROCESS to be one of the HOST organizations of the United States Social Forum (The USSF). In 2010 - EMEAC hosts the USSF and leads on of the LARGEST MARCHES AGAINST the incinerator - directly following the incinerator shuts down its operation temporarily.
- There was much CELEBRATION.
- EMEAC’s reputation GROWS nationally and internationally
- 2011 saw the birth of the Young Educators Alliance - or YEA - and there was much CELEBRATION
- IN 2012 Unitarian Universalist church donates their historic and beautiful 44,000 sq ft building to EMEAC - BIRTHING THE COMMONS.
- There was much CELEBRATION.
AND IN 2013 DR. Ife KILIMANJARO comes on as co-director, everyone rejoices! EMEAC is ROOTED in the Environmental Justice principles, EMPOWERING women in LEADERSHIP, EMPOWERING people of color in leadership, AND LIVING collaborating in everyday practice.
- There was much CELEBRATION.
New Windows at #CCCommons! -
On to more important things.
I am fundraising for a fabulous group of people in Detroit some of whom belong to an organization that is actively trying to get out of the 501c3/foundation model. To do this, we are creating fundraising models that ask everybody in the group to contribute equal effort in carrying the fundraising burden. This way we are accountable to each other and our community, which are the most important things, period.
We all benefit from the service the windows provide to us, so we all are working to get them, together. They truly will be OUR windows, once we finally can afford to get them!
Please consider a donation, which will be continuing to support this important work for decades to come, and/or reblogging—support community based reciprocity and accountability!!!!
So many thanks, so much appreciation, and so many apologies for my thumb typed posts! :D
thanks CF, for reblogging!
This is still going on, y’all! Would GREATLY appreciate any help you can offer!!!
By: Noelle Frye (of the Young Educator’s Alliance of East Michigan ENvironmental Action Council)
Sometimes it’s hard to discuss a controversial topic without getting too risky from controversy, but the Young Educators Alliance (YEA) of East Michigan Environmental Action Council is up for such a challenge. On Saturday, February 16th 2013, YEA held the second annual Feed 1 Teach 1 event at the Cass Corridor Commons. The Feed 1 Teach 1 is a big event where EMEAC’s Young Educators Alliance picks an issue that Detroit is facing and collectively come up with solutions along with community members. Last year’s Feed 1 Teach 1 theme dealt with Michigan’s government cash assistance cut offs. This year, YEA wanted to challenge themselves and community members to engage in a dialog about the controversial topic, “Gentrification.”
Gentrification, known historically by some as “Urban Renewal”, is the displacement of native lower and working class communities that takes place when new development in an area results in an increase in daily living expenses, which in turn makes the area unaffordable for the original residents and business owners. Detroit has been undergoing some major “Urban Renewal” changes, especially in Midtown, which was once known as the Cass Corridor.
“While we are not against new development within the city we are strictly against displacement,” explained the YEA team to an audience of community members. This is totally understandable; why should anyone be forced out of the community in which they have lived and worked for most of their life? YEA’s Feed 1 Teach 1 goal was to explore solutions that reverse gentrification and advocate for equality. YEA spent about two months planning and promoting the Feed 1 Teach 1 collectively. YEA team members conducted a series of interviews in various neighborhoods with everyday people who shared how they felt about their communities and the changes taking place. These oral histories were crafted into a documentary piece for the Feed 1 Teach 1 event. Feed 1 Teach 1 participants also shared a healthy dinner prepared with the help of People’s Kitchen Detroit, while enjoying conscious music and great poetry performances.
After dinner, YEA team members facilitated two awesome workshops that focused on land and education. Questions were considered such as, “What are we up against?” “What are our resources?” and “What can we build?” as it relates to making the city a better place and fighting to resolve the issue of displacement. Participants agreed that Detroit citizens are up against land grabs, purposeful disinformation, capitalism and more, but despite all the negativity, Detroit has some major resources. Detroit’s powerful resources include youth activism, various environmental organizations, major media outlets and partnerships with education leaders; all resources, which help build great community relationships of people all working together for the betterment of the city. Participants wanted to build more co-ops, enact rent control laws (ownership), have more youth teaching adults and so many other great ideas. After these workshops, everyone separated into groups and physically made their own ideal cities based off of what they had agreed on in the workshops; it was surprising how crafty people were. The atmosphere was filled with knowledgeable individuals who respected each other opinions; everybody was passionate about making a positive change in the city.
Regarding the Feed 1 Teach 1 event itself, attendees responded, “It was nice. It gave people more concrete actions we can take to organize ourselves to make change!” and “It was awesome. It was a perfect reflection of what real community learning should look like” YEA’s will take next steps by sharing information they have learned about Gentrification with others and put the ideas they learned at the feed 1 Teach 1 into action. — East Michigan Environmental Action Council | EMEAC: TACKLING CONTROVERSY IN HARMONY
The Declaration of Independence
We the people, the students of Mumford High would like a longer summer vacation. The EAA has taken over all of our accessibility. We want our rights back! Plenty of students in our school have the advantage of getting jobs over the summer. Without a longer vacation that is impossible. We cannot get jobs so that we can have college experience, which will result to no college acceptance. Other students that have the advantage of getting out of school have more advantages than us students who get out in August. Colleges want students who have experience, knowledge, background, exposure and participation.
The EAA does not treat the students fairly. We have been suspended for dress code, truancy, and even no identification. Our rights say that the maximum of truancy is an in school suspension. Being suspended for dress code and not having identification is not written in our student rights handbook. Being a student of the EAA has few pros and many cons. We lack on teachers, education, and responsibility. Why is it that our school cost 54 million dollars but yet we don’t have money for a field trip? Why is it that the seniors of 2013 haven’t had senior trips or activities? What can students of 2014, 2015, 2016 and so on expect? We need answers!
The EAA needs to be stopped; it is a process of confusion. How are seniors going to go to any college without the right amount of credits? We need Detroit Public Schools back. We were cared for when they taught us. Our education was valuable to most DPS teachers. The teachers of the EAA lack showing us that they are interested in our education. The EAA does not provide us with extra curricular activities. We are not treated equally to other public schools.
There should only be one school district and that is DPS. The millions of dollars that were spent on unnecessary things in our school should have been spent on more teachers. We have way too many classes, not many teachers, but most importantly we don’t have enough time in our classes. We have seven classes in a day not including seminar and lunch. We are worn out and tired. Mumford is a public school not a jail. EAA should be put away!
Our List of Demands!
• Longer summer vacations
• More teachers
• Fewer and longer class periods
• Field trips
• School funds
• Look for ways to improve our education
• Stop Buzz
• Get more books
• Create a success for us students
• Help us find ways to improve academically
• Help us advance in all subjects
• Develop new ways for us to understand new things
• Stop the EAA
For more information and to join us in our fight subscribe to our YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/SJLStudentVoices! — Detroit students organizing against the EAA!
(Source: theluxvoid, via angrybrownbaby)
Most U.S. and world history textbooks teach students to ignore the role of nature in history. But students need to know the environmental history of our current climate crises, including how nature was turned into a commodity to be bought and sold, and used for private profit. If we don’t, they’ll have a hard time recognizing what—and who—is responsible for today’s environmental crisis. —
The Real History of the Commons and Today’ s Environmental Crisis - Environment - Utne Reader
In the middle of reading this article—super important breakdown of how various school texts describe and explain the commodification of “the commons” and the environment. Haven’t finished reading yet, but I appreciate the particular focus on media and how it is used to erase vitally important information.