In March 1970, Student activists organized an environmental teach-in at the University of Michigan that shaped the modern day environmental movement. In May 2019, the movement is rising again.

Rise Up in 2020

We’re celebrating the Ecology Center’s 50th anniversary this year, and we’d like you to join us!

The Ecology Center was founded after the Ann Arbor Teach-In on the Environment in 1970, the first and largest of hundreds of Earth Day events held across the United States that year, in what, at the time, constituted the largest mass mobilization of people in U.S. history.  As the 50th anniversary of both the Ecology Center and Earth Day approaches, the world is seeing a phenomenon unlike any we’ve seen since 1970 -- a mass uprising of people to address the climate crisis, and to provide a livable world for future generations.

History, told well, shines a light on the present.  There are through-lines in the history of the Ecology Center, and of environmental activism in Michigan that carry forward to the most vital issues of today.  

Each week this year we will be sharing one of 50 milestones, for the 50 years of our history, and we’ll link those milestones to our current campaigns for healthy people and a healthy planet.  And each weekday we’ll be sharing photos on social media to remind us that change is the result of ordinary people taking action and demanding something better for all of us. 

This is why we intend to honor and celebrate the Ecology Center’s historic achievements in ways that illuminate and elevate our current priorities – and those of the larger environmental and environmental justice communities. Whether you’ve been following and supporting our work for 50 years, or if you’re new to the Ecology Center, we hope the occasion will deepen your commitment to our work today.

Research for these stories provided by the Environmental Justice HistoryLab at the University of Michigan.  For more, see history archive.