The Ecology Center develops innovative solutions for healthy people and a healthy planet.
We believe health must be at the center of our work, and that planetary health and the health of ecological systems are a necessary foundation for human health. You can’t have healthy people on a sick planet. In the same way, you can’t have a healthy population with dysfunctional city planning, lack of mass transit, a broken agricultural system, a carbon-reliant energy system, an uneducated and unengaged civic body, a toxic material economy. A health-centered approach makes environmental issues more real for people.
With our Detroit-based partners, we created the Breathe Free Detroit coalition in 2017 to call on decision-makers to shut down Detroit’s polluting trash incinerator and move the city towards zero waste practices. We’ve energized hundreds of neighborhood activists to get engaged on this issue, attend public events, and lobby their elected officials for action. This year, we’re planning to build a huge citizens’ movement that finally persuades the City of Detroit to close the facility.
East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) began as a response in the 1960s to environmental concerns in southeast Michigan. Algae blooms were choking out life in Great Lakes and inland waters. Household and industrial wastes were piling up in landfills. Air pollutants were becoming a health issue in many urban neighborhoods and highways and buildings were covering up wetlands and open areas at the urban fringe.
With the help of our members' continuing support and enthusiasm, EMEAC will continue to pursue its mission: To empower the Detroit community to protect, preserve and value the land, air, and water. We build community power through environmental justice education, youth development, and collaborative relationship building. Detroit is in crisis. In every area of life, Detroiters are under assault: the education system has been dismantled, unions were broken, houses foreclosed on, pensions defunded, emergency services selectively applied, streetlights permanently shut off in certain areas, environmental injustices abound, social safety net services defunded, and the will of the people (through democratic processes) denied.