Ecology Center Celebrates 50 years Event Recap

On Oct. 28th, 2021, Ecology Center hosted a fundraiser to celebrate our over 50 years of environmental advocacy. 

The event included performances by local musician Chris Buhalis, a ready by renowned Detroit poet Jessica Care More, art by Sabrina Nelson, a dance performance by Anika Hunter and the premiere of a special film celebrating the leadership role that the Ecology Center has played in the environmental health movement since 1970. Featured appearances included Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and environmental justice leader Dr. Michael Dorsey, and more. 

The Ecology Center hosts an annual event each fall. We hope to see you at our next event. 

2021 Event Recap

Ecology Center Director, Mike Garfield

An update on the Ecology Center's future, past, and present during our 50th Anniversary Celebration virtual event.

The Ecology Center: 50 Years Fighting for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet

by Detroit Filmmaker, Oren Goldenberg

Oren Goldenberg is a video artist and producer based in Detroit. His work ranges from experimental dance to political satire, social documentary to feature film to multi-media installations. Goldenberg is a 2013 Kresge Fellow in the Visual Arts, Best Filmmaker (Real Detroit, 2011), and Best Michigan Filmmaker (AAFF, 2006). He is also the owner of Cass Corridor Films.

Jessica Care Moore and Sabrina Nelson, Spoken Word and Live Art

jessica Care moore  is the Executive Producer and Founder of the 17-year old rock & roll concert and empowerment weekend, Black WOMEN Rock! moore is a strong believer in institution building. moore created Moore Black Press Publishing in 1997, and began publishing her peers, Saul Williams, asha bandele, Danny Simmons, and Newark Mayor and poet,  Ras Baraka. and others.  She is an educator and strong advocate for youth and women's voices.  She has been called by many, "The voice of Detroit."  She penned and voiced the award winning Detroit anthem, "Move Here, Move The World,"  NEIdeas, and voiced digital campaigns for The Skillman Foundation, The Henry Ford Museum, Strategic Community Partners, and many more.

Sabrina Nelson is a painter by degree from Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. Influenced by Yoruba Religion, as well as Eastern and African philosophies, Sabrina’s work is a combination of spirit, motion, and intimacy. Not limited by two dimensions, the scope of her work also includes sculpture, objects, and installations. Her work has been exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, and the African American Art in Culture complex in San Francisco. She is based in Detroit, MI. 

Anika Hunter Dance Performance

Anika Hunter is a dancer advocating for environmental justice through the intersection of performance and activism. She went to Skidmore College with a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography with honors. She trained at Eisenhower Dance Center and danced at Youth America Grand Prix, and has attended programs at The Ailey School, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Parsons Dance. She has performed choreography by Pascal Rioult and performed in The Nutcracker with Uptown Dance Academy. 

Musical Performance by Chris Buhalis

Chris Buhalis is a prominent folk singer and songwriter from Detroit, MI.  He is known for his acclaimed 1998 debut, Kenai Dreams, and his much-anticipated and long-awaited follow-up, Big Car Town, an album about Michigan’s industrial past and the feel of the Midwest.  

Special Guest: Rashida Tlaib

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is a well-known progressive warrior and, in her own words, “a mother working for justice for all.” Her two young sons are at the root of her unwavering passion to help change lives for the better. She is the oldest of 14 children, born and raised in Detroit, the proud daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents.

Rashida made history in 2008 by becoming the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature. She is beloved by residents for the transformative constituent services she provided, and for successfully fighting the billionaires and corporations that tried to pollute her district. When families get to know Rashida, they have no doubt that she will work tirelessly to knock down barriers for real change, and whether by policy or action, she will roll up her sleeves to make sure her residents are cared for, no matter how big the challenge.

Special Guest: Dr. Michael Dorsey 

Dr. Michael K. Dorsey is a recognized expert on global energy, finance & sustainability matters. In 2013 the National Journal named him one of 200 national “energy & environment expert insiders”. In 1997 Rotary International gave Dr. Dorsey their highest honor: The Paul Harris Medal for Distinguished Service to Humanity. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Yale & the Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Dorsey is a full member of the Club of Rome.

Special Guest: Joyce Bader 

Joyce Bader is a multidisciplinary thinker who applies her extensive studies of management and leadership, ecology, literature, psychology and spirituality to her life and work. Through her consulting services, she has contributed to many of the nation’s top companies, government agencies, and nonprofits including the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of State. She has served on the adjunct faculty of Georgetown University and Antioch University and on the staff of the University of Maine. She is a co-editor of The Emotional Side of Organizations, a publication of the Georgetown Family Center, and the author of Rethinking the Consultant’s Role. She worked at the Ecology Center from 1973 to 1978, helping to transform the Ecology Center from a small grassroots organization to the regional and national environmental leader it is today. 

A Message from Vice President of Ecology Center's Board of Directors, Jennifer Queen

Jennifer Queen is a public relations consultant who has handled media relations and marketing communications for ABN AMRO Mortgage Group, HealthMedia, University of Michigan, Hallmark, Ann Arbor SPARK, the Michigan Venture Capital Association, and the Ann Arbor Hands‐On Museum. She has served on the boards of the Women’s Center of Southeastern Michigan, St. Paul of the Cross Retreat Center, and Michigan Innovators.

Remembering our Emcee, Lisa Barry

We had the distinct and delightful pleasure to have long-time Detroit-area media personality Lisa Barry emcee our celebration with her usual mix of grace, humor, and joy.

We were shocked and saddened to learn that, only five weeks after the event, she unexpectedly died of complications related to a heart condition.  

Lisa Barry was an important figure in southeast Michigan radio and TV over the past three decades, and served for the last several years as the host of NPR’s All Things Considered on WEMU-FM.  She was an infectiously kind, warm, and lively woman who made the strongest impression on all of us who had the privilege of working with her. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, friends, and colleagues at WEMU. 


Watch the Entire Event