February 23, 2011

REMEDIA: The Remedia program does media production for East Michigan Environmental Action Council, which is an Environmental Justice non-profit based in Detroit. Remedia empowers community members, youth and adult, with the skills and technological tools to tell their own stories about environmental issues in SE Michigan. These can be public service announcements, music videos, short films, digital art works or documentaries about air quality, water access and affordability, land use or food security. We also have an environmental justice media fellows program where program participants are hired by area justice organizations to meet their media needs around documentation and promotions.

Click Here for Related News: REMEDIA

ANNUAL EMEAC GREENSCREEN FILM FESTIVAL: Each year Remedia also sponsors the Annual EMEAC Greenscreen Film Festival where students across southeast Michigan showcase films with environmental themes. The work of these young filmmakers express what they think is most crucial to their health and to the natural environment. Some films also focus on making the world (or their school or neighborhood) more environmentally healthier. The festival is a celebration of youth voice and emerging environmentalism. The short films, created entirely by young artists and aspiring young activists, span environmental and social consciousness.

The films are judged for cinematic merit, relevance to Southeastern Michigan, and creative messaging. The panel of judges included independent directors, environmental activists, a youth activist, and a journalist. Now in its fifth year, EMEAC gets statewide inquiries about this exciting event, as well as requests for film making workshops and demonstrations year round.

DETROIT DIGITAL JUSTICE COALITION: The Detroit Digital Justice Coalition (DJC) is comprised of people and organizations in Detroit who believe that communication is a fundamental human right. We are securing that right through activities that are grounded in the digital justice principles of: access, participation, common ownership, and healthy communities. East Michigan Environmental Action Council along with 10 other grassroots organizations and independent technologists in Detroit founded the coalition which emerged out of conversations that took place during the 2009 Allied Media Conference workshop, "A Healthy Digital Ecology: Creating a Community Vision for Federal Broadband Funding." Since August 2009 we have been building a shared vision for digital justice in Detroit, strategizing around collaborative applications for federal broadband funding, and preparing for community-wide educational events that will include everything from Internet policy workshops to hands-on technology stations.

Read more about the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition here

Read more about Detroit Future here

DETROIT FUTURE Detroit Future consists of three programs that put the Detroit Digital Justice Principles into practice: Detroit Future Media, Detroit Future Schools and Detroit Future Youth. These three programs collaborate to tell stories about their accomplishments, challenges and realizations, with the goal of making the work transparent and replicable. The Detroit Future DECODE (documentation, evaluation and communications) team synthesizes those stories into a new narratives about Detroit and its future.

Detroit Future Media

DF Media is growing a community media economy in Detroit. Students choose to focus on either education, entrepreneurship and community organizing and select media production workshops in video, web and graphic design to integrate with their focus track. Participants graduate with the unique skill sets necessary to train other Detroiters in digital media, create their own jobs, foster collaborative forms of community wealth creation, and support media-based community organizing for a better Detroit.

Detroit Future Youth

DF Youth aims to strengthen and deepen youth social justice organizing in Detroit by partnering with youth programs that focus on social justice based education and multimedia creation, who are using digital media to transform ourselves and our communities. Our mission is to build a Detroit youth network. Our Vision is to grow a youth led movement in Detroit. Network members share a commitment to authentic youth-leadership development that fosters the future creators, problem-solvers and social change-makers our city needs.

Detroit Future Schools

DF Schools partners graduates from Detroit Future Media with K-12 teachers to design and implement digital media arts-integrated curriculum. The goal of DFS is to use digital media arts to provide the project-based learning experiences that students need to understand and shape their worlds. Participating teachers and artists receive a full year of professional development support to implement and improve their instructional practices.

Read more about Detroit Future here. 


Food Justice Task Force

Read More at the Detroit Food Justice Task Force website

DETROIT FOOD JUSTICE TASK FORCE: While abandoned by major supermarket chains, Detroit, like many inner city communities, has rich social and environmental capital that has been largely untapped or under-utilized in addressing food security for the people in our communities. The Task Force brings together a broad coalition of local growers, social, environmental and media justice organizations, schools, churches, food educators, restaurants, caterers and restaurant suppliers, the City of Detroit, representatives from the Michigan Environmental Council, community activists, residents and stakeholders. The members of the task force represent a broad spectrum of experience and resources in food production, distribution, land use, restaurant and other end users/retail options who will work together to:
  • Develop and implement strategies to expand urban agriculture production Improve food access and security
  • Create jobs
  • Contribute to community sustainability.
To empower Detroiters to assess and improve food justice and security in their own neighborhoods, FJTF will develop Planning Toolkit providing information and resources on:
  • Food Justice Literacy
  • Best Practice Research and Development
  • Environmental Justice Literacy
  • Community Assessment and Data Analysis
  • Food Justice Media & Media Literacy
DETROIT YOUTH FOOD JUSTICE TASKFORCE: With support from the Detroit Food Justice Taskforce, the youth food justice taskforce is working to create opportunities for youth to understand the impact of food related policy such as the 2012 Farm Bill and how it impacts their day to day life.
The Youth Food Justice Taskforce works with community gardens, creates, food just media and educational tools and hosts monthly Food Justice Friday community dinners.
Membership is open to all Detroit area youth with an interesst in healthy eating and having fun. 

    Environmental Justice

    This page is undergoing important revisions. 

    Please return soon.

    Community Media Screenings

    February 4, 2011 0 comments

    Community screening of “13 in the Hole” documentary April 25 at Redford Branch Library

    April 6, 2012 Leave a Comment
    Watch the Trailer
    DETROIT – A special community screening of the documentary “13 in the Hole: A Story of Detroit's 48217” will take place on April 25 from 5:30 pm to 7:45 pm at the Redford Branch Library located at 21200 Grand River. The documentary takes a look at how residents on the blocks intersecting Pleasant and Leibold Streets were affected over a two-year period by Marathon Oil's daily shipping of over 3,000,000 gallons of waste water from its newly expanded tar sands oil refining facility, through the public water main running under Pleasant Street and to Detroit's Waste Water Treatment facility.
    The documentary focuses on an area of 48217 called “The Hole” where 13 residents who were left behind following Marathon's 2009 buyout of the nearby Liddesdale block – making way for expansion of the Waste Water Treatment Plant's Combined Sewerage Overflow facility – continued to suffer from toxic gases identical to the ones used in the tar sands refinery process suddenly emanating from their basements. Caught directly between Marathon's new tar sands refinery and the city's new CSO, two of the 13 residents – Regina Smith and Adrienne Crawford – tell their stories about growing up in The Hole only to find themselves ignored and under siege when they joined other community members in protesting being literally poisoned in their own homes.
    Mrs. Regina Smith resident of The Hole
    “Some of the most important messages of the documentary are the clear connections that are made,” said Dr. Angela Allen, who worked on the project as part of the Detroit Future Media Workshops along side Dr. Conja Wright, Rhonda Anderson of the Detroit Seirra Club's Environmental Justice Office and EMEAC's ReMedia Program Coordinator Patrick Geans-Ali. “First, no one should underestimate the experience of a community resident and investment in community residents should be the first focus of any sustainable revitalization plan, including the advocacy and mobilization of residents in nearby communities.
    “Second, that the knowledge that just one EPA regional staff person can have that impacts the ability of a neighborhood to gain justice. Third, all politics are local. What the conversations are here will be the same that will take place in Wiliston, North Dakota, in communities engaging fracking and other environmental justice impact policies shared by city, state, and federal engagement.”
    With most authorities ignoring their initial complaints, residents of The Hole turned to the Sierra Club's Anderson and 48217 community activists like Theresa Landrum, Dr. Delores Leonard and Vincent Martin among others for support. The citizen-led movement eventually had to enlist the services of the environmental watchdog group Global Community Monitoring to prove their claims and win some measure of support from local media and political leaders. Even with that, Marathon has yet to reach an agreement to resettle many of the remaining residents of The Hole.
    Detroit's 48217 zip code sits along the city's industrial corridor and was found to be the most polluted area in the state of Michigan and the third most polluted by a University of Michigan study. Residents suffer from disproportionately high levels of a complete range of health problems as a result. The documentary takes a look at one acute crisis situation as a means of bringing greater awareness to the environmental health hazards facing all of Southwest Detroit – if not the city as a whole.
    “The most important part of working on the documentary for me was two-fold: one, listening to fellow activists and learning from them to be a part of putting this very important and timely story together,” said Dr. Allen. “Second, building the story from the perspective of the individual residents and connecting it to the larger local, domestic and international context is key. That's been my goal over 17 years of community development work, and it was fulfilling and rewarding to be a part of this project because there is so much more to be done.”
    The documentary, which is still very much a work in progress, was produced as part of the inaugural Detroit Future Media workshops. The producers are hoping to get community feedback in hopes of making the project as historically accurate and socially responsible as possible.
    “What I'm most looking forward to about the upcoming community screenings is the response from neighborhood residents who may be facing similar environmental and business relationship issues within their neighborhoods,” Dr. Allen said. “I think this is a great time to weave together stories across Detroit neighborhoods so business owners (corporate and small business) as well as city policy makers get a strong and clear picture from residents that the story of just a few residents in one neighborhood is representative of the disinvestment of an entire major metropolitian city. Investing in even just a few residents means investing in the quality of life of an entire major metropolitian city. It's about time community respect was honored.”

    Youth Food Justice Taskforce launches at North End Garden

    December 1, 2011 Leave a Comment
    Ms. Sheila Johnson, Anthony Grimmett, Roger Boy
    and EugeneMoore talk with community members
    at the launch of the Youth Food Justice Taskforce
    DETROIT -- The Detroit Youth Food Justice Taskforce officially launched on November 6 with a special work day event at the Moore Community Garden in Detroit’s North End neighborhood. Youth Food Justice Taskforce members were joined by the garden’s founder, Eugene Moore, other community members  and youth from the Five Elements Gallery in hopes of revitalizing a neglected community resource. 

    “Of course we are just getting started,” said North End resident and co-founder of the Youth Food Justice Taskforce Anthony Grimmett.  “This is a time for learning before we actually go out and start making moves in terms of food justice. I’m really excited to get out and to do as much as I possibly can.”

    Grimmett, EMEAC Volunteer of the Quarter Roger Boyd and DeRaina Stinson are spearheading EMEAC’s foray into developing youth leadership in the city’s food justice work. All three are on EMEAC’s Young Educators Alliance (YEA) Team and will be working on upcoming events like the YEA Team’s Feed One/Teach One event focusing on organizing a community response to the recently enacted public assistance cut offs. The group has also worked to put together a series of Family Dinner Night events with local schools like Palmer Park Academy and Nsoroma Institute. 

    Eugene Moore of the Moore Community Garden
    “They are really eager to take the lead and getting other young people to be a part of this organization,” said Sanaa Nia-Joy of EMEAC’s Greener Schools Program. “EMEAC is building up the foundation for the youth food justice taskforce. Once we have the foundational principles together and start deconstructing the Farm Bill, we’ll focus on developing a logo and trying to establish an online presence. Then, I think we will get more people in.”

    During the launch the group worked on building a catch basin for the garden, putting the produce to bed for the winter and preparing the soil for the spring growing season. Their plan is to once again turn the garden into a valuable community resource by increasing the productivity of the garden and enlisting community members toparticipate in it’s upkeep. 

    If all goes well, the group envisions the garden being a source of fresh produce for the local food pantry, The Storehouse of Hope. 

    “The key thing was we focused on becoming more rooted to the Earth in that space where the garden is located,” Sanaa said. “We’ve put work into the community garden. We’ve put in a water catchment system, which is almost completed. We’ve put the garden to bed and we hope to expand the garden next spring to supply vegetables for the Storehouse of Hope. It’s just a few blocks from the garden.

    Sanaa Nia Joy YFJTF EMEAC liason
    “It went really well. I feel like it’s still in the process of jelling. We had the two young men that started this off with EMEAC and then the (Five Elements Gallery) came in with a couple of other youth. Our plan is to get the flyer out by December – especially to the Detroit Future Youth members that may be interested in participating. There were a lot of bright ideas that came out of the meeting with myself, Anthony and Roger. They are both artistic and they plan on creating somethings  for the Youth Food Justice Taskforce as an earned income strategy.”

    “Maybe that’s something they can set up as a cooperative. They’ll have the pride of making money from something they would have created that takes food justice from an adult perspective to a youth perspective. That could really let them put their mark on it which is really what youth leadership development is about. We want to create an environment where young people can thrive by using their gifts and talents in a way that furthers the mission.”

    Food Justice Taskforce debuts ‘Cook Eat Talk’ documentary and zine

    August 18, 2011 Leave a Comment

    DETROIT – Over 60 community members turned out to the historic Eastern Market on August 17 for the Detroit Food Justice Taskforce’s community screening of the “Cook Eat Talk” documentary and Cook Zine. Both the documentary and the brochure chronicle the work of the DFJT during the first-year planning phase of their work and leading up to a series of community engagement sessions aimed at addressing food security, sovereignty and justice issues in the future.
    “I was very pleased with the number of folks that turned out – old faces and new,” said DFJT Administrator and EMEAC Associate Director Lottie Spady. “That really reflects the relationship building we’ve been doing over the past year and beyond.”
    The screening was held at Shed No. 5 at Eastern Market. Community members enjoyed special food and beverages provided by DFJT Member, Peoples Kitchen Detroit. Peoples Kitchen also distributed copies of the latest Cook Eat Talk zine – version 3.0. The zine serves as a companion piece to the documentary and not only tells the story of the Food Justice Taskforce in words and stills from the documentary but also includes health conscious recipes from the community members and lists the 10 principles of food sovereignty.
    “We wanted to share the story of the Food Justice Task Force and lift up some of the strategies that we’ve learned along the way,” said DFJT Coordinator Gregg Newsome of the Peoples Kitchen. “Cook Eat Talk is a community gathering facilitated and supported by Food Justice Task Force partners. Theses gatherings share a new strategy for mindful, respectful and mutually beneficial community engagement.
    “For me, the emergent, non-prescribed format, was quite significant. I think that this was facilitated by our decision to embrace and celebrate each community’s invisible capital and honor their specific interests and self-identified needs.  Rather than entering communities with a cookie cutter program, Cook Eat Talk offers menus, choices and has a flexibility that communities and families need in order to establish a healthy relationship with food.”
    Overall, DFJT members said they were pleased with the feedback from community members that attended the screening and look forward to the next phase of their work.
    “I think they were received extremely well as seen by the number of peole that purchased zines,” Spady said. “We really wanted to make the zine assessable to everyone,
    Some of the input that I got from the people that saw the documentary said that it brought the work to life better than a written report ever could. So, I was really pleased with how things went overall.
    “Based on the community’s input gathered at each Cook Eat Talk session, the taskforce will be expanding into a network of community food justice hubs that will work on behalf of each community. We’re looking forward to that process and providing training and support to each of the local communities.”

    Green Screen 2011

    5E, Nsoroma take home top honors at 2011 Green Screen Youth Film Festival

    December 1, 2011 Leave a Comment
    Representatives of Nsoroma Institute, Five Elements
    Gallery and the Ruth Ellis Center receive their awards
    following Green Screen V

    DETROIT -- Approximately 200 community members turned out to attend EMEAC’s Fifth Annual Green Screen Youth Environmental Film Festival on November 17 inside the General Motors Theater of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. “The Launch of the Detroit Youth Food Justice Taskforce” presented by The Five Elements Gallery took home top honors while “The Defenders,” presented by the Ashante Moja Class of Nsoroma Institute, about community members waging a legal campaign against the Detroit Incinerator took home second place honors. 

    “We had a record number of supporters for this year's Green Screen and for that we are extremely grateful,” said EMEAC Associate Director Lottie Spady. “This was a very exciting Green Screen as we were celebrating its 5th anniversary which is a milestone of sorts! The decision to hold it at the Charles H Wright Museum of African American History reflected our commitment to supporting Detroit and was exciting for the young people to have their work showcased in such an elegant setting. From the responses I got, Green Screen V was a hit for youth and adults alike.”

    EMEAC's Lottie Spady, left, and Piper Carter address
    the Green Screen audience
    Also winning awards during Green Screen V were the Ruth Ellis Center for “Not Alone and Our Shoes” in the Best Environmental Justice Documentary Media category about anti-bullying efforts on behalf of Lesbian Bi-sexual Gay Trans-gender and Queer youth. EMEAC’s Young Educators Alliance won the Innovative Media EJ Media Award for “The Liquor Store and the Green Pepper” about access to quality food outlets in Detroit. The Most Creative Food Justice Music Video went to The Heru Organization and Five Elements Gallery featuring the Gardening Activism Media and Education Summer Camp for “Bootleg Food.” The Inter-Generational Media Award went to the Palmer Park Academy Environmental Lab for their oral histories project featuring the Gardening Angels of Hannan House. 

    Detroit Summer’s LAMP Project won the Innovative Environmental Solutions Category for “Another Detroit is Happening.” The Innovative Food Justice Media category was won by The Lathrup Village Children's Garden 4H and Video Club  for “Green Fridays” on the subject of healthy eating choices. Project Achieve’s “Green Screen Project” on relandscaping Southwest Detroit won for Best Innovative Environmental Justice Media. The Innovative Environmental Media Solutions and Best Youth Artistic Approach to EJ Media went to Nosroma Institute for “The Pollution Haters,” “The Pollution King,” “From the Present to the Past,” and “Stop Polluting My Earth!” The Nsoroma MC’s also won the Best Environmental Justice Video for “Pollution! Solution! Revolution!” which was also themed around the Detroit Incinerator. 
    The Defenders

    “I know the group Zero Waste Detroit was very excited to see so much youth media around the incinerator and it was very encouraging to see the work being undertaken by Project Achieve to build awareness around environmental justice issues in River Rouge,” Spady said. The Lathrup Village Children's Garden 4H and Video Club never disappoints, and their entry, Green Fridays, which ‘turned over a new leaf’ for school lunches was well received. 

    “It was very exciting to see how our young people express themselves through music and song and the music video category was rocking with all hands in the air to Bootleg Food and Pollution! Solution! Revolution! But what I feel is one of the key evolutions of Green Screen is the definition of ‘environment’ and recognizing that it is all of the elements that comprise where you live, work, play, and learn and your ability to be safe, happy, and healthy there. The entries from Ruth Ellis Center reflecting the challenges LGBTQ youth face around bullying really shared a timely and sensitive look at safety as environment.”

    Sponsors for the 2011 Green Screen V event were Alldrink, Allied Media Projects, Avalon Bakery, Barnes & Noble College WSU Campus, Boggs Center, Building A Movement, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Detroit Food Policy Council, Detroit Future Youth Network, Earthworks Urban Farms and Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Great Lakes Bioneers, Gregg Newsome, Detroit City Council Member Kenneth Cockrel Jr and the Detroit City Council Green Task Force, Hugh McDiarmid, IHM Sisters of Monroe Michigan, John King Used and Rare Books, Kathryn Lynch Underwood, Laura Lein, Lou Novak, Marwil Bookstore, Inc, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Mike Spencer, Motor City Brewery, People's Community Kitchen Detroit, Project South, Robinson Oil Company, Inc, Starbucks, Sugar Law Center, WSU Blimpie, WSU La Pita Mediterranean and Zero Waste Detroit. Together these individuals, organizations and businesses donated over $2,400 to support EMEAC’s environmental justice work in Southeastern Michigan. 

    The Nsoroma MC's Michael, Antonio and Sean
    in Pollution Solution Revolution!
    Having established Green Screen as a Detroit-based event, EMEAC plans to host next year’s youth film festival inside the David Blair Grassroots Community Theater at EMEAC’s new home inside the Cass Corridor Community Commons, formerly the First Unitarian Universalist Church, at the corner of Forest and Cass Avenue. The facility is currently being refurbished under the direction of long-time Detroit cultural arts organizer Oya Amakisi, who has organized the annual Detroit Women of Color Film Festival and run the Detroit Grassroots Community Arts Theater. 

    “By Green Screen VI, we will be housed in the David Blair Grassroots Community Theater in the Cass Corridor Commons. Green Screen will have landed so to speak,”  Spady said. “I see that leading to more community screenings throughout the year as well. Our media production workshops keep growing in reach so, I look forward to having at least one entry for each of our collaborative partner workshops next year!”

    Wish List

    February 3, 2011 0 comments

    EMEAC has relocated into our new home at the Cass Corridor Commons inside the First Unitarian Universalist Church at 4605 Cass Avenue. Because of the growth of EMEAC and our various programs we have growing needs for extra supplies and equipment. If you have, can donate, or know of someone with the following items requested by our program coordinators, please help us out! To make a arrangements call Diana at (c) 313-399-4065 or (w) 313-556-1702 x700.