EMEAC and First UU to celebrate official transfer of deed to Cass Corridor Commons on Sunday

May 15, 2012

Cass Corridor Commons
DETROIT – The East Michigan Environmental Action Council and the First Unitarian Universalist Church will celebrate the official transfer of the deed to the First UU complex to become the Cass Corridor Commons on Sunday, May 20 beginning at 11 am in McCollester Hall. The event will begin with the traditional Sunday service followed by a fellowship gathering where First UU members, EMEAC staff and guest will share their reflections of the transfer, food and musical entertainment.
EMEAC officially assumed responsibility for the operation of the facility on August 15 of 2011 following the formal donation by the First UU Board of Directors last July. EMEAC’s plans for the complex include the creation of a Cass Corridor Commons community organizing hub consisting of fellow social justice minded organizations. The First UU congregation will still have full use of the worship and meeting facilities. EMEAC will operate the day to day administration of the building to include meeting facilities, office rentals and building maintenance.
Our vision is to transform the UU space into a multi-use facility and Detroit grassroots organizing hub,” EMEAC Director Diana Copeland said in August. “This Cass Corridor Commons space will embody the principles and values of the Unitarian Church and our environmental and social justice principles. Not only will the facility be used for First UU services and EMEAC administrative office space, it will also house several grassroots organizations which are partnered with EMEAC.”
Entrepreneurial ventures by collaborative partners in addition to meeting space for grassroots events and activities will also be accommodated. Some current tenants at the facility like the Sugar Law Center for Social and Economic Justice will remain at First UU. They will be joined by EMEAC partners like the People’s Kitchen Detroit, Whole Note Healing Space, and Fender Bender Detroit.
We are creating a common space for the movements around social justice, food justice, environmental justice and digital justice to educate, strategize, and strengthen the underrepresented and unrepresented voices of our youth, elders, communities of color, and those that differ in their orientation and abilities,” said EMEAC Associate Director Lottie Spady. “Maintaining the structural expenses of a large building is a challenge, but its one that has been anticipated and we are planning accordingly. There will be many opportunities for the community to support this effort by way of events, campaigns, and outreach efforts. We hope that going forward community members would please consider connecting with EMEAC and First UU to share resources around the maintenance of this vital community resource.”

Youth Food Justice Taskforce Cinco De Mayo Community Dinner Night best yet

DETROIT – The Detroit Youth Food Justice Taskforce celebrated Cinco De Mayo on Friday, May 4 with their biggest and best Community Dinner Night event by drawing over 100 people to the Cass Corridor Commons for an evening of healthy food, food justice education, music, art and poetry.
“We had just over 100 people at the last one,” said DYFJT Coordinator Roger Boyd. “We had some good youth entertainment. Everybody had smiles on their faces. Everybody was laughing and having fun. There were a lot of families there. This was probably about the best one we've had so far.”
The Youth Food Justice Task Force Community Dinner Night events started in March and has doubled in attendance each time out. The events are held on the first Friday of each month and has gone from 25 at the first event to over 100 this month organizers.
The event was catered by People's Kitchen Detroit along with tradition hispanic dishes in honor of the Cinco de Mayo holiday. In addition to the food, community members at the event got call to action on the 2012 Farm Bill and other food justice related issues by Detroit Food Justice Taskforce Coordinator Charity Hicks. The Youth Food Justice Taskforce coordinating team of Boyd, Anthony Grimmett, Sanaa Nia Joy and Kadiri Senefer served as masters of ceremonies and delivered presentations.
The event also featured DJ Lajedi, who provided the music while artists like Honey Combe Bryce, Sage & Buddah J, Taneesha Fashion and Cyndi Anderson performed among others.
“Food Justice Friday was phenomenal. We had three times as many people. We actually had so many people we ran out of food,” said Nia Joy. “We had one of our partners from Detroit Future Youth, Young Nation, come in from Southwest Detroit and did graffiti art. They painted a small picture to be a part of a larger mural.
“We had the sound system going this time. The music was bumping. We had a good DJ.
We celebrated Cinco De Mayo, and acknowledged their contribution into our lives here in the United States. We had fajitas with a vegan option. We had palentas which are little Popsicles. We had rice coleches. Greens and spinach from Feedom Freedom. Radishes from Earth Works. We had a lot of local produce. Anything that was in season, we tried to get.”
Organizers say they are very encouraged by the growing popularity of the event and attribute it to good word of mouth from people who attended previous events, use of social networking outlets and the dedication of youth organizers like Boyd and Grimmett, who have been with the Youth Food Justice Taskforce since its inception last fall.
“It's beautiful to see everyone come together for this,” Grimmett said. “The community dinner undoubtedly has a family feel to it. For us to have only had three, I think we've gained huge prestige on the basis of quality and quantity. Anyone can come, enjoy themselves, network, dialog, and learn about many things food justice and in other areas.
“I feel as if the Youth Food Justice Task Force has something concrete to hold on to as motivation and as an outreach tool. I'm looking forward to the dinners having small youth led workshops/discussions in between to mobilize more people.”
Likewise Nia Joy said she would like to see greater youth involvement going forward. While there are challenges in that area, she feels like there is tremendous potential for a youth-led food justice movement in the city.
“I would like to have more young people there,” she said. “With the schools we work with, we have some transportation issues so we couldn't get them there this month but I would like to have more young people actually participating in the process.
“The goals is to create community. We want to create awareness of food justice and the people who are related to food justice via the Farm Bill, Cinco De Mayo and people having access to culturally appropriate foods and healthy foods. We want to touch on these things in a fun way, and we hope that more people will be involved in food justice actions. We'd also like to coordinate some actions for Metro Foodland which is the only African American grocery store in the state. Lila Cabil of the Food Justice Taskforce is supporting them. We are just hoping to get more people engaged and more aware of what they are eating. If people become more aware of what they are eating, then we can demand more healthy foods in the stores and the schools.”

EMEAC Heads to Chicago to Oppose Militarism's Impact on Environment

CHICAGO -- On May 20-21, member organizations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will meet in Chicago. Throughout the week before and during, many thousands of people will converge in Chicago to express their concerns about NATO and what it represents: NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance between western nations to defend one another against nations they regard as threats to their economic interests. Within this current period of economic and ecological crises, local, national, and global struggles from below are arising across the world. The major response from NATO and the global elite that it represents is increasing repression and militarism, linking more deeply the war abroad and the war at home.
EMEAC is concerned about increased militarism for its social, political, economic and environmental implications. The relationship between militarism and environmental justice is clear according to Executive Director Diana Copeland. She says that "The offensive and defensive role that the U.S. military plays domestically and abroad has significant environmental implications." She goes on to explain that the methods of raw material extraction and production of military weaponry have been responsible for tremendous destruction of indigenous lands and the populations. The testing of weapons and their use during military operations often leaves the earth and water too toxic to safely use for consumption. Further, dangerous materials and unexploded devices often render lands uninhabitable, as expressed by Associate Director Ahmina Maxey.
As part of its concern around war and environmental justice issues, EMEAC is sending four staff members to Chicago to participate on the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance's delegation. Copeland considers this participation to be a step toward continuing the work around climate justice, particularly in figuring out how to work with ally organizations - such as GGJ and the Indigenous Environmental Network - on local, national and global levels to defeat climate injustice.
People will be converging on Chicago to oppose the way that the United States, through NATO, has contributed to the disruption of democratic processes around the world. Many are also protesting the tremendous financial investment in war at a time when many are suffering from joblessness, hunger, lack of medical care and so on. This is what inspired youth organizer Siwatu-Salama Ra to join the delegation. She is concerned about the use of taxpayer money, saying that "funds should go toward building communities instead of destroying them."

Detroit's Asian Youth experience will be focus of May gathering of DFY

DETROIT – The Detroit Asian Youth (DAY) Project will host the monthly gathering of the Detroit Future Youth network on May 26 from 4-8 p.m. at St. Raymond Community Center located at 20103 JoAnne Street (Near Nsoroma Institute). The theme for the May DFY gathering will be an exploration of the Asian-American youth experience in Detroit.
“We are looking forward to the opportunity for the participants to explore and share about their personal experiences through interactive writing workshops,” said the DAY Project's Soh Suzuki. “We are also looking forward to DAY Project youth leading discussions and many aspects of the event, where they can share about what it means to be Asian Americans in Detroit.”
The DAY Project has been a charter member of Detroit Future Youth and reflects the core values of DFY by representing a diverse, all-inclusive vision of the Detroit community. Their organization evolved through community organizing efforts by Detroit Chinatown Revitalization Workgroup in March of 2004 when the group organized a forum on Asian Americans and their involvement in the community's organizing efforts.
After an initial trial year and based on feedback from the group of youth who participated in the initial trial summer program, the DAY Project decided to continue meeting throughout the year with its framework becoming more accommodating to students who have school commitments. Their theme/mission states Detroit Asian Youth Project is a group of Asian Americans in Detroit developing leadership skills and awareness for social justice, by engaging the participants in community service learning and other programs that foster greater appreciation towards Detroit and its Asian American community
“I think one of our questions is how do we preserve our identity and traditions in this era of media saturation and how can we use media to tell our stories?” said DAY Project's Meiko Krishok.
In addition to interactive writing workshops and discussions, the Day Project plans to share their experience with the other 12 members organizations of DFY with by incorporating youth-led aspects that showcase some of the Asian American talents from the Detroit's Asian American community. Participants will be able to explore and share about their experiences as they find common ground for living/working/organizing in the city.
The gathering will also feature Detroit poets Emily Lawsin, Aurora Harris, Matthew Olzmann, and Peggy Hong from Milwaukee. It will also feature a special remembrance of Vincent Chin who was the victim of a hate crime in the city 30 years ago this June 23 and 24. Finally, the gathering will also feature media collected by youth involved in Asian Pacific Islander Americans Vote, who will lead us in a discussion of the power of oral histories
“We have invited some of the writers/poets to share their talents, along with DAY Project youth,” Suzuki said.

EMEAC brings EJ presence to DDJC Discovering Technology events

DETROIT – EMEAC staff members held space with an environmental justice and electronic waste recycling station at the most recent Discovering Technology event of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition held at the Museum of Contemporary Arts of Detroit in April. EMEAC Associate Director Ahmina Maxey, Communications Coordinator Patrick Geans-Ali and Greener Schools Senior Engagement Program Coordinator Priscilla Dziebek each contributed to the station which featured an interactive e-waste trivia challenge, a comprehensive map of recycling centers and live examples of reused computer hardware. 
“This station was especially relevant at the Discotech because the events are all about the use of technology, and it is important for us to think about the afterlife of many of our electronics after we throw them away,” Maxey said. “The EJ station educated participants about the magnitude and environmental impact of e-waste, and ways to reduce this impact through proper recycling – showing participants on a map where they can recycle their old electronics in Detroit.”
The EJ station was one of three EMEAC stations held at the event. The other two stations focused on social networking as EMEAC Associate Director Lottie Spady and Detroit Future Communications Coordinator Victoria Goff held down a station of how to use Twitter while EMEAC Stand Up Speak Out Youth Team Leader Siwatu-Salama Ra worked at the Facebook Station. In all, the Disco Tech featured approximately 15 stations focusing on a variety of ways community members can better use technology such as basic electronics skills, internet privacy, bicycle technology, internet as an educational tool, beat making, computer hardware and others. 
“Priscilla did a great job putting together the example of how to reuse old computer parts by making them into a desk,” Geans-Ali said. “It really went well with the e-waste trivia challenge because we could show people a concrete example of how old computer parts can be creatively recycled. 
“This was my second disco tech and it's a lot of fun to see people of all ages so engaged in learning. I think that's what the diso techs are all about. It's about de-mystifying technology so that community members feel empowered with the knowledge they either already have or that they can learn just like anybody else.”
The e-waste trivia challenge focused on educating community members on the environmentally harmful aspects of electronic waste while looking at environmentally responsible ways to recycle them. 
“It is very important that EMEAC's members recycle their electronics and not put them in the trash,” Maxey added. “Electronics contain many materials that are toxic, environmental contaminants which must be properly disposed of. These include materials such as cadmium, mercury, and lead. So in addition to your everyday recycling, please be sure to recycle your old electronics. For more information about recycling your waste and e-waste in Detroit you can go to the following website.

DFY and Michigan Roundtable kickoff road to AMC fundraiser at April gathering

DETROIT -- On April 28th, Michigan Round Table and Detroit Future Youth (DFY) hosted over one hundred students from five area schools for a day of workshops, live performances and youth leadership skill building. Michigan Roundtable, a youth centered civil rights organization whose mission is to overcome discrimination and racism by crossing racial, religious, ethnic and cultural boundaries, is one of twelve organizations that participate in DFY.

The gathering also saw launched DFY network's Road to the Allied Media Conference fundraising campaign, organized primarily by youth from Michigan roundtable. http://www.indiegogo.com/detroitfutureyouth?c=home

The day began with an opening ceremony, where youth were invited to give live performances. Afterwards, youth from recent DPS walkouts spoke and held a Q and A about the media organizing process. Many youth in the audience identified with the multitude of reasons youth walked out and asked for advice on conducting their own walk outs.

The gathering then shifted into workshops where organizations involved with DFY practiced and perfected popular education workshops that will be used to create a curriculum mixtape that will serve as a comprehensive guide to youth led media organizing for organizations and youth throughout the US. All of the workshops were run by youth leaders and reflected the work each individual organization is doing within Detroit. Youth participants in the workshops were surveyed for feedback on how they felt the workshops were run and applied to their lives.

Workshop topics included: Value Added Products, Interviews and Storytelling, How to Create and Run your own Event, Sexism and Gender Justice, and more.


Through every single aspect of the day, youth were centered as leaders and learners. "I felt ready when I came into the gathering and qualified when I left," said Anthony Grimmett, a youth leader who ran the Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council's workshop with youth leaders, Roger Boyd, Shabrine Salam, and Malik Harris. "I came to the gathering with intelligence and questions and gained wisdom and more questions."

Cook, Eat & Talk with Our Kitchen Table

by Stelle Slootmaker, OKT communications officer

In Grand Rapids, Our Kitchen Table is gearing up for the growing season with a new series that brings community together around the dinner table for healthy food and political education. Launched on Friday March 23, the first “Cook, Eat and Talk” attracted more than 50 neighborhood folks.
Middle Eastern chef and director of TigerLilly Arabic Academy, “Mama” Wafa Haddad, prepared Mediterranean dishes with the crowd that featured herbs that OKT gardeners will grow this summer: chives, thyme, mint, basil, sage and parsley.
Haddad’s hands-on approach had the men and women in attendance taking part in the preparation of each dish. The recipes are posted on the OKT website under “Resources.”  During preparation, Haddad shared the health benefits of foods used in the easy to make dishes. In less than an hour, the group was all enjoying a nutritious feast.

Why Cook, Eat & Talk?
Our Kitchen Table, a grass roots environmental justice (EJ) organization, addresses issues such as air pollution, lead poisoning, infant mortality, asthma, obesity, food insecurity and the institutional racism that is at the root of all of these issues. The group approaches the work by working with community through popular education and addressing policy at the local, state and national level. These political issues are not easy to address within community—especially when relationships are just beginning to bud.
However, introduce food, fun and conversation across the dinner table and people go home with more information than they would ever digest from a PowerPoint lecture. Community has traditionally come together at the table. Cooking healthy food together not only provides opportunity to learn about healthier lifestyle choices, it also creates a climate where issues of injustice can be discussed and addressed.
OKT hosted a second Cook Eat and Talk on April 13. The third will take place May 5 at Sherman Street Church in Grand Rapids. If you happen to be on our side of the state, please join us.  Check our website for other upcoming events, including our “Plant, Eat and Talk” series which kicks off in June at one of our demonstration gardens.

Greg Pratt reports from the Southwest Detroit Freedom Schools

Photo courtesy Erik Howard
 By Greg Pratt
 Read original the blog here.

A few days ago, I posted something here on the site about a mass walkout that took place last week at Western International High School in Southwest Detroit. As you may recall, several hundred students left their classes, demanding an end to the seemingly-endless cutbacks that are adversely affecting their educational opportunities. Well, the students who walked out, many of whom were expelled for having participated in the initial protest, have now created a school of their own, in Clark Park, called the Southwest Detroit Freedom School. Their objective, it would seem, is to create for themselves the kind of nurturing environment they haven’t been able to find within a criminally-underfunded public school system of Detroit. And, as you might expect, this vision is resonating with progressive adults across the state, who want to help them in this quest to build a school from the ground up that offers relevant, compelling, hands-on coursework that awakens their curiosity and passion. Among those to drive out on Monday, in hopes of helping, was a a contingent of supporters from Ypsilanti.
What follows is a report from Greg Pratt, who organized the trip.
First, here’s some context. This video was shot three years ago outside Western International High School in Southwest Detroit, after a meeting in which Detroit’s Emergency Financial Manager, Robert Bobb, refused to reverse course and reconsider the reassignment of popular Principal, Rebecca Luna. Bobb had, as you may recall, just prior to that meeting, announced that, in an effort to contain costs, 49 public schools in Detroit would be closed, and 900 teachers and staff would be fired, including 33 principals. And, now, after almost three years of Emergency Manager rule, the students are walking out. I am in awe. The students at Western International High School in Detroit, and those who joined them from Southwestern High, are showing us how to do it.
They’re showing us how to reclaim the commons, and start taking ownership over our public spaces, our education, and our lives. They walked out, as student Raychel Gafford has said in their press materials, to fight “for a quality education for us at Western, and at all DPS schools.” These student are not the only members of our community who have had it with autocratic government officials telling them there is no solution to the crisis but to continue the cutting of services and the limitation of rights. But they’re the first, that I can recall, who have taken the leap, and opted out of the corrupt system. And there’s much that we can learn from them.
What the students add to our collective response to this creeping totalitarian that is taking over our urban municipalities, is a sense of agency and empowerment. They’re demanding that the assault on Democracy end now, and that people regain control over their community resources. I cried as I watched the video that these students produced, documenting their walkout. Take a look again, and watch how Gafford calls for her fellow students to come out of the school and join them in the streets. It’s truly inspiring. The students are showing the way. And I intend to follow their lead. I showed up at 11:30 AM on Monday, at the Freedom School rain site (an after-school community facility). Raychel Gafford and Freddie Burse, both students at Western, were getting off the air with Craig Fahle on WDET FM. There were about 15-20 adults there, and only a few students. They’d made the decision to postpone the first class of the day, in order accommodate the radio show. The morning, we’d heard, had been spent preparing. A media literacy workshop had been held at 8:30, in preparation for the interview with Fahle at 11:00. And, it’s a good thing they prepped. Fahle ended the interview by grilling them about how they expect to solve the budget issue to keep Southwestern and other DPS schools open. They answered his questions and added information, about the disparity between athletic funding and funding for school materials and new books, for example. When asked if they will walk out again, Raychel said, “We are not giving up this fight. We have a list of demands. Those demands will be met to whatever extent we have to take.”
You can listen to the entire interview here.
The day, from then on, went really well, with students choosing, among other things, to learn about the history of hip hop in Detroit, and how to refine and expand upon their song, “10:55.” They also learned about the history of Freedom Schools in Mississippi and the similarities between what their walkout and the walkout in 1966 at Northern High School in Detroit. The workshop on the history of Freedom Schools was facilitated by Stephen Ward. Stephen talked with the students about the history of Freedom Schools in the South as a means of reclaiming, and directly engaging in the education process. The primary difference between a Freedom School and our current version of school, according to Ward, is that, in a Freedom School, all community members involve themselves in all aspects of the learning process (creating curriculum, creating knowledge, teaching, learning). Having observed for a day, I’d say the students and their adult community supporters are still in a “capacity-building” stage. That is to say, the students, community members, and outside supporters, like myself, are learning how to build power, share and create common knowledge, and take back education from the legislators, lobbyists and business leaders who are presently foisting this scheme upon us, like it’s our only choice. (note: One of their 29 demands is the removal of the Emergency Manager to give control of schools back to the Detroit School Board.) The students’ suspensions end on Wednesday. Will they go back to school and play by the rules? That remains to be seen. Regardless, we will continue to build bridges from Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. What is happening in Detroit is not a far cry from what students at Ann Arbor’s Roberto Clemente are experiencing. Information needs to be shared, and alliances need to be built across our communities. I know many of you want to come and learn with the students, facilitate classes and help them stay on track in their studies. All the classes they want, however, are currently full, with plenty of teachers to support them. That said, they are keeping the Freedom School open to the public for support, and they’ve welcomed us to join them as they build it. In the meantime, we can quickly and directly help them by calling the DPS administrators, who need to know that we have the students’ backs. Here is the list of individuals who need to have their phone lines flooded with calls of support for the students. First, however, the students are asking that we echo the following demands during our calls:
1) To have all suspensions removed
2) To keep public schools in Detroit open
3) To demand a seat at the table for students when decisions are being made about their futures, and their schools
  • Roy Roberts, Emergency Manager for DPS Phone: 313-870-3772 FAX: 313-870-3726 
  • Steve Wasko, DPS Chief Communications Officer steven.wasko@detroitk12.org Phone: 313-873-4892 FAX: 313-873-4565 
  •  Rebeca Luna, DPS Assistant Superintendent (Directly over Western Int’l HS) rebeca.luna@detroitk12.org Phone: 313-873-7966 
  •  Karen Ridgeway, DPS Superintendent of Academics karen.ridgeway@detroitk12.org Phone: 313-576-0050 FAX: 313-873-6446 

And, finally, here’s a message from the Freedom School that was sent to supporters on their email list, concerning their plans to celebrate the one-week anniversary of the walkout with a party at 5:30 PM on May 2, at Clark Park. And, here’s their message. Thank you for your interest in helping with our Southwest Detroit Freedom School (SWDFS).
Sign our petition. Right now, we are asking supporters to FLOOD THE LINES (and emails) of DPS officials… TELL 5 OF YOUR FRIENDS TO DO THE SAME!!! SWDFS classes are full, at least until the duration of our suspensions, but we will be looking for more teachers once we decide on a schedule to continue Freedom School beyond our suspension period.

Program Pages stuff

May 2, 2012

Fostering Relationships with Nature

We firmly believe that a prerequisite to caring for the environment is caring about the environment.  Therefore facilitating the development of new and deeper interconnected relationships between people and nature is one of the cornerstones of our work.  

Greener Schools: The Greener Schools Initiative brings children in Detroit schools closer to nature. We believe that by instilling a sense of interconnectedness and love for the environment our youth can become advocates for their environment and their communities.

Ready2Grow:  EMEAC's Ready 2 Grow program connects parents and children to educational and recreational activities that grow healthy communities, healthy families, healthy kids, and healthy media messaging around food and the environment.

Multi-cultural Environmental Arts and Science (MEAS) Labs provide environmental justice education in the classroom through hands-on lessons covering subjects including biodiversity, air quality, water quality, food security, cooking, and Sharing Nature with Children. We currently have two labs at Palmer Park Preparatory Academy and Nsoroma Institute where students investigate local environmental issues, grow their own vegetables, sell plants to parents and teachers, and create nature themed or recycled art projects. We work closely with teachers in order to supplement their core subjects and align our lessons to Grade Level Curriculum Expectations. 

Addressing Environmental, Climate and Food Injustices

We aim to contribute to meaningful change in southeast Michigan by organizing and working with communities to understand and address environmental, climate and food (in)justices via liberatory frameworks and practices. 

Gardening, Activism, Media Education (GAME) Summer Camp: GAME is a summer camp in which youth and young adults learn about environmental justice, climate change and food/land justice. The 6-week program culminates in the production of a collaborative project.

Our Power - Communities Organizing for a Just Transition: At EMEAC we are shifting how we discuss our work by referring to our aim of a “Just Transition.”  Just Transition is a broad frame that outlines our commitment to co-create the transition from such heavy reliance on dirty, polluting forms of energy to more sustainable, renewable forms.  It also encompasses our commitment and efforts to lift up and contribute to building local, living economies that foster community resilience and bring about lasting change.  This area of work includes all local environmental and climate justice campaigns.

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.  

Universidad Sin Fronteras:  USF is a 6-week non-traditional course that focuses on a particular theme. Course participants are of all ages; teaching and learning is interactive; and conversations are led by activists and community members of all ages.

Young Educators Alliance (YEA): The Young Educators Alliance is a small group of young adults (aged 14-24) who come together to identify issues in their environment and work collectively on solutions, using their creativity and personal insight. YEA advocates for healthy environments in Detroit in a way that fosters leadership and holistic development. Young people learn to identify injustices, place them in a historical context, and propose alternatives that involve community input, community organizing, and/or advocacy. The program aims to build a “pipeline for community activism” in which young people come to see themselves as community activists and learn to network and engage with existing communities of activists. 

Green Screen Youth Environmental 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.