Climate Justice Alliance

February 13, 2013

Movement Generation's 3-Circles Framing
In 2012 EMEAC became an active member of the Climate Justice Alignment (CJA), an initiative of over 30 organizations that emerged out of the US Social Forum in Detroit in 2010. While most organizations are local environmental justice groups, the CJA process also includes national and international networks like the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Jobs with Justice, as well as several partners, including Movement Generation, Movement Strategy Center, Institute for Policy Studies, Ruckus Society, GJEP and Smartmeme.

In September 2012 EMEAC hosted a CJA convening of climate justice activists here in Detroit to discuss critical issues and the development of a multi-city campaign that would begin in a few key cities or "Hot Spots" with the aim of building national models around a "Just Transition" to elevate community based, grassroots solutions to the climate crisis.

Coming out of this gathering, we began to discuss and explore how we could contribute to raising awareness about the impacts of climate change on vulnerable Detroit communities and building with a variety of people and organizations - locally and regionally - across sectors to oppose the polluters and highlight/support efforts people are already doing to mitigate climate change's impacts. As we continue to sharpen our frame and approach, we are clear that we want to work toward realistic solutions that reflect what we really need here in Detroit (and around the world). 

Here is an open letter to the AFL-CIO we signed onto as part of this coalition. 

Our Local Work

EMEAC's work continues to evolve in the area of climate justice.  Below we highlight some of this work.

Detroit Climate Justice Coalition:  In November 2012, a group of allies in the community began conversations about the meaning of climate change, extreme energy, just transition, community resilience, and what they look like in the lives of Detroiters.  Through our collaborative process, we examined the ways that communities have already been grappling with the impacts of climate change –and defined what our work would look like over the coming year.  As a group, we are dissecting such jargon as climate change, resilience, and extreme energy dependence.  Further, we agreed to take time to really understand the problems, continue to implement and exchange solutions, and raise awareness in the community about dirty energy sources, their effect on our children's health, and how burning oil and coal negatively affect weather patterns and food production around the world. Members of the group have been raising awareness in their respective communities and meeting places about these issues.  Detroit Climate Justice Alliance members include: Hanifa Adjuman, Education Director, Detroit Black Community Food Security Network; Shane Bernardo, Outreach Coordinator, Earthworks Urban Farm; Linda Campbell, Building Movement Detroit; William Copeland, Youth Director, EMEAC; Kae Halonen, Chairperson, Southeast Michigan Jobs With Justice; Jerry Hebron, Northend Christian CDC and Oakland Ave Farmer’s Market; Charity Hicks, Eat4Health Fellow, EMEAC; Joel Howrani Heeres, Sustainable Communities Coordinator, WARM Training Center; Ife Kilimanjaro, Co-Director EMEAC; Rev. Joan Ross, Director of North End Woodward Community Coalition; Sarah Sidelko, Co-Founder, Fender Bender Detroit; Sam Stark, Jobs Committee member, Southeast Michigan Jobs With Justice; Kathryn Lynch Underwood, City Planner, City of Detroit Planning Commission.

In the Summer edition of Critical Moment, members of this coalition wrote an article about their work. Here is a link to the article: Detroit Climate Alliance.

Web Resources: We continue to update a resource page dedicated to climate justice. You can find it here

From Dirty Energy to Climate Acceleration, Faces Along the Way: We are currently clarifying our work in the area of extreme energy (production/mining, distribution, consumption and waste disposal) and its role in accelerating climate change. An important part of this is identifying the people and communities impacted at each place along the movement of dirty energy.  We will be able to report on how this work will look after our September 2013 retreat. 

Mid-West Training Academy: We are working with allies throughout the region to organize a climate justice training academy. More in September. 

National CJA Work and Resources

Check our the Our Power Campaign's web presence on TwitterFacebook and Website

A one-page summary of the national Our Power Campaign

A document (pdf) that shows we want to transition from dirty, unsustainable forms of energy to clean, renewable ones.