Women In Leadership, Sharing Leadership

April 30, 2013


DETROIT- The East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) has named long-time community activist and author, Dr.  Ife Kilimanjaro, co-director as part of a new, shared leadership model for the Detroit-based nonprofit. In celebration of women in leadership and shared leadership, EMEAC invites members of the community to a wine and cheese reception on Friday May 10 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm. For tickets and to RSVP please go to emeac.eventbrite.com, call 313-556-1702 or email dee.emeac@gmail.com

The co-directorship decision follows a year and a half long process of rethinking the state of the environmental justice movement in Southeast Michigan, and EMEAC’s place within it. The organization has shifted from traditional ways of approaching environmental justice work, which is often hierarchical, linear and compartmentalized, and committed itself to embedding collaborative practices in its structure.

“We wanted to have our leadership structure better reflect our values of shared leadership and decision-making, people of color and women in leadership positions, and greater continuity of organizational culture and history. “ stated co-director, Diana Copeland “I am very excited about this opportunity and feel we will be able to better serve our community.”

Dr. Kilimanjaro brings with her extensive experience as leader-worker, educator-learner, and writer-researcher. She will share leadership with co-director Diana Copeland, who has overseen the organization as director since 2006.

“I am humbled and honored by this opportunity to support the advancement of justice work in Detroit and beyond with EMEAC staff, allies and supporters.”

The announcement of Dr. Kilimanjaro as co-director will also act as a kick-off for the month long “Windows Campaign,” a fundraising effort to raise over $10,000 to replace aging the windows of Cass Corridor Commons (formerly known as The First Unitarian Universalist Church), the historic set of buildings donated to EMEAC by the First Unitarian Universalist Church after the church found they could not longer keep their doors open to community.

“This window campaign seems like fitting way to launch our new vision,” says Copeland. “ plus, we need new windows! This will save tremendous energy. Many of the windows are cracked or the window seals and trim are rotted through. It will be an uplifting accomplishment for EMEAC and beautiful improvement for these historic buildings.”

East Michigan Environmental Action Council began as a response in the 1960's to environmental concerns in southeast Michigan. A cornerstone of EMEAC's formation was the belief that informing the public about environmental issues would lead to solutions to environmental problems. Founding members and staff established an organization that would always predicate its public information and advocacy on careful research. 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.  

For more information about the celebration event, the window campaign or East Michigan Environmental Action Council’s programs, visit www.emeac.org or you may contact Lottie Spady at lottie@emeac.org or 313-556-1702 Ext 701