EMEAC Updates and Actions June 2014

June 6, 2014

Community Healing Circle for Sister-Comrade Charity Hicks

Submitted by Tawana Petty
Mother, Organizer, Artivist
Organized in just under 24 hours, local activists were able to gather together a little over 60 community members for a Healing Circle & Call for Support for our Sister in struggle, Charity Hicks. It took place at her home base for EMEAC, the Cass Corridor Commons in Detroit on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 at 7pm.  
The mood of the event was emotional, yet optimistic, as participants entered the room to soft music on the piano by local artist Rocket. After folks created cards, and other artistic messages for Charity, a Healing Circle was lead by Traditional Health Practitioner/Healer Adela Nieves. [Continue reading...]

Putting Candy in the Medicine: The importance of youth leadership

Submitted by Brittany Anstead
University of Michigan, Arts and Citizenship Intern
When asked the question, what does your generation offer to the movement? Some of the Young Educators Alliance (YEA) leaders responded with disdain for the word generation. Shaw King, age 21, said, "That is division. That question answers itself. We are the future. We are the movement. It's inevitable." As the future of a drastically changing climate, I believe that it is critical to nurture youth leadership inclusively and without division. However, as King pointed out, "We are the future" and with that power our young people are inevitably gifted with the opportunity to make change. Romanne Griffith, age 19, said, "We have unlimited and ultimate potential. We can either be the downfall or the complete upbringing." Romanne's words carry vast significance and wisdom. When youth leadership like that of YEA is concentrated on positive, sustainable objectives without division, the possibilities to alter current trajectories are endless. [Continue reading...]

Ready2Grow Gears Up for Summer

Submitted by Sanaa NiaJoy
Ready2Grow Coordinator

The EMEAC Ready 2 Grow program for children ages 2-8 and their families will garden this summer.   At the Palmer Park Preparatory Academy, Priscilla Dziubek will lead a garden club for the fifth straight summer.  The Toddler Garden Club gives parents of toddlers the opportunity to learn gardening with their children through hands on activities outside in the garden.   
The Franklin Wright Ready2 Grow Club will begin in June with Sanaa.  Students will revive the raised beds that are now weed filled by planting vegetables.  They will also participate in the Great Sunflower Project, a national program designed to track the effects of pesticides on pollinators such as bees.  
For information on how you can get involved, contact sanaa[at]emeac.org.

What We are Watching

EMEAC and the Young Educators Alliance are gearing up for the Our Power Detroit gathering June 27-29.  The Our Powergathering is focused on scaling up the leadership in the environmental and climate justice movement, by increasing the presence of youth and young adults in generating solutions for a Just Transition from reliance on unsustainable, polluting, resource intensive practices and policies to those that are sustainable, renewable and nurture healthy communities.  During this 3 day gathering, participants from Detroit and around the country will discuss the health, environmental and climate impacts of polluting energy producing industries; collaboratively generate creative ways to address the negative impacts, while posing sustainable, renewable and non-exploitive alternatives; and define pathways to move this agreed upon work forward. 

The task of scaling up leadership of youth in the environmental and climate justice movements requires that there be infrastructure to support ongoing leadership in a broader movement process.  The Detroit gathering builds upon the first Our Power gathering, which took place in Black Mesa, AZ in June 2013 by creating a space in which youth can expand their place in the movement. In August, OP-Detroit participants from Detroit and around the country  will share their demands of the movement and commitments of themselves to the movement at the Our Power gathering and then demonstrate Our Power at the people's march and gatherings in New York at the climate summit.