Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice works with communities to create cleaner, healthier and safer neighborhoods.
DWEJ envisions Detroit as a vibrant urban center in SE Michigan where all thrive in environmental, economic, and social health. We aim to foster sustainable communities by:
- Reducing health hazards
- Encouraging sustainable development
- Influencing economic vitality in the communities we serve
Since 1994, DWEJ has been a voice for environmental justice in Michigan. Historically, minority and low-income populations have suffered disproportionately from environmental pollution, often because they have the least capacity to respond. DWEJ is dedicated to empowering urban residents to take a meaningful role in the decision-making process surrounding environmental concerns in their own communities.
We are also about building connections—between jobs and a healthy environment, community development and environmental justice, community-driven policy and economic development.
DWEJ’s work is based on the Principles of Environmental Justice. Read them here.Our current campaigns
- Playing a leadership role in developing Michigan’s State Environmental Justice Plan.
- Growing the base of trained, qualified green industry workers in Detroit and the Metro area.
- Organizing Green Jobs Training Program alums to advocate for green jobs.
- Organizing local environmental justice advocates to create a State of the Environment Report for Detroit.
- Advocating for environmental justice in community development initiatives.
- Establishing a Climate Justice Project to build public awareness about Climate Change and its potential impacts on the city.
Content to come. Check back soon.
- Successfully advocated for the creation of a Detroit Department of Environmental Affairs
- Advocated for the clean-up of an estimated 60,000 contaminated parcels of land in the city of Detroit. As a result, the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority was formed.
- Worked to stop the rise of asthma and other upper respiratory problems in vulnerable populations resulting from poor air quality through the Community Action Against Asthma campaign.
- Successfully worked to stop illegal dumping through the Don’t Dump on Detroit Campaign.
- Successfully worked to raise citizen awareness of regional water quality issues through our Water For Life Campaign.
- Increased community participation in land-use decisions through the Take A Stand for the Land in the ‘Hood campaign.
- Promoted access to quality food with the Detroit Agriculture Network and the Black Food Securities Network.
- Reduced the impact of lead on children and their families through our United Parents Against Lead and the Detroit Lead Partnership.
- Trained nearly 5,000 citizens through our Community Hazard Awareness Training/Seminars (CHATS) as a member of the Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training.
- Shutting down the Henry Ford Hospital medical waste incinerator in partnership with the Health Care Without Harm Campaign.
- Securing community participation on the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority through its Take a Stand for the Land in the ‘Hood Campaign.
- Registering 2,000 voters for the 2004 Presidential Election
- Fostering the development of a stronger illegal dumping ordinance in the city of Detroit through its Don’t Dump on Detroit Campaign.
- Securing more than 15,000 signatures for petitions which demanded improvement in the City of Detroit’s bus service
- Training, mentoring and coaching 50 Detroit citizens that participated in the review of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which decides on appropriations for public transportation in Southeast Michigan. This was the first time that Detroit residents participated through its Urban Air and Transportation Project.