Our Power Detroit: June 27-29, 2014

The East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) and the Young Educators Alliance will host Our Power Detroit this weekend June 27-29; a 3-day gathering of youth, students and young adults from frontline communities to strategize on how to scale up youth leadership in the Environmental-Climate Justice movements and bring about a Just Transition from an exploitative polluting economy to a just and healthy one.  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. 

“We are here. We have genuine concerns about what’s going on in our community. We want to feel empowered and educate other people to combat climate injustices.” -Khafre Sims Bey, Young Educators Alliance, Age: 15

History and experience have taught us that rather than reactively addressing injustices as they arise, we must work to be proactive at co-creating —with impacted people and communities— a transition from a deadly, destructive, dirty economy and fight for the systems, relationships and structures of a ecologically, economically resilient future. The Our Power Detroit gathering will bring together Millennials in Detroit and from around the country to not only highlight Detroit’s victories and struggles, but coordinate community-led action strategies and discuss what their role can and should be among Environmental-Climate Justice movements throughout the nation.

The Our Power Campaign was developed by the Climate Justice Alliance to address the root causes of the climate crisis while creating meaningful work and livelihoods for a majority of the 17 million unemployed people in the US.

Our Power gatherings are an important component of the Our Power Campaign; highlighting “Hot Spot” communities that are home to key grassroots groups who are poised to take on the extreme energy interests while creating grassroots solutions for a just transition that serves our communities, heals the planet, and preserves our cultures. 

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. August 6-9 at the Our Power National Convening in Richmond CA, 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. 

Our Power Detroit will be held June 27th – 29th, 2014.
# # # If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Ife Kilimanjaro at (313) 556-1702 x707 or email at ife@emeac.org.