What is the main purpose of the SEAS Sustainability Clinic (Clinic)?
The Clinic was created to build long-term capacity and partnership in Detroit—while boosting the local impact of SEAS’ work and collaboration on sustainability and equity. Using a single point-of-contact approach, the Clinic will facilitate connections between Detroit residents, nonprofit organizations, businesses and city government to the resources and issue-specific expertise available to them through the Clinic. This will allow for easier and durable access to collaborators, graduate students, internships and projects with multi-year engagement opportunities that provide the capacity to produce real, tangible and lasting results for Detroit residents and their communities. Through our approach of collaboration and listening first, we will be responsive to community needs as the Clinic evolves.
Why is the Clinic focused on Detroit, and will it expand to other areas?
The Clinic is an extension of decades of ongoing U-M work and relationships throughout Detroit, as SEAS has been consistently engaged in the city through activities such as its master’s projects, in which students work with clients to develop solutions to their real-world problems. In recent years, Detroit communities—as well as Detroit city government—have called for increased engagement with U-M. Connecting the Detroit community to U-M resources that foster environmental progress, public health and justice is critical, as recently evidenced by high rates of COVID-19 and acknowledgement of racial injustice. SEAS is well positioned to make greater impacts in these areas by broadening its reach through community partnerships, and becoming a “resident” of the city.
While the Clinic’s focus is on Detroit, there will also be a partner organization, the statewide Michigan Sustainability Clinic, which is slated to launch in 2023. The statewide Michigan Sustainability Clinic will work across Michigan with the goal of supporting the vision that the Great Lakes State lead the nation in the transition to a 21st Century robust, clean-energy and environmentally sound economy that benefits all citizens, and that is sustainable and just.
Who leads the Clinic?
Kerry C. Duggan, former former climate advisor to President Joe Biden and currently an appointee to the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board (SEAB) as well as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Council on Climate Solutions, is serving as the Clinic’s founding director. Virginia Sabia Wilkinson is serving as the Clinic Program Manager, while Marseille Allen is the acting DEIA Advisor.
Is the Clinic accepting new clients?
The Clinic is fully committed through Fall 2022; we plan to open up capacity for additional projects in Summer 2023. If you are aware of potential new clients, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.