Michigan Environmental Justice Summit 2020

Event Date: 
Thursday, February 13, 2020, 6:00 pm

Commemorating the 30th anniversary of Michigan's Conference on Race and the Environment & Looking Towards the Future

FEBRUARY 13, 2020:
The School for Environment and Sustainability honors the 30th Anniversary of the "Incidence of Environmental Hazards Conference," which helped put environmental justice (EJ) on the national radar for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Building on the momentum of the 1990 conference, the University of Michigan soon became the first university to establish environmental justice as an academic field of study.

Looking forward, the Michigan Environmental Justice Summit 2020 will take lessons from the past and look towards the future. The event will highlight the challenges and opportunities now—and for the future—of environmental justice, and how YOU can make an impact and create a more equitable, inclusive future.

As part of U-M’s year-long series "Earth Day at 50," the university is working with local and regional partners to catalyze a mass movement for climate and environmental justice. Now more than ever, justice must be at the center of today’s movement in order to bring about true transformative change.

Join us for a dynamic discussion with our panel of environmental justice game changers: 

Michelle Martinez

Michelle Martinez (MS ’08) SEAS alumna

Panel Moderator
Coordinator, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition
Detroit-based EJ activist, speaker, writer, and mother

Robert Bullard

Dr. Robert Bullard

Known as the “Father of Environmental Justice”
Named one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century (Newsweek, 2008)

Rhiana Gunn-Wright

Rhiana Gunn-Wright

Policy Director, New Consensus 
An architect of the Green New Deal

Charles Lee

Charles Lee

Senior Policy Advisor, EPA
EJ pioneer and principal author of the landmark report, Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States

Regina Strong

Regina Strong

Environmental Justice Public Advocate, 
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

Bunyan Bryant and Paul Mohai

The 1990 “Michigan Conference on Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards," organized by Bunyan Bryant and Paul Mohai, helped to springboard environmental justice as a legitimate academic endeavor, and sparked high-level government meetings. These meetings contributed to President Bill Clinton signing the Executive Order “Federal Action to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” and a special task force by the EPA.

1990 Michigan Conference on Race

Original 1990 Conference Attendees at the Dana Building: Starting from the top, from left to right: Patrick West (U of M), Paul Mohai (U of M), Hubert Watters (EPA), Randall Shobe (EPA), David Grim (EPA), Arthur Turner (EPA), Kwame Sarpong (UMass), Henry Davis (U of M), Harvey White (U of Pittsburgh), Charles Lee (UCC), Robert D. Bullard (UCR), Stephanie Cronen (U of M), Cynthia Harris (ATSDR), Beverly Wright (Wake Forest), Conner Bailey (Auburn), Bunyan Bryant (U of M), Cheryl Calloway (MDNR), Angela Nagel (U of M), Dorceta Taylor (Yale, now U of M), Ivette Perfecto (U of M), Alfred Dorsey (ATSDR)


Rackham Auditorium