Alumna Michelle Martinez (MS ’08) and SEAS Professor Dorceta Taylor were honored by Detroit-based nonprofit EcoWorks during the organization’s annual breakfast on Friday, September 20. Martinez and Taylor were recipients of EcoWorks’ Community Champion Award, which recognizes individuals and organizations in Southeast Michigan who demonstrate exemplary leadership in energy efficiency, sustainable building practices, and community development.
Martinez is a Latinx-Mestiza environmental justice activist, writer, and mother born, living, and working in Southwest Detroit. Since 2006, she has worked in local communities of color to build power to halt climate change, and the detrimental effects of pollution in post-industrial Detroit. Working across issues of race, gender, and nationality, she has built and led coalitions using art/media, land-based programming, popular education, voter engagement, and corporate accountability tactics to shape policy solutions against environmental racism. Currently, she is coordinator of the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition and the executive director of Third Horizon Consulting, which strives to empower people to make collective decisions strategically for more sustainable and equitable social change.
Dr. Dorceta Taylor
Taylor is an environmental sociologist known for her work on both environmental justice and racism in the environmental movement. She is the director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the School for Environment and Sustainability, where she also serves as the James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Professor of Environmental Justice. Taylor’s research has ranged over environmental history, environmental justice, environmental policy, leisure and recreation, gender and development, urban affairs, race relations, collective action and social movements, green jobs, diversity in the environmental field, food insecurity, and urban agriculture.