Organized to Make Change
The Tishman Center for Social Justice and the Environment at the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), was founded in 2021 through gifts from The NorthLight Foundation and Dan and Sheryl Tishman. Kyle Whyte, the George Willis Pack Professor at SEAS, launched the early planning process for envisioning the Tishman Center, culminating in its first success: the hiring of Michelle Martinez as the Tishman Center’s inaugural director. Whyte and Martinez bring a combined wealth of experience in grassroots environmental justice leadership, public service, and innovation in education. They will work together to transform education and research at U-M toward the service of undoing inequality and securing justice in the face of climate change and the transition to renewable energy. They will innovate in curriculum design, create cutting-edge professional development and leadership programming, and foster empowering partnerships with nonprofit and grassroots organizations.
Service and Leadership for Real Justice
The Tishman Center is committed to transforming higher education for the sake of social justice, especially as so many communities are both threatened by climate change and locked out of the benefits of the growing renewable energy sector. We believe that higher education should train leaders of the future with the skills and grit needed to achieve justice as climate and energy systems change. The Tishman Center will focus on the empowerment of leaders who are from the communities facing climate and energy inequality, bridging U-M students with community-based professionals working outside academia for immediate and genuine positive impacts.