Shaping Policy

Sharing Information, Changing Lives

Our decades-long work in environmental justice has a rich history of starting conversations, building relationships, and elevating issues. Our policy work is part of our critical mission to keep people safe and healthy—in Detroit and beyond.

Policy Pillars

  • DWEJ works to inform the public on pressing environmental issues and how to engage policy-makers.
  • We provide well-researched and reputable information that can be trusted.
  • We are effective collaborators, educating and partnering with other organizations across Michigan for the greater good.

Partnership to Improve Air Quality

DWEJ has played a key role in addressing air quality problems in Detroit by working with other environmental leaders and the University of Michigan School of Public Health. This partnership, called the Community Action to Promote Healthy Environments (CA-PHE), is funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. In April 2017, CA-PHE released an evidence-based Clean Air Action Plan, which includes 10 different strategies to improve the air quality in Detroit. Learn more about CA-PHE.

The Environmental Justice Work Group

In the wake of the Flint water crisis, the Environmental Justice Work Group was created to help state leaders better understand environmental policy and develop better guidelines. The group was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder as a direct result of a recommendation from the Flint Water Advisory Task Force and the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee. DWEJ’s President and CEO, Guy O. Williams, is one of the group’s 19 members.

Renewable Energy Initiatives

As part of the Michigan Energy Michigan Jobs coalition, DWEJ has helped push legislation to increase Michigan’s renewable energy standards to improve Detroit’s air quality and energy costs. Through grassroots community work and in-person discussions with legislators in Lansing, DWEJ helped pass energy legislation that raised renewable energy and energy efficiency rates to 15 percent, until the year 2021. DWEJ’s own Wibke “Vee” Heymach was integral to this critical work, and the Detroit News published her op-ed after the legislative victory.