In Detroit and across the U.S., communities of color are disproportionately exposed to polluted air, water, and soil.

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice believes that environmental rights are civil rights. We take action for cleaner, safer, healthier neighborhoods. Won’t you join us?


Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice – or DWEJ for short – is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the environmental and economic health of our community. We advocate for a healthy environment through innovative, thoughtful community and policy actions that value and includes all people. We have grown from a group of grassroots volunteers that formed in 1994, to a major voice recognized locally, statewide, and nationally for our visionary programs and projects that stimulate economic growth while also creating sustainable, livable communities. As Michigan’s first environmental justice organization, our work is woven into the fabric of every Detroit neighborhood. Our far-reaching initiatives, programs, and collaborations touch the lives of all Detroit residents and provide lasting benefits to our communities, improving our quality of life now and for generations to come. Learn more about us.

Environmental Justice and Injustice and How are Race and Class Related?

Environmental injustice is the reality that some communities or groups are disproportionately subjected to higher levels of environmental risk and pollution than others. Go into almost any non-gentrified urban area and look around. It’s plain to see. The most polluted zip code in Michigan is 84 percent black. Many communities of color that encounter toxic work conditions, environmental hazards, or polluted neighborhoods are also poor. 

Environmental justice (or EJ), a solution to these systemic problems, is the idea that all people and communities have the right to equal environmental protection under the law, and the right to live, work and play in communities that are safe, healthy and free of life-threatening conditions.



The work of environmental justice is collaborative. DWEJ shares its deep expertise with others across Michigan and beyond—from business leaders to professors to lawmakers and more.


As Detroit is rebuilding, DWEJ ensures environmental safeguards go hand-in-hand with career opportunities in environmental and construction-related industries for low-income, minority residents.


DWEJ shines a light on environmental burdens and their impacts. We are advocates for and partners with people on the frontlines of environmental hazards.  

Detroit’s resurgence is an opportunity to build a vibrant urban center where all thrive in social, economic, and environmental health. 

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice is helping make Detroit and Michigan clean and safe. Stay in the know. Sign up for action alerts and updates.

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