Since our founding, DWEJ has created strong networks and bonds with community-based, professional, academic, and governmental organizations across the city of Detroit and beyond. We are viewed as a trustworthy, smart-working, innovative entity that challenges established patterns and creates collaborations that move us toward a better, more dynamic, healthier humanity.
Why are we seen that way? We have proven ourselves in the trenches. From the Detroit Environmental Agenda, to expanded workforce development projects that provide a way forward to all, including the formerly incarcerated, to the Detroit Climate Action Collaborative and the drafting of an understandable-by-all Detroit Climate Action Plan, our mark is visible across this resurgent city.
Our programs are a tribute to our essence as an organization. Ambitious to create change. Broad reaching and innovative. Always seeking to partner with diverse stakeholders. Wanting to give the community the tools it needs to enact change. In short, DWEJ has and continues to be a trail-blazing organization.
Build Up Detroit/Green Jobs Training Program
Our Build Up Detroit (or BUD) program, launched in 2008, set DWEJ on a strategic course for the next decade. Its vision moved sustainable development beyond green building to empower communities to take leadership in transforming their environments into healthy places in which to live, work, and play. BUD catalyzed a new paradigm for green job education and workforce development, which were new to Detroit at the time. Our Green Jobs Training Program served as a strong inspiration for the development of many other such programs throughout the City of Detroit. The driving force behind our vision was as much about reclaiming lives as it was about reclaiming the environment.
The Detroit Environmental Agenda
The Detroit Environmental Agenda, or DEA, is a large coalition of non-profit, environmental, and environmental justice organizations that collaborated to develop a shared citywide Environmental Agenda. The goal of the DEA is to inform and learn from citizens on the state of the environment and its impact on quality of life in Detroit, to build consensus on policy initiatives to address that reality, and empower citizens to advocate for environmental solutions. We want to build and advance the agenda together. We take this responsibility seriously.
Detroit Climate Action Plan & Economic Impact Report
Scientists around the world acknowledge that climate change will have serious environmental, public health, and economic consequences from which it will be increasingly difficult to recover. Whether Detroiters know it or not, we are impacted by those changes in our daily lives. DWEJ has a responsibility to help make sure our people and businesses are well-informed, are provided tools to create change, and are guided toward a healthy, resilient city for everyone.
The Detroit Sustainability Action Agenda
DWEJ, along with many other organizations and residents, spent many years advocating for an Office of Sustainability within Detroit City Government. Our combined efforts were rewarded in 2017 when Mayor Duggan established the Detroit Office of Sustainability. This action, which coincided with the publication of Detroit’s first grassroots Climate Action Plan, brought Detroit into alignment with other large cities that had moved forward with initiatives to address climate change, generated efficiencies in government operations, and created goals for applying principles of sustainability across all elements of the City’s department and domain.