Our History

President Clinton signing an Environmental Justice Executive Order in 1994 the executive order

President Clinton signing the EJ Executive Order in 1994. Photo: EPA

DWEJ was formed in 1994 by a collection of grassroots activists in the wake of the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit, held in Washington, D.C. in 1991.

Led by Donele Wilkins, these activists began to meet and build an organizing strategy that would ensure that Detroiters had the tools they needed to demand a cleaner, healthier city. Since then, we at DWEJ are continuing to fight against chronic illness from pollution and demanding that policymakers ensure a sustainable future for all Detroiters, no matter your zip code.

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