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Detroit Women Speak: A Community Film on Race, Environmental Justice, Leadership & Gender in Detroit

Friday, November 22, 2013
5:00 AM
1040 Dana Bldg., 440 Church St.

Join Diana Copeland, CEW Visiting Social Activist and Co-Director of East Michigan Environmental Action Council, for a video screening and panel discussion, followed by a reception. The event is free. Please register..

"Detroit Women Speak" is a 45-minute look at how Detroit, and the women who call it home, have changed over time.  The film explores and challenges issues of gender, environmentalism, feminism, place, race and what it means to be a leader.  We meet fifteen women, ranging in age from 7 to 70, who all grew up in and currently live, work and play in the city of Detroit.  The women discuss how their time growing up in Detroit affected the way they view themselves in the world and their trials and triumphs in leadership.  

The women come from all over the city and identify with a variety of natural, built and toxic environments within the city, as well as a variety of cultural and racial backgrounds that are reflective of the Detroit demographic landscape.  They are mothers, friends, professionals, daughters, granddaughters, artists, teachers, scholars, mentors, mentees and all lovers and defenders of the place they call home.

Diana Copeland spent a month this fall at the University of Michigan as the Center for the Education of Women’s Twink Frey Visiting Social Activist. Funded by UM alumna Twink Frey, the program builds the capacity of social activists by giving them the time, space and support to work on a project that would not be possible under the activist’s usual working circumstances.  For her project, Copeland worked on the community video project and discussion guide that will be used in Detroit middle and high schools.

East Michigan Environmental Action Council is a non-profit providing environmental justice leadership and civic engagement training to residents of Southeast Michigan.  While studying for her master's degree from the School of Natural Resources & the Environment, Copeland coordinated the 2004 international Environmental Justice & Global Climate Change conference hosted by U-M.  After graduation, she worked in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro connecting community leaders to solve environmental and health challenges.  By 2010, she was lead organizer when Detroit hosted over 20,000 citizen activists attending the United States Social Forum.  

Sponsored by:  Center for the Education of Women; the Schools of Natural Resources & the Environment, Education, and Social Work; LSA Departments of Afroamerican & African Studies and Women’s Studies; and the Ginsberg Center for Community Service Learning.