Environmental Justice in Practice

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Environmental Justice in Practice will focus on emerging legal issues related to environmental injustice and exploration of career opportunities.

The agenda will include expert panels on Careers in Environmental Justice, Energy and Climate Justice, Water Access and Affordability, and Urban Air Quality. In addition to the four panel discussions, there will be a lunchtime keynote address and opportunities for networking.

The conference is intended for law students, environmental law clinicians and doctrinal faculty, environmental justice practitioners, and interested members of the community. 

The conference is free to attend. Lunch will be provided.


Can't make the conference? Watch the livestream.


Program Agenda

8 a.m.
Registration, networking
Coffee and light breakfast available

8:45 a.m.
Opening Remarks: 

Dr. Agustin V. Arbulu, executive director, Michigan Department of Civil Rights 

9:15 a.m.
Panel 1 
will cover environmental justice issues related to energy production and distribution and climate change impacts on environmental communities.

Energy and Climate Justice

  • Denise Abdul-Rahman, environmental climate justice chair, NAACP Indiana
  • Juliana Pino, policy director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
  • Tony Reames, assistant professor, University of Michigan

10:30 a.m.

10:45 a.m.
Morning keynote speaker: Mustafa Santiago Ali, senior vice president of climate, environmental justice & community revitalization, Hip Hop Caucus

11:15 a.m.
Panel 2 will feature an in-depth exploration of environmental justice issues related to water access in Detroit, Chicago and Flint, including shutoffs and affordability challenges.

Water Access and Affordability

  • Mark P. Fancher, staff attorney, Racial Justice Project, ACLU of Michigan
  • Monica Lewis-Patrick, co-founder, president, and CEO, We the People of Detroit
  • Cyndi Roper, senior policy advocate, Natural Resources Defense Council

12:30 p.m.
Lunch available in lobby

1 p.m.
Lunch keynote speaker: Charles Lee, senior policy advisor, Office of Environmental Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Introduced by Mark Templeton, associate clinical professor and director of the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic, University of Chicago Law School

1:45 p.m.
Panel 3 will explore air quality challenges, regulation and enforcement in environmental justice communities, state and local perspectives.

Urban Air Quality

  • Rashida Tlaib, community partnerships & development director, Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice
  • State Rep. Stephanie Chang, Michigan House of Representatives
  • Michelle Martinez, executive director, Third Horizon Consulting; coordinator, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

3 p.m.
Panel 4 will feature professionals in the environmental field focusing on a variety of opportunities for new attorneys, organizers and other roles.

Careers in Environmental Justice

  • Marnese Jackson, regional field organizer, NAACP Environmental & Climate Justice Program
  • Jeremy Orr, vice-chair, Environmental Justice Committee - Civil Rights & Social Justice Section, American Bar Association
  • Maria Thomas, power up program leader, Soulardarity
  • Jalonne White-Newsome, senior program officer (Environment), The Kresge Foundation

4:15 p.m.
Closing remarks


  • Wayne State University Law School's Transnational Environmental Law Clinic
  • Wayne Law's Environmental Law Society
  • University of Chicago Law School's Abrams Environmental Law Clinic
  • American Bar Association's Environmental Justice Committee of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice
  • Great Lakes Environmental Law Center
  • Environmental Law Institute 
  • CURES at Wayne State University

Wayne State University Law School, Spencer M. Partrich Auditorium

For more information about this event, please contact Nicholas J. Schroeck at or nschroeck@wayne.edu.

Submissions for this form have closed on January 26, 2018 at 11:59 pm.