“It’s an Emergency! What are we doing about it? Environmental Justice and Emergency Response in Detroit”

  Wednesday March 29 2023     •    6:00 PM — 8:00 PM     •    Refreshments served at 5:30 PM     •    Registration is required

Keynote Speaker: Jacqui Patterson


Laprisha Berry Daniels, MPH, MSW

Moderator: Laprisha Berry Daniels, MPH, MSW

Laprisha Berry Daniels is a Public Health Social Worker who has spent the last 20 years working to reduce health disparities and improve access to clean air, water, and soil and safe, affordable housing in Detroit communities by establishing and maintaining strategic partnerships, catalyzing relevant community centered research and interventions all while amplifying the voices of the community. She currently serves as the executive director for Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ) where she sets the strategic direction, and establishes and maintains strategic partnerships for DWEJ.

Ricky Ackerman

Ricky Ackerman

Ricky has been working at Eastside Community Network since February 2018 and currently serves as the Chief Sustainability Officer. While at ECN, Ricky has worked to engage residents around green stormwater infrastructure, air quality issues, resilience hubs, and other climate change-related topics. Prior to starting at ECN, he received his masters in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources and Environment. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Government and Philosophy from Centre College in Kentucky. He began his career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador where he spent three years working on a range of sustainability projects.     •    Ricky Ackerman will be present at Eastside Community Network.

Tammara Howard

Tammara Howard

Tammara Howard is the founder/Executive Director of What About Us, Inc. and Belvidere Community Youth Block Club. She serves on many boards, partners with community organizations, and is a respected leader in her neighborhood. She has been a resident of the south eastside for 52 years and is a proud parent and grandparent. Tammara works to ensure her neighbors have the resources needed to build strong families.     •    Tammara Howard will be present at Green Door Initiative.

Theresa Landrum

Theresa Landrum

Theresa Landrum, community organizer and activist, has been fighting environmental injustices over twenty years. Ms. Landrum serves on two boards under Governor Gretchen Whitmer; the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team Citizens' Advisory Work Group (MPART CAWG); scrutinizing policy and standards for PFAS in Michigan's water and the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice (MAC-EJ) helping to develop policy for EJ. Landrum is the president of the Original United Citizens of Southwest Detroit. A life-long Detroiter, Ms. Landrum is one of Southwest Detroit 48217’s (an area deemed as the most polluted zip code in Michigan) most outspoken community activists.     •    Theresa Landrum will be present at Kemeny Recreation Network.

Vincent Martin

Vincent Martin

Vincent Martin is a community activist who has worked for over 20 years to allow people the right to BREATHE, by volunteering his time to collect and provide data needed to push efforts to improve air quality for residents. Vincent is currently leading the charge for policy reforms on how the State of Michigan manages toxic waste in overburdened communities. Vincent co-authored a policy statement with the Association of Public Health Administrators (Advancing Environmental Health and Justice: A Call for Assessment and Oversight of Healthcare Waste), that was recently published. In 2018, Vincent decided to pursue his EJ passion and formed his own consulting company that works with local communities and organizations to give a voice to the underserved.     •    Vincent Martin will be present at Kemeny Recreation Network.

Lula Odom

Lula Odom

Lula Odom retired November 1, 2020, as Director of Worker Trainer Development for the International Chemical Workers Union Council for Worker Health and Safety Education (ICWUC) of Cincinnati, OH. Lula served as the National Labor Liaison for the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Community Action and Response Against Toxics Team (CBTU CARAT Team). Lula is a big believer in being “your brother/sisters’ keeper” and follows the principal of Sankofa born from the wisdom of Ghana’s Gyaman and Asante cultures and knows the importance of understanding one’s past in order to build for the present and future. Because of her convictions she is deeply committed to working in collaboration with existing grass roots organizations and other interested partners in the resolution of environmentally related problems for troubled populations.     •    Lula Odom will be present at Green Door Initiative.


Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation     •    Green Door Initiative     •    Detroiters Working For Environmental Justice     •    Southwest Detroit 48217     •    Detroit Mercy Law     •    Ecology Center     •    Southwest Detroit Community Benefits Coalition     •    Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision     •    Eastside Community Network     •    University of Michigan Center on Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease (M-LEEaD)

Watch the event (recorded)
Thumbnail of video for Emergency!

About this event

The disproportionate impacts of disasters for communities of color have been documented repeatedly for both natural and human-caused disasters. In Michigan:

  • More than 500,000 Michigan residents live within one mile of a facility storing large amounts of extremely hazardous chemicals.
  • Those residents are disproportionately Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and confront daily risks of spills, explosions, and other environmental disasters at the facilities, as well as from the transport of chemicals to and from them through their communities.
  • Children of color are more than two times as likely as white children in Michigan to live in the shadow of facilities housing hazardous substances.

This event, organized by Detroit community leaders with support from local academic institutions, will:

  1. Discuss why emergency preparedness and response is an environmental and climate justice issue;
  2. Describe gaps and challenges in Detroit’s emergency preparedness and response, from an environmental and climate justice perspective;
  3. Share recommendations for improving emergency preparedness and response for environmental and climate justice communities.


Eastside Community Network
4401 Conner, Detroit, MI 48215
Green Door Initiative
7650 Second Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
Kemeny Recreation Center
2260 S. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48217

Download the flyers

Flyer for 'It's an Emergency' event

In Spanish / En Español

Flyer for 'Es Una Emergencia' event