Dr. Ife Kilimanjaro

Dr. Ife Kilimanjaro


Submitted by EMEAC

DETROIT — The East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) has named long-time community activist and author, Dr.  Ife Kilimanjaro, co-director as part of a new, shared leadership model for the Detroit-based nonprofit. In celebration of women in leadership and shared leadership, EMEAC invites members of the community to a wine and cheese reception May 10 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

The co-directorship decision follows a year and a half-long process of rethinking the state of the environmental justice movement in Southeast Michigan and EMEAC’s place within it. The organization has shifted from traditional ways of approaching environmental justice work, which is often hierarchical, linear and compartmentalized, and committed itself to embedding collaborative practices in its structure.

“We wanted to have our leadership structure better reflect our values of shared leadership and decision-making, people of color and women in leadership positions, and greater continuity of organizational culture and history.” stated co-director, Diana Copeland. “I am very excited about this opportunity and feel we will be able to better serve our community.”

Dr. Kilimanjaro brings with her extensive experience as leader-worker, educator-learner and writer-researcher. She will share leadership with director Diana Copeland, who has overseen the organization since 2006.

“I am humbled and honored by this opportunity to support the advancement of justice work in Detroit and beyond with EMEAC staff, allies and supporters,” Dr. Kilimanjaro said.

The announcement of Dr. Kilimanjaro as co-director will also act as a kick-off for the month-long “Windows Campaign,” a fundraising effort to raise over $10,000 to replace the aging windows of Cass Corridor Commons (formerly known as The First Unitarian Universalist Church). The historic buildings were donated to EMEAC by the First Unitarian Universalist Church after the church found they could no longer keep their doors open to the community.

“This Window campaign seems like a fitting way to launch our new vision,” said Copeland. “Plus, we need new windows! This will save tremendous energy. Many of the windows are cracked or the window seals and trim are rotted through. It will be an uplifting accomplishment for EMEAC and beautiful improvement for these historic buildings.”

East Michigan Environmental Action Council began as a response in the 1960s to environmental concerns in Southeast Michigan. A cornerstone of EMEAC’s formation was the belief that informing the public about environmental issues would lead to solutions to environmental problems.

Founding members and staff established an organization that would always predicate its public information and advocacy on careful research. EMEAC’s mission is to empower the Detroit community to protect, preserve and value the land, air and water. The organization builds community power through environmental justice education, youth development and collaborative relationship building.

For tickets and to RSVP to the EMEAC wine and cheese reception, visit, call 313.556.1702 or e-mail

For more information about the Window campaign or EMEAC’s programs, visit or contact Lottie Spady at or 313.556.1702 Ext 701.

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