It's Our Water: The Water Crisis Is Not Over
Time & Location
About the Event
Claire McClinton was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, and is a UAW retiree who comes from a family of autoworkers. She has been in the thick of the battle for labor rights and against poverty in her city for decades, and she is currently in the thick of the fight for safe, clean water for all. Her work analyzes what the poisoning of a city's water — and the toxic system behind it — means for the entire country. She will discuss the underlying conditions that have given rise to the poisoning — the profound changes in the economy that has eliminated jobs and devastated former industrial cities. She will also speak about the new model of corporate dictatorship in Michigan that has destroyed democracy as it takes over cities and towns and schools, silencing workers while taking over public assets like water. McClinton argues that it was the system of governor-appointed emergency managers that ushered in the change in Flint's water to the toxic Flint river, poisoning an entire American city.
Support Claire McClinton and her work to stop water shutoffs. More on the Flint Water Crisis:
Tony Spaniolais a Detroit area attorney and Oscoda, Michigan homeowner, who became a leading national PFAS advocate after learning that his home in Oscoda is located in the "zone of concern" for PFAS contamination from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base.
Tony is a co-founder of the Need Our Water (NOW) community action group in Oscoda and is the Co-Chair of the newly formed Great Lakes PFAS Action Network. He also serves on the Leadership Team of the National PFAS Contamination Coalition, comprised of PFAS-impacted community groups across the nation.
Musician, athlete, and artist Brooke Bowers is a native Detroiter and avid anime enthusiast. She’s a current seventh grader and aspiring biomedical engineer. Brooke has been making art since she was about 2 – her earliest artistic works include finger paintings and cartoon characters. Her passion for community and environmental justice shines through in her works. Brooke is a 2021 We the Youth of Detroit intern.
Detroiter – by way of Flint, MI – Norrel Hemphill is focused on helping to create policy and legislation that drives water affordability. Norrel is a recent law school graduate pursuing her passion for environmental justice. She had the pleasure of contributing language to the water affordability portion of the proposed Detroit City Charter. Presently, she is studying for the Michigan bar and working as a legal intern at We the People of Detroit.
Rev. Edward Pinkney
Rev. Edward Pinkney of Benton Harbor, Michigan is a long-time community organizer who has led resistance, in this predominantly African-American community, to the local and state government. He has and continues to petition government officials and lawmakers for basic human rights in the city of Benton Harbor and across the state of Michigan.
Dr. Sara Hughes
Sara Hughes is an assistant professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on water and climate change policy, including the production of safe and affordable drinking water and resilient cities. A native Michigander, she received her PhD in 2011 from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Read Dr. Sara Hughes research:
Monica Lewis-Patrick is an educator, entrepreneur, and human rights activist. Along with the other four founders of We the People of Detroit (WPD), she, with the leadership of volunteers and community experts, placed herself and WPD at the forefront of the water justice struggle in Michigan, across the country and globally. Lewis-Patrick is known throughout the environmental justice community as The Water Warrior. She is actively engaged in the struggle for access to safe, affordable water for all under-resourced communities.