March 2019

We party with purpose

We The People is hosting rotating Parties with a Purpose! Our kick off gathering is this Friday, March 8th at Northern Lights Bar in Detroit (660 W Baltimore St, Detroit 48202) from 4-7 pm. Come mingle with other good folks organizing change in Southeast Michigan. This will be our inaugural happy hour and we hope to hold more fun, inspiring and energizing spaces


CRAFT.jpg

Powering Citizens’ Resistance at Fermi 2

Movement building across Michigan isn’t always visible, and in Southeast Michigan environmental justice issues are only recently coming into the public’s eye. Recently Maria, our Southeast Michigan organizer, had the opportunity to connect with Jesse Deerintwater who lives in Redford but attended the Northern Michigan Summit to learn about what Indigenous communities are working on, how to collaborate. Jesse is on the steering committee of the Citizens’ Resistance at Fermi Two (CRAFT) – an organization fighting to close the Fermi 2 nuclear reactor near Monroe, MI.

Here is what Jesse has to share about CRAFT. Citizens’ Resistance at Fermi Two:

Jesse Deerinwater
CRAFT steering committee

(CRAFT) was originally formed in 1993 after the Fermi reactor had a major turbine failure and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) gave them permission to run with one turbine until the second could be built. They also gave permission for Fermi to discharge additional waste into Lake Erie. In the late 1990s, the group fell by the wayside after several key activists moved out

of state.

In 2015, a CRAFT Revival Meeting was held, and a dozen of the former activists showed up with the determination that Fermi must be shut down to avoid a Fukushima-like accident here. The Fermi reactor is the same design and model as the Fukushima reactors, a Mark 1 built by GE. In order to raise public awareness, we publish a monthly newsletter, CRAFT Times (this month’s issue and insert attached), table at pow wows and public events within a 50-mile radius of Fermi, and network with other environmental groups. CRAFT also collaborates with Beyond Nuclear to educate the public on the connection between nuclear power and climate change.

Check out Beyond Nuclear fact sheet on nuclear power here. You can also sign up to receive CRAFT’s newsletter by emailing shutdownfermi@gmail.com.


Dismantling hate, brick by brick

Nour Soubani
Advocacy Specialist - Campaign to TAKE ON HATE

The Campaign to Take on Hate is a grassroots community organizing campaign committed to ending structural racism that targets the Arab and Muslim communities, as well as all communities of color, by building power within our communities. 

As part of our AMAN Zones project, we recently completed a community-wide assessment where we knocked on doors, tabled, phone banked, and held events to ask over 500 community members what issues they care about. When we analyzed the responses and found that racial profiling is the top issue impacting Arabs and Muslims in our community, we set out to strategize a campaign to dismantle institutional profiling at the state level. Our core organizing team of Arab and Muslim youth from the Dearborn area have organized themselves into committees to work on community education, crafting a narrative informed by those most directly impacted, and influencing key decision makers around issues of racial profiling. 

Take on Hate works to base build through community events like our annual 9/11 Town Hall, which this year focused on detention and incarceration and making connections between the Black, Arab, and Muslim experience. We have hosted community discussions on racial profiling, mass surveillance, the Muslim Ban, border and security policies, and more. In the past year, we created a portrait and audio exhibit of the stories of immigrants in our community impacted by recent anti-immigrant legislation. For the past two years, we have worked with the local Dearborn and Detroit area colleges to organize Student Lobby Day, where we take over 200 students to Lansing to lobby for more just and equitable policies. We also work with our partner organizations to participate in and give trainings on grassroots organizing, and work to improve our own political development. 

Megan Collier