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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

WMEAC Hosts Women And The Environment Event

Mariano Avila

Contending with inclement weather and even some key cancellations, West Michigan Environmental Action Council’s Women And The Environment Conference brought dozens of people to GVSU’s Loosemore Auditorium.

“I became passionate about this because of my children being hurt, my family being hurt, and finding out that an entire community was being hurt. And we were being silenced in the process. I’m just a mom. I’m just a mom who got involved and taught herself a lot of things.”

That’s LeeAnne Walters, who spoke about her work mobilizing the Flint community around the water crisis. Her current focus is advocating against the recommendations that the National Drinking Water Advisory Committee has made for the EPA.

“All the recommendations that they’re making, if they are adopted and put into effect, we might as well tell people you’re on your own, there are no laws to protect you from lead and copper in your water. Drink it at your own risk.”

The event was designed to discuss the leadership of women in environmental movements and had a focus on building diverse coalitions.   

Mariano Avila is WGVU's inclusion reporter. He has made a career of bringing voices from the margins to those who need to hear them. Over the course of his career, Mariano has written for major papers in English and Spanish, published in magazines, worked in broadcast, and produced short films, commercials, and nonprofit campaigns. He also briefly served at a foreign consulate, organized for international human rights efforts and has done considerable work connecting marginalized people to religious, educational, and nonprofit institutions through the power of story.
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