Every fourth Tuesday the office holds a “Special Topics” meeting. This is a chance for different employees to bring up topics of concern, hold a discussion and do something out of the usual. It is a chance for me as an intern, to see the office dynamic play out in front of me, to put faces to the names of some employees I had yet to meet and a chance to understand the workplace a bit more. This past Tuesday, we met to discuss Diversity, Equity and Inclusion after about a half an hour of of technical difficulties we watched a clip that described race issues in America. In August we will watch the third segment, it is a three part piece and this was the second part. It was interesting to see how race issues have evolved over time, I say evolved and not solved because if it isn’t already apparent given the state of America right now, our issues have not been solved. Yet, there is no biological justification for racism and several of the initial class isms were actually created because religion rather than race. It was fascinating to listen to my coworkers experiences and thoughts on the topic. As I grow more comfortable with the people in the office I begin learning more about the family unit that is created here at the Ecology Center. It certainly is something special. Each person has such a different background and skill set to bring to the table. What I love most is the passion and excitement behind the staff.
In other news, i have continued my advocacy work on the Detroit Incinerator which I find really fantastic. In fact, on Wednesday I went on field trip to Detroit to visit our other office. While I was there I had a long conversation with Kathryn Savoie, who is leading the Climate Rally team here at the Ecology Center to raise money to find alternatives to the incinerator. She was incredibly fascinating to talk to. She is the director of the Detroit Community Health Systems for the Ecology Center and has worked on environmental health issues for a long time. It was great to meet her and learn more about her work. The longer I work here the more I find myself interested in public health topics. Some of the pictures below are from Kathryn’s Climate Ride training that she sent me to use.
It’s shaping out to be a wonderful summer in Ann Arbor and as always while I am here I find myself continuing to learn, explore and grow.