DEI and REI Weeks 6 and 7

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.


Caylin Luebeck




One thought on “DEI and REI Weeks 6 and 7

  • July 15, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Hi Caylin,
    It’s great to hear from you!
    Thanks for sharing details about the monthly “Special Topics” meeting. Do folks take turns proposing topics, or is it decided as a group? That the Ecology Center is dedicated to spending time on DEI shows that it’s something that truly value – what an awesome environment to be in, to discuss ideas, and come together to make positive impact. It can be disheartening at times, knowing that race issues are evolving not being solved, as you described. To have a strong support system to process and support one another is important! I appreciate your reflection that staff come together as as individuals, building a stronger group through each person’s unique experiences and identities.

    Tell me more about your Climate Ride training! Kathryn sounds like a great resource given her experience with environmental health issues. Perhaps you could do an informational interview with her at some point? I’d be happy to talk you through the process!

    I look forward to hearing more about your work on the Detroit Incinerator project;, it clearly is something you’re passionate about.


    P.S. Thanks for sharing pictures from your Climate Ride training! Consider submitting these (or any other photos from the summer) to the July Hub Photo Contest ( We have categories including A Window Into Work, Work/Life Balance, Explore the Local Community, and Landscapes/Landmarks to keep in mind!


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