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E-M:/ Release: Water rights topic of Detroit town hall meeting

For Immediate Release:


Contact: Priscilla Dziubek,

Sweet Water Alliance

313-345-6031, peekd@lppals.com



Taking Action on the Future of Detroit’s Water

Tuesday evening town hall to discuss water rights issues


Water  as a human right? Privatization of Detroit’s water system? Detroit youth taking action on water? Access to clean and healthy water for residents?


Worldwide, people from different communities are unable to access water that is abundant in their countries.  These communities are losing their families, health and livelihoods because they can neither afford nor access clean water in their homes or communities.  This situation is mirrored here in Detroit as residents surrounded by our Great Lakes are losing their homes and being forced to live without water because they cannot afford it.


In addition, polluted water is harming the health of our community, particularly pregnant women and children. Fishing in the Detroit waters and swimming at Belle Isle are part of our community livelihood and we need to protect it. Isn’t clean water a human right anymore? It is time for our community to take action: residents, youth, labor and all community members will discuss the human rights of water in Detroit.  


Town Hall Meeting: Bringing the Community together to discuss and take action on the future of our water is a discussion facilitated by the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, organized labor and the Sweet Water Alliance.   The youth group of Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development will present the youth perspective on Detroit’s water.  There will be a presentation by participants of the water caucus from the Midwest Social Forum. Together we will discuss an action plan for our community to address the pressing water and justice issues in Detroit. The Town Hall takes place Tuesday, July 11, 2006, 7:00 PM at Barth Hall, 4800 Woodward at Warren, in Detroit.


“Water is a human right. Water privatization and affordability are issues that affect every person but are particularly important to us living in the Detroit area because we are the stewards of the Great Lakes which hold 20 percent of world’s fresh surface water” said Priscilla Dziubek, Sweetwater Alliance. 


“The health and well-being of our children and families is dependent on our water. Access and protection of our water and our environment for people of color and low-income people in the city reflects our own health status.  Therefore our communities need to be at the forefront of bringing justice to our environment. Our youth need to be the major drivers of this movement and we as a community need to provide the resources to help them do this.” Roshani Deraniyagale-Dantas, Michigan Environmental Council


“This event is especially critical for Detroiters because of the massive number of people affected by water shut-offs. Low-income families are especially at risk for not having water because of their inability to pay, and their fight affects everyone,” said Lila Cabbil, of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute on Youth Leadership and Environmental Justice.


The Water for Life Detroit Series is supported by: the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), the Campaign for State Action on Environmental Justice, Clean Water Fund, Detroit Green Party, Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice, East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Ecology Center, Michigan Citizens Against Toxic Substances, Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, Sweetwater Alliance, Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development





Hugh McDiarmid Jr.

Communications Director

Michigan Environmental Council