Learn more about me

I am a Detroit Latina, passionate
about environmental justice

Michelle Martinez is an activist, facilitator, speaker, and writer. She has 15 years’ experience in intersecting issues including immigration and voting rights, environmental justice and women's rights

She currently works with Swimming in the Detroit River, an intergenerational storytelling collaborative and cares for her two children at home. She loves cooking for others and gardening in her Southwest Detroit home.

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My Education

  • MS Environmental policy and planning

    SNRE- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, August 2008

    Relevant course work: Environmental Justice, Water Resource Policy, Urban Planning Thesis: “Environmental Justice and Fish Consumption in the Detroit River Area of Concern.” Internships: Dr. Arun Agrawal, IFRI; Dr. Donna Kashian, NOAA; Michigan State Senate Democratic Caucus

  • BA English Literature and Language

    LS&A, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, April 2003

    Major: English Literature and Language Minor: Social Anthropology

My Skills & Abilities

  • Management

    Strengths in project management and design, budget outlook, and vision and mission alignment; data management, calendar and event planning.

  • Communication

    Design of program communications, excellent verbal and written, public speaking, multi-media including online communications, media and narrative formation.

  • Community Relations and Coalition Building

    Skills in outreach, relationship and coalition building; planning, design and facilitation of community meetings and multi-stakeholder collaborative groups.

  • Leadership

    Ascribes to servant leadership model, to which those around you are equal participants in the design and implementation of collaborative planning.

My Experiences

  • Third Horizon Consulting

    November 2016- current

    Facilitated strategic planning with organizations to assist in organizational.Engaged in public speaking events, academic talks and community dialogues on race, environment, and more; Participated in collaborative and creative designs in community outreach, media and issue research to support media

  • Center for Whole Communities

    March 2016-October 2016

    Directed national programming for non-profit environmental groups seeking assistance in organizational development; Designed programming, budget forecasting, online and in-person staff communications; Spearheaded the implementation of organizational dialogue, tours, planning and evaluation; Managed program logistics for company retreats, meetings, agendas and curriculum

  • Consortium of Hispanic Agencies

    May 2012-March 2014

    Developed and authored policy reports for 6 Latino-led non-profit agencies in SW Detroit; also utilized popular education techniques to translate complex policy agendas into simple, translatable materials; Designed and implemented multi-stakeholder 3-year strategic framework model for a new Latino-led policy think tank; Spearheaded voter engagement and outreach plan for 2013 Get Out the Vote, and voter education collaborative WRD6; Assisted in launch of the 2012 Latino Agenda at University of Michigan-Dearborn, 250 person event; Participated in Latino Leadership Institute on non-profit management

  • Sierra Club

    September 2009-May 2012

    Organized leaders from SE Michigan to advocate for GHG emissions reductions, and cost-saving technologies in regional SE Michigan; Met with key decision-makers in the public and private sector at the state, local, and federal level to discuss clean energy solutions; Developed media stratagem and online networks advancing environmental justice messages in online and print media; Advocated for local policies to advance economic development in clean energy solutions in Detroit, particularly SW Detroit.

My Activities

  • Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition

    Member | May 2012-current

    Work with academic experts, community members, and private professionals to create multi-stakeholder coalition to advance EJ Designed and hosted first Michigan Environmental Justice Statewide Summit, in which 250+ participants convened to discuss race and the environment in Michigan Managed the Strategy Committee to advance the goal of a clean environment for all vulnerable populations Met with MDEQ to discuss equal protection with vulnerable populations

  • Swimming in the Detroit River

    Founder and Curator | Swimming in the Detroit River | September 2014-current

    Designed two-year project to grow leadership and camaraderie among environmental justice advocates in Detroit through storytelling; Facilitated dialogues with multi-generational group to generate new connections across issues, and proliferate social learning opportunities across race, class, and gender.


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