Organization led by Eastern Michigan University professor Ethan Lowenstein to receive award for efforts in teaching environmental stewardship to area youths

Ethan Lowenstein

YPSILANTI – An organization devoted to educating area youths about practicing good stewardship in their communities and led by an Eastern Michigan University professor will be honored this week for its significant efforts in sustainability and community development.

The Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition (SEMIS) will receive the 2019 Sustainable Communities Champion Award from EcoWorks in a ceremony Sept. 20 at The Whittier Ballroom in Detroit. The Whittier is located at 415 Burns Drive, 48214.

The event, which runs from 7:30 a.m. to 10: 30 a.m. has the theme “Taking Action on Climate.”

EcoWorks,  a Detroit organization that has been at the intersection of community development and sustainable solutions for more than 36 years, seeks to help other people become champions in their communities.

“So it's important to us to highlight various champions we see who are already out there doing the good work,” the company said in a statement.

Celebrating youth contribution to communities

The SEMIS Coalition, led by Ethan Lowenstein, a professor of curriculum and instruction at Eastern, is a strength-based network that believes that powerful youth-led, place based work should be developed and then celebrated.

The mission of SEMIS is to facilitate school-community partnerships to develop citizen-stewards of healthy ecological and social systems. SEMIS is one of nine regional hubs supported by the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative.

"The work of the SEMIS Coalition has never been more critical," Lowenstein says. "We are now working with teachers from 30 schools and more than 25 community partner organizations. From involving youth in local climate resiliency efforts to  addressing flooding issues in their schools and neighborhoods, the SEMIS Coalition makes school curriculum intensely meaningful to students. Schools become the center of their communities, and youth become recognized as community leaders."

The Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative has been called the most ambitious effort in the country to promote place-based environmental stewards.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

September 18, 2019

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Media Contact:
Geoff Larcom