Cultural Strategies for Environmental Justice
Visiting Hip-Hop Artist Will See
January 21-25, 2019
Will See is a hip-hop artist, poet-MC, environmental justice (EJ) activist, and cultural worker from Detroit. He brings attention to issues of environment, race and class through his art and activism. He worked as Co-Director of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council and served as a local coordinator for the 2010 US Social Forum among other activist projects in Detroit and across the region. He presently collaborates with the national Climate Justice Alliance. Will recently finished touring with the Earthwork Music Collective and co-convening the national Black 2 Just Transition Assembly and Training. His solo hip-hop CD The Basics includes EJ anthems such as “Water Power” and “Take tha House Back.” His second project is a spiritual mixtape called SOL SWGGR. In his third project, #Detroitdiplomat, he “brings Detroit to the world and brings the world to the D.”
From January 21-25, 2019, UCI Community Resilience Projects and co-sponsors welcomed Will See as a visiting artist to share his work and methods with UCI students, faculty, staff, and community collaborators. Will’s visit incorporated environmental justice into our campus’ MLK week activities. On January 23, our campus also hosted Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Iraqi-American pediatrician whose research uncovered the lead poisoning of Flint, Michigan’s drinking water supply. Will’s visit provided a synergistic community perspective from neighboring Detroit about their fight for community access to clean water and other public goods such as affordable housing, food sovereignty, and community-driven climate resilience. Combined, the two concurrent campus visits from Michigan spoke to issues at the core of several UCI collaborations with surrounding communities working for environmental justice. As African-American Studies Professor Tiffany Willoughby-Herard reflects:
Will’s organizing through art and music across the country is keyed into a vision for a healed planet and reflects what Dr. King’s legacy has empowered us to do. Will See’s focus on environmental justice results from Detroit and Flint communities’ desire to deal with and transform a set of conditions that ought not to be the baseline of our vision of the Beloved Community.
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Please join us. Events are free, accessible, and open to the public. If you are coming from off campus, please consider public transportation; UCI has pay parking. The schedule is subject to change and will be updated here regularly. Scroll down for additional event descriptions and be sure to RSVP.
Tues., Jan. 22, 8-9:30 pm Performance (Dance Studio 120)
Wed., Jan. 23, 3:45-4:45 pm EJ Discussion with Students (GSRC)
Thurs., Jan. 24, 5-6:30 pm Spoken Word Workshop (HG 1030)
Fri., Jan. 25, 6-9 pm Santa Ana Performative Exchange
New Video: Water Power by Will See
East Michigan Environmental Action Council on Just Transition