Flint Justice Partnership at the University of Michigan (UMich FJP)
The Flint Justice Partnership at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor aims to serve and connect with the Flint community and educate UM students about the Flint water crisis. FJP partners with multiple organizations to advance our mission.
FJP was co-founded by Michal Ruprecht, Lindsay Miles, Quinn Nolan, Emily Welch, and Demetrius Ford in October of 2018.
The Flint water crisis began in 2014, after the drinking water source for the city of Flint, Michigan was changed from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to a less costly source of the Flint River on April 25, 2014. This move was prompted by an appointed emergency manager, who trumped the power of elected officials, and the switch was supposed to save $5 million. Months after the switch, government agencies like the United States Environmental Protection Agency tested the water and realized there were high levels of lead in the water. However, the city of more than 98,000 people, majority African American, didn’t know about the dangers of the water because the EPA chose to keep it a secret until the information leaked to residents on January 2, 2015. Even after the Flint City Council voted on switching back to the original water source on March 23, 2015, the emergency manager overruled the decision. It was only on October 2, 2015, over a year later, when Flint residents began to get assistance from the government. Although Flint residents were eventually given bottled water and water filters, the aid stopped on April 6, 2018.
Center for Social Solutions.
CSS fosters research and collaborations that diagnose and solve critical social problems. CSS believes these solutions rely on diverse perspectives that account for the multi-faceted root causes of these issues. Their founding initiatives—diversity, slavery, water access, and the future of work—approach different aspects of the equality that they believe is necessary to advance as a prosperous democratic society. Find more information about CSS here.
FJP has been sponsored by CSS since October 2020 to advance its mission of water access. FJP was sponsored with the mentorship of CSS faculty and staff, including Director Dr. Earl Lewis, Associate Director Dr. Alford Young, Jr., Project Senior Manager Doreen N. Tinajero, Chief Administrator Melissa Eljamal, and Research Associates Julie Arbit and Justin Shaffner.
Michigan Community Scholars Program.
MCSP brings together students and faculty who have a commitment to community service, diversity, and academic excellence. Students model an ideal community through intergroup engagement, responsibility, friendship, and collaboration. Find more information about MCSP here.
FJP was founded by MCSP students and advances its mission with MCSP students. FJP was founded with the mentorship of MCSP faculty and staff, including Directors Dr. David Schoem and Dr. Wendy A. Woods and Coordinator of Community Engagement William Alt. FJP was awarded the 2018 and 2019 MCSP Innovation Grants.
Crossing Water deploys rapid response service teams to the hardest-hit and most underserved neighborhoods in Flint to ensure that the most vulnerable people receive assistance and relief they need. Find more information about Crossing Water here.
FJP members join Crossing Water on monthly deployments to provide sustainable service by delivering bottled water, water filters, and food to homebound residents.
Riley's Way Foundation.
Riley's Way empowers young leaders to use kindness and empathy to create meaningful connections and positive change. Read more about Riley's Way here.
FJP was awarded the 2020 Call for Kindness grant.
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.
FBEM serves as a common solicitor, storehouse, and distributor of food to member non-profit and charitable organizations in 22 counties. Find more information about FBEM here.
FJP members volunteer with FBEM to sort and package food for Flint residents.
Hurley Medical Center.
HMC is a teaching hospital serving residents of eastern Michigan, including Flint. Find more information about HMC here.
FJP members send encouragement cards to patients in the pediatric unit.
IN THE NEWS.
The Michigan Daily.
Executive board chairs.
Rita Brooks, Sana Simkani, Hallie Zlotnick
Community outreach committee.
Dr. David Schoem, Dr. Wendy A. Woods, Dr. Christine Modey, William Alt