Community First

Community First

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Community First

Plastic pollution harms human communities just as much as it harms the environment, and this harm falls disproportionately on communities of color here in the US and around the world. That’s why engaging those in "front-line communities" - those most directly impacted  by plastic pollution, is an essential part of any justice-oriented movement. Learn all about best practices for environmental justice organizing in #breakfreefromplastic and beyond in this episode with Ahmina Maxey.

Protesters March Against Detroit Incinerator


Ahmina’s background is in environmental justice organizing, having worked for nearly a decade in her hometown of Detroit, Michigan to protect the health and environment of the community.  Through her work with the Zero Waste Detroit coalition she helped achieve city-wide curbside recycling, and watch-dogged the Detroit incinerator (the largest in the country) resulting in millions of dollars in fines levied against the facility. As Associate Director of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council, Ahmina worked at the city and state-level to improve Detroit’s air quality, leading to the passage of numerous policies protecting the environment and health of Detroit residents. She is a 2007 graduate of the University of Michigan, 2011 Green for all Fellow, 2014 recipient of the Sierra Club's Bunyan Bryant Environmental Justice Award, and was included on Grist's 2017 list of 50 emerging green leaders. Most recently she worked as the North America and Canada Regional Coordinator for the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, and has been part of the strategic leadership of Break Free From Plastic US. In 2019 she has taken on an exciting new role as co-director of the Transforming Power Fund in Detroit, Michigan, a new Detroit-based social justice fund committed to transformative systems change, and sponsored by Allied Media Projects.

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About The Host
Brooking Gatewood
Brooking hosts UPSTREAM’s The Indisposable Podcast and guides our team on virtual collaboration and culture-building. She has worked with Break Free From Plastic US since 2016 as a facilitator and strategist, and has spent much of the last decade supporting collaborative leadership for many ambitious change efforts - from saving monarch butterflies to curbing diabetes. In her spare time, Brooking can be found writing and performing poetry, or hosting community-connection events in her local LA neighborhood.
About The Author
Brooking Gatewood
Brooking hosts UPSTREAM’s The Indisposable Podcast and guides our team on virtual collaboration and culture-building. She has worked with Break Free From Plastic US since 2016 as a facilitator and strategist, and has spent much of the last decade supporting collaborative leadership for many ambitious change efforts - from saving monarch butterflies to curbing diabetes. In her spare time, Brooking can be found writing and performing poetry, or hosting community-connection events in her local LA neighborhood.