- Inside the Center
- CSS Names Dr. Jessica Cruz Managing Director of "Crafting Democratic Futures"
- Mellon Foundation Awards CSS, University Partners $5M Grant
- Announcing Sponsorship of Flint Justice Partnership
- Insights and Solutions
- A Look Back
- Archived Formats
The Center for Social Solutions is proud to announce our sponsorship of the Flint Justice Partnership (FJP), a University of Michigan student organization that aims to serve and connect with the Flint community and educate U-M students about the Flint water crisis.
The Flint water crisis began in 2014 after the drinking water source for Flint, Michigan was changed from Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the less costly Flint River. Flint residents, the majority of who are African American, were not informed that there were high levels of toxic lead in their water, despite government agencies having knowledge of the crisis. More than six years later, residents still do not have access to clean water resulting in an ongoing health and economic crisis for the community.
In 2018, a group of University of Michigan freshmen co-founded FJP to address these pressing issues Flint residents face daily.
“Coming into the University in 2018, we saw a big gap that had to be filled. We noticed the University community wasn’t really connected to the Flint community or cognizant of the issues going on, despite the fact that the city is just 1 hour away from Ann Arbor and that we have a campus there,” FJP co-chair and LSA junior Michal Ruprecht said.“After multiple conversations with Flint community leaders, we realized there was a big need for service volunteers. With that in mind, we decided to focus on education, service, and connection.”
FJPS has undertaken several meaningful initiatives to help advance their mission. The organization regularly hosts educational events where guest speakers promote dialogues on issues affecting Flint. FJP also partners with multiple organizations to advance its missions such as Crossing Water which helps provide essential supplies to homebound Flint residents.
FPJ's hard work has continued despite the pandemic and they look forward to serving Flint residents in new ways.
“There is so much more to be done, but we hope to continue our main projects and expand on them with the help of the Center for Social Solutions. One way we’ve adapted to the COVID-19 situation is by expanding our connections to more organizations in Flint. As we built these connections, we realized that we could also share all the wonderful resources these different organizations provide, so we decided to build a comprehensive resource page on our website for Flint residents,” Ruprecht continued.
The Center very much looks forward to partnering with FJP to advance its mission of water access.
“CSS supports this mission towards equitable, just distribution of water - as a basic human right - and the (policy/governmental/support) structures that will ensure the sustainability of this right, regardless of race, gender, income level, or any other social factor,” noted CSS research associate Julie Arbit. Arbit is also currently pursuing a master’s in Environmental Policy and Planning through the School for Environment and Sustainability.
Learn more about the Flint Justice Partnership and their work here.