Detroit 2010





Adrienne Marie Brown on the US Social Forum in Detroit 

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Opening March on the US Social Forum in Detroit 

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Michigan Welfare Rights Organization

Our Mission

The Michigan Welfare Rights Organization is the union of public assistance recipients and low-income workers in this state. MWRO has chapters across Michigan and is one of the founding members of the National Welfare Rights Union. Our goal is to organize recipients and low-income workers to fight for our rights, to eliminate poverty in this country and to build an army prepared to battle or the economic and human rights of millions of disenfranchised Americans.

Welfare recipients, low income workers and homeless people rarely know what benefits they are entitled to under existing social service rules and regulations that undergo daily sometimes hourly changes.  Since President Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Bill on August 22, 1996, most of the safety nets that barely separated poor people from outright hunger and homelessness have disappeared reducing millions across the country and hundreds of thousands in Michigan to membership in the “New Great Depression.”  The focus of MWRO is to intervene and advocate on behalf of the victims of poverty when disputes surface between this population and service delivery agencies.  MWRO sponsors training sessions for the victims of poverty that cover eligibility for Food Stamps, Medicaid, cash assistance, disputes with landlords, utility companies and how to file a hearing when these rights are being violated.  The work is monumental, sometimes crushing and seemingly endless.

Michigan Welfare Rights does not enjoy a 501C3 tax exempt status, but we are supported by several entities which act as our fiduciary when called on to fill that task.

Mission Statement

“We, the poor and working people living in America refuse to accept responsibility or blame directed toward us and imposed on our children for the poverty we are forced to live in. As members of the National Welfare Rights Union and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, we recognize high-tech manufacturing as the dawn of a complete new era which can guarantee forever and for all a life free from material wants. Therefore, in order to cleanse this imperfect nation, re-establish justice, ensure economic stability, provide for the common security, promote the national welfare, and enhance the blessings of financial freedom once enjoyed by the collective posterity, we do re-dedicate and re-establish our singular commitment to take control of our nation as patriots as we fight for the American Dream.”

EAST MICHIGAN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION COUNCIL (EMEAC) began as a response in the 1960’s to environmental concerns in southeast Michigan. Algae blooms were choking out life in Great Lakes and inland waters. Household and industrial wastes were piling up in landfills. Air pollutants were becoming a health issue in many urban neighborhoods and highways and buildings were covering up wetlands and open areas at the urban fringe.

With the help of our members’ continuing support and enthusiasm, EMEAC will continue to pursue its mission: To empower the Detroit community to protect, preserve and value the land, air and water.  We build community power through environmental justice education, youth development and collaborative relationship building.  Detroit is in crisis. In every area of life, Detroiters are under assault: the education system has been dismantled, unions broken, houses foreclosed on, pensions defunded, emergency services selectively applied, streetlights permanently shut off in certain areas, environmental injustices abound, social safety net services defunded, and the will of the people (through democratic processes) denied.

“There’s no such thing as a single-issue struggle, because we don’t live single-issue lives.” – Audre Lorde

EMEAC works across section and with multi-issue struggles because the families we work with are forced to take on multiple systems of oppression in their everyday lives.  Many Detroit families live in poverty, not of their own making, but because our system has failed them. These families have the firsthand experience and insight into how public policy, attitudes and systems must change to raise all families to prosperity.  At the core of EMEAC is our resolve to follow the lead of the community.  Our organization is comprised of community members that have been trained through our political education and organizing workshops and rose to leadership.

For over forty years, EMEAC has been working in the community, in the courts, in township halls and in schools. We played a role in the enactment of most of Michigan’s environmental laws.  Our work is rooted in the principles of environmental justice and in community organizing.  We work to fight environmental racism and extreme energy while building community solutions and resilience inside Detroit: the community where we live, work and play.

Our Programs Include:


For more programs information, visit EMEAC Programs.
For Staff & Board information, visit EMEAC Staff & Board.



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