Environmental Justice

Our Work

Environmental Justice

Ensuring environmental justice for all is a fundamental aspect of our mission. We firmly believe that every individual, regardless of their socioeconomic status or ethnicity, deserves access to clean air, clean water, and the rejuvenating benefits of nature. Unfortunately, the reality is that certain communities bear the brunt of environmental degradation due to the actions of powerful corporations.

It's an undeniable truth that big corporations frequently choose to dispose of their pollution in neighborhoods where residents are often ignored. As a result, low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by the harmful effects of pollutants such as lead, mercury, particulate emissions, and water contamination.

Tragically, this disparity in exposure leads to significantly higher rates of asthma, cancer, kidney failure, and diabetes among these populations.

At our organization, we are dedicated to rectifying this injustice. We stand as advocates for those whose voices may not always be heard, tirelessly working to hold big polluters accountable for their actions. We demand that these corporations take responsibility for their emissions, clean up the environmental mess they've created, and provide restitution for the damage they've inflicted upon communities.

Through advocacy and  activism, we are committed to ensuring that big polluters cannot continue to disregard the health and well-being of vulnerable communities. Everyone deserves a safe and healthy environment in which to live, and we will continue to fight until environmental justice is achieved for all.


Taking Back Our Power is a coalition driven by Michigan working families, united in the fight for equitable representation in our communities. We refuse to stand idly by as monopoly corporations and entities vying for state contracts wield their financial influence to drown out the voices of everyday citizens.

Our mission is clear: we’re advocating for comprehensive state legislation that ensures accountability by prohibiting regulated monopoly corporations and companies with government contracts from making political contributions. The influence of corporate dollars in politics has far-reaching consequences, detrimentally impacting the lives of Michiganders.

For instance, energy giants like DTE and Consumers Energy have poured millions into Lansing, evading accountability while Michiganders bear the burden of exorbitant electric rates and enduring the worst power outages in the Midwest. These corporate entities prioritize profit over the well-being of our communities, perpetuating a cycle of exploitation and neglect.

It comes as no surprise that the largest corporate political donors in Michigan are those with monopolistic control or vested interests in securing state contracts. This insidious influence stifles democratic processes and undermines the representation of the people.

At TBOP, we demand elected officials prioritize the interests of the people over corporate agendas. Our grassroots movement emerged in response to the dire consequences faced by Michigan residents during the February 2022 power outages. Countless homes were left without electricity for days, resulting in devastating losses of food, medication, and financial stability. Lives were lost, yet the compensation offered by DTE and Consumers Energy amounted to a mere $35 credit—an insult to those who suffered.

In response to this crisis, we mobilized. We collaborated with various organizations to draft meaningful legislation aimed at holding DTE and Consumers Energy accountable and securing fair outage compensation for affected individuals. Through town halls, hearings, and direct engagement with elected officials, we tirelessly advocated for change. However, our efforts were stymied by the stranglehold that corporate interests maintain over Michigan politics.

But we refuse to be silenced. Taking Back Our Power is committed to empowering Michigan communities and reclaiming democratic principles from the grasp of corporate influence. Together, we will fight for a future where elected officials represent the needs and aspirations of the people, not the interests of powerful corporations.



Part of the Taking Back Our Power campaign’s end goal is to hold big-money corporations accountable for the dirty power choices that harm every aspect of our lives. As we rally together and push for legislation that will make long-term change, we must also consider the immediate changes that we can make happen within our homes. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a 2022 federal law considered to be one of the biggest investments in clean energy and climate solutions, Michiganders will soon have the opportunity to use federal money to reduce our energy bills, get more reliable electricity, and live in safer, healthier homes.

Authorized by the IRA, Michigan has recently been granted just over $211.1 million for the creation of two home energy rebate programs: a whole-home energy efficiency program and an electrification and appliance program. This means that there is money available for Michigan homes to be upgraded to cleaner, more reliable energy. These upgrades would help lower your electricity bills and improve indoor air quality. Michigan’s energy office. EGLE, is charged with developing these two programs, and they want public input. This is our opportunity to influence the programs before they are rolled-out. 

Michigan United’s goal is to create a community navigator program that connects low-income immigrants and refugees to funds and services that will benefit them as well as the climate. Immigrant and refugee communities face a multitude of structural barriers when it comes to accessing existing energy assistance programs, including language, immigration status, misinformation, and cultural competency. Our navigator program will serve to address these barriers that can make getting to the available funds and obtaining the upgrades confusing and stressful for households. 

Contact operales@miuinted.org to get involved. 


we can make change

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