City of Flint and ReCAST Co-Hosts 2nd Annual Resiliency & Environmental Justice Summits

Summits to include a day of discussions, workshops and activities for Flint-area residents

FLINT, Mich. – Mayor Karen Weaver is pleased to announce that City officials and the Flint Resiliency in Communities After Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) program, will co-host the 2nd Annual Resiliency Summit which will also include the 2nd Annual Environmental Justice Summit Monday, March 26, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Mott Community College Event Center.

“The first Resiliency and Environmental Justice Summits held last year were such a success, that we knew we wanted to have them again and make the experience even more impactful for those who attend,” said Mayor Weaver. “Flint is resilient and diverse city, and this summit will help members of the community engage in dialogue and foster ideas that can have a positive impact on us all. We appreciate the people and organizations who have come together to make this event happen.”

Organizers have selected the theme for the 2nd Annual Resiliency Summit as “Surviving and Into Thriving”.  The summit will include a day session of community and professional development, and an evening Community Expo with fun activities and strategies to promote resiliency and environmental justice. The mission of ReCAST is to support local residents in dealing with the effects of the Flint Water Crisis, while strengthening the community’s capacity to minimize the risk of future crises.

“As a follow-up to our 2017 Resiliency Summit, this year’s event will feature leaders who actively work to promote the concept of resiliency in their community,” said Vicki Johnson-Lawrence, PhD, co-project director for Flint ReCAST and assistant professor at MSU College of Human Medicine’s Division of Public Health in Flint. “The Flint community is interested in learning more about how we can incorporate trauma-informed approaches into their families, organizations and workplaces.”

“There is an obvious connection between social and environmental determinants of health, therefore we felt combining the Resiliency and Economic Summits this year, making it the first joint summit, just made sense,” said Dr. Pamela Pugh, Chief Public Health Advisor for Flint. “The goal is to bring the community together to explore these critical issues and come up with effective solutions to help tackle the injustices faced by Flint residents more swiftly.”

The day session will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, with the evening Community Expo set for 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. During the day session, local professionals, students and community members will participate in panel discussions, training, strategy sessions, and educational workshops to address resiliency and environmental justice.

Following the Day Session, members of the community, including parents and youth, are encouraged to attend the Community Expo, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. There will be performances by the Boys and Girls Club Steel Drum Band and Kuungana African Drum and Dance Company, craft activities by Flint Handmade, mindfulness sessions led by the Crim Fitness Foundation and a photo booth.

The public is welcome and there is no cost to attend. To register for the Day Session or Community Expo evening session, please visit

Information on Speakers:
Individuals from across Michigan with various professional backgrounds have been invited to address topics focused on resiliency and trauma informed care. Invited speakers include:  Rick Murdock, Michigan ACE Initiative; Kathy Szenda-Wilson, Battle Creek Pulse; Joellen Rhyndress and Lauren Meldrum, Health West; Zoe Lyons, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; Heather Samkowiak, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services; and Dr. Tolu Sonuyi, Detroit Medical Center and Director of Detroit Life is Valuable Everyday (DLIVE).

National environmental justice experts, invited to speak with area residents about key aspects of environmental justice and public health issues in Flint include: Reverend Lennox Yearwood, a minister, community/environmental activist, President and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus; Matthew Dalbey, Director Office of Sustainable Communities, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Dr. Lawrence Reynolds, Member Governor Snyder Environmental Justice Work Group, Pediatrician, and Flint Resident; Tirrell Whittley, Executive Producer, a Hollywood marketing and production staple fresh off the groundbreaking marketing campaigns for MARVEL’S BLACK PANTHER, CEO of KENNEDI • TAYLOR and LIQUID SOUL; Dr. Agustin V. Arbulu, Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR); Mr. Bankole Thompson, Detroit News Columnist & Radio Talk show Host; Ms. Michelle Martinez, Coordinator Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition and EJ Activist; and Matt Hinkle and Ira Dorsey, Rap Artists, The Dayton Family Rap Group and Flint Residents.

Media Contact:
Kris Johns, Flint ReCAST Program Coordinator, [email protected]

About Flint ReCAST:
Flint ReCAST is a partnership between the City of Flint and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, the University of Michigan-Flint, and Genesee Health System. The goal of Flint ReCAST is to support the community in building individual and community resiliency using trauma-informed approaches for local professionals who work with community members at high risk of experiencing trauma. ReCAST also provides evidence-based youth and family programs that build resiliency and communication, and supports youth in building expectations for their futures and in building socioemotional capacity. The program is funded by a five-year federal grant awarded to the City of Flint by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.