Hero of the Week: Mama Lila Cabbil, Michigan Water Warrior (1944-2019)

As Black History Month draws to a close, we can think of no better hero than Mama Lila Cabbil, who is being remembered this week in Michigan for her tireless work on civil rights and environmental justice, and as a founder of the People’s Water Board Coalition and the Detroit People’s Platform.  She passed away suddenly last weekend.  Early in her career, she worked with Rosa Parks at The Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute, and until the day she died she was fighting for clean water for all in Detroit.  In 2017 she co-authored an op/ed in the Detroit Free Press arguing that, “There is no shortage of practical solutions to Detroit’s water problem. But to tackle the problem, we must first see it for the abomination that it is. We must remember that water is not just another commodity; water is life. Access to this vital resource is an inviolable human right. We must acknowledge and abolish the systemic racism that allows some to look the other way when their neighbors are deprived of their rights.”  The Detroit People’s Platform recognized and celebrated her life and contribution this way:

Lifelong Detroiter
Water Warrior
Civil Rights Activist
Fighter for Racial Justice
Defender of Democracy
Transit Advocate

We know her work will live on through the many lives she touched and helped to make better in Detroit and beyond.

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