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.

Up Next

One Brave Thing: Rowing Solo Across the Atlantic

A 21-year old woman from the U.K., Jasmine Harrison, became the youngest female to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean — she did it in just over 70 days — surviving capsizing twice and a near collision with a giant tanker ship.  Why did she do it, you ask? She said on her website, “I […]

Continue Reading 130 words

Interview of the Week: Mo Elleithee, Executive Director of GU Politics

This week we wanted to learn about how to make our politics less divisive, particularly when it comes to making progress on climate change and environmental issues. So we reached out to Mo — an original Friend of the Planet — who has been studying civility in politics for years. In GU Politics’ most recent […]

Continue Reading 219 words
Recognizing the Contributions of America’s Black Coal Miners

Recognizing the Contributions of America’s Black Coal Miners


According to the National Park Service, between 1870 and 1930, hundreds of thousands of white people, African Americans, and European immigrants came to West Virginia to work in the coal mines. For Black coal miners, this backbreaking work was an opportunity to escape the Jim Crow South and build a better life for themselves and […]

Continue Reading 207 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.