Learners investigate and share information about environmental organizations, particularly around the Flint Water Crisis, to compare and contrast how the three sectors differ in their purposes, goals, and achievements.
The learner will:
- research an environmental organization, evaluate its goals and objectives in relation to the environment, and present the findings.
- timeline of the Flint Water Crisis: https://www.consumernotice.org/environmental/water-contamination/flint-michigan/
- organizations that helped during and after the Flint Water Crisis: https://www.hourdetroit.com/web-exclusive/flint-organizations-water-crisis/
- Government Organizations: EPA, OSHA, National Park Service
- Nonprofit Organizations: The Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace
- For-Profit Organizations: Exxon, Consumers Energy
Explain that the environmental crisis in Flint, Michigan, occurred when the water coming into all of the homes became contaminated. There were many reasons leading to the crisis, including government carelessness, environmental injustice, and lack of understanding. Government, nonprofit organizations, and businesses worked together to respond to the crisis.
Name three organizations that respond to a crisis: Environmental Protection Agency (government), World Wildlife Federation (nonprofit), and BP or Exxon (for profit). Together look up facts on the internet and discuss the work of these organizations as it relates to the environment, their funding source, and the motivations behind their work. Be careful to avoid terms of judgment (right, good, wrong, bad) in the discussion.
Youth may choose from the following two lists of organizations, one per group to read about and prepare to tell what they learned about their environmental work and who pays for it:
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- National Park Service
- The Nature Conservancy
- Consumers Energy
These groups were directly involved in the Flint Crisis response:
- EPA (national government)
- Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (state government)
- City of Flint Public Works (city government)
- Flint River Watershed Coalition (nonprofit)
- Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (nonprofit foundation)
- Community Foundation of Greater Flint (nonprofit)
- General Motors (business)
- Walmart (business)
Each group makes a brief presentation on their assigned environmental organization.
- Historical background
- Mission and need addressed
- Impact on the environment
- Is it a government agency, nonprofit organization, or for-profit business?
- How can people get involved in helping to address the need?
They may plan to share information about the groups' work with a broader audience to get others involved in understanding the need and what they can do.
Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
Benchmark HS.5 Analyze the function and role of the civil society sector in economic systems using basic economic principles.
Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
Benchmark HS.2 Provide examples from history of how the relationship between government and the civil society sector has changed.
Benchmark HS.3 Identify an example of failure in each sector, and how the other sectors modified their roles in response.
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 04. Philanthropy and Geography
Benchmark HS.2 Identify and describe how civil society sector organizations help people nationally and internationally.
Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
Benchmark HS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.
Benchmark HS.4 Analyze and synthesize information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to public policy. Discuss these issues evaluating the effects of individual actions on other people, the rule of law and ethical behavior.