We are thrilled to announce the winners of the inaugural Michigan Climate Awards!

High Five's!The Michigan Climate Action Network is recognizing Michiganders doing exceptional climate and justice work with these new awards. We asked for your help to recognize some of the dedicated professionals, activists, and young people doing the hard work of moving Michigan toward a just and sustainable future. 

Recipients were honored at our virtual Michigan Climate and Clean Energy Summit, May 24-27, 2021.

Here are this year's incredible winners.



The Climate Champion Award goes to a professional working for an organization, a municipality, or business in Michigan

The recipient of this award is Dr. Denise Keele, a founding member and director of both Western Michigan University's Climate Change Working Group and the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition (KCCC).  Dr. Keele has focused her teaching, scholarship, and professional service to educating students and helping other faculty learn about the climate crisis. She has inspired countless students to pursue careers related to climate change. 

As one person who nominated her wrote, “Dr. Keele devotes her professional life to championing the cause of addressing the climate crisis.  She does so in a way that profoundly models inclusion, collaboration, education, and political transformation.” AND “Denise’s infectious energy and enthusiasm have motivated many hundreds of people throughout southwest Michigan – who otherwise would have remained silent - to act on climate change.”

Congratulations Dr. Keele!


The Climate Action Award goes to a person doing exceptional work as a volunteer or individual.

We are thrilled to award Theresa Landrum, a community organizer and activist, has been fighting against Environmental injustices over twenty years. Theresa Landrum was appointed by the Governor to the Michigan Advisory Council on Environmental Justice (MAC-EJ) She also is the Community Education Specialist for the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition’s Clean Air Council. Theresa Landrum is a life-long Detroiter, and is one of the strongest community activists in Southwest Detroit 48217.  

As a person who nominated her said,” Theresa is doing the work that NEEDS to be done, work that many are afraid to do. She does it WELL! With grace, yet fire that allows the job to get done! She’s amazing and she also teaches, Instills, and inspires so many others.”

Congratulations Theresa!


The Young Climate Leader Award goes to a student or other young person doing exceptional work as a volunteer or individual.

Congratulations to the winner of this award, Dolores Perales, for her work as a vocal advocate for climate and justice and working closely with the community to develop and sustain green placemaking projects. She also helps facilitate sustainability-based research in partnership with local high schools and universities.

One of the many people to nominate Dolores wrote “As a classmate of Dolores', I've learned so much from her, and watch her work tirelessly to fundraise and promote events that educate our community. She is an inspiration and deserves the Young Climate Leader award.”

Congratulations Dolores!


These awards were made possible by a generous grant from The Colina Foundation

Congratulations to all of our awardees, and to all of the nominees for these awards. 


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