Untrouble the Waters

Freshwater Lab Summit 2017

With the support of the McDougal Family Foundation, the Mott Foundation, and the Alliance for the Great Lakes, the UIC Freshwater Lab is excited to announce: 



Freshwater Lab Summit 2017

It’s not the Rust Belt, it’s the Water Belt



Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

Thursday, May 11th, 2017


University of Illinois – Chicago

Student Center East Meeting Rooms

750 South Halsted Street

Chicago IL 60607





Untrouble the Waters is a summit dedicated to bringing mayors, local leaders, and researchers together to envision and launch projects that benefit communities and watersheds alike. Amidst questions of federal intentions about the Clean Water Act and Clean Water Rule; aging infrastructure; and water crises such as algae blooms, lead poisoning, and water shutoffs; the UIC Freshwater Lab invites government officials, academic researchers and community leaders to Untrouble the Waters.


The goals of the summit include:

  • Highlighting water leadership, particularly by women and people of color
  • Creating and supporting a network to address pressing water issues across cities of the Great Lakes basin
  • Exploring equitable water sharing as a means of racial reconciliation and economic development
  • Conceiving projects to enhance water quality, human health, and everyday life
  • Building partnerships among government, academia, and communities



































Wednesday, May 10th, 2017 


9:00 AM:  Welcome

UIC Student Center East, The Cardinal Room, Room 330

Dean Astrida Tantillo, UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Professor Rachel Havrelock, Director, Freshwater Lab

Professor Johari Jabir, Untrouble the Waters song


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM: Keynote Speech

UIC Student Center East, The Cardinal Room, Room 330

Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians


11:00 AM – 12 PM: Address

UIC Student Center East, The Cardinal Room, Room 330

Denise Abdul-Rahman, Environmental Climate Justice Chair, NAACP Indiana

Co-sponsored by the UIC Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Blacks, Women’s Leadership and Resource Center, & the African-American Cultural Center


Noon: Lunch


1:30 – 2:30 PM: Environmental Justice Plenary

UIC Student Center East, The Cardinal Room, Room 330

Principled Community Based Research and Media Strategies: Aligning with the Grassroots for Clean Water Access

Moderated by Antonio Lopez, Associate, Freshwater Lab


Debra Taylor, Co-Founder, We the People of Detroit

Yanna Lambrinidou, PhD, Department of Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Tech. 

Kim Wasserman-Nieto, Executive Director, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO)

Robin Amer, Deputy Editor, Chicago Reader

Co-sponsored by the Midwest Environmental Justice Network


2:30 – 2:45 PM: Coffee Break

UIC Student Center East, The Cardinal Room, Room 329


2:45 pm – 5:00 pm: Great Lakes Mayors Panel

UIC Student Center East, The Cardinal Room, Room 330

Moderated by Naomi Davis, President & Founder, Blacks in Green


Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, Toledo, Ohio

Mayor Marcus Muhammad, Benton Harbor, Michigan

Mayor John Dickert, Racine, Wisconsin

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, Gary, Indiana

Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Former Mayor Hilliard Hampton, Inkster, Michigan

Co-sponsored by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative


5 PM: Day One of Summit ends


On the second day of the summit, participants will break into working groups. Each working group will begin with a panel presentation, followed by a question and answer session. After a break for lunch, the working groups will resume with facilitated discussions of potential projects that address the issue.

It is our intention for these working groups to generate projects with positive effects on the region’s water and communities. Participants will go into summer ready to untrouble the waters. 
































Thursday, May 11th, 2017


9:30 AM: Welcome

UIC Student Center East Tower, Room 605

Teresa Córdova, Director, UIC Great Cities Institute

Mila Kellen Marshall, Director of Network Resiliency, Freshwater Lab


10:00 AM – 12:00 PM:  Working Group Morning Session

Simultaneous Panel Presentations on the following topics/themes:

Student Center East Tower, Room 613


  Professor Noah Hall, Associate Professor, Wayne State University Law School

  Susan Satter – Senior Assistant Attorney General at Illinois Attorney General’s Office

  Jessica Fujan, Midwest Region Director, Food & Water Watch

  Zoë Roller, Program Manager, US Water Alliance

Student Center East Tower, Room 611


  Sharif Ezzat, Creative Director, Vital Mind Media

  Michael Timm, Creative Lead & Project Manager, Reflo Sustainable Water Solutions

  Linda Pulik, Senior Design Director, Fjord

  Augustin Ganley, Co-Founder & Co-Director of Children of the Wild, Great Lakes Commons

  Lindsay Swan, Co-Director of Children of the Wild, Great Lakes Commons

Student Center East Tower, Room 603


  William Copeland, Climate Justice Director, East Michigan Environmental Action Council

  Bryce Anderson-Small, Co-Founder, Detroit Homeland Security

  Juanita Garcia, Co-Host, Shades of Green 

  Co-sponsored by the Midwest Environmental Justice Network

Student Center East Tower, Room 713


  Robert Blanchard, Chairman, The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Tribal Council

  Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director, FLOW (For Love of Water)

  Jennifer McKay, Policy Director, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

  Thomas Frank, Toxic Tours

  Olga Bautista, Founding Member, Chicago’s Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke

Student Center East Tower, Room 610


  Anna Clark, Journalist, Knight-Wallace Journalism fellow at the University of Michigan

  Melissa Mays, Founder, Water You Fighting For & Organizer, Flint Rising

  Tio Hardiman, Violence Interrupters 

  Kirsten Shead, Community Organizer, Milwaukee Water Commons

  Oday Salim, Attorney, Great Lakes Environmental Law Center

  Yanna Lambrinidou, PhD, Department of Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Tech. 

Student Center East Tower, Room 605


  Toni Anderson, Founding Executive Director, Sacred Keepers Sustainability Lab

  Paul Baines, Outreach and Education Coordinator, Great Lakes Commons  

  Veronica Kyle, Chicago Outreach Director, Faith in Place

  Dr. Bonnie McElhinny, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Toronto


12:00 – 1:30 PM: Lunch


1:30 – 3:30 PM: Simultaneous Afternoon Workshops

Each group will produce 1-2 action oriented projects


3:30 – 4:00 PM: Coffee Break

Student Center East Tower, Room 605


4:00 PM: Closing Ceremony

Student Center East Tower, Room 605


4:30 PM: Reception

Gallery 400 (400 S Peoria, MC 034)


The Ink Factory will be using its innovative visual note-taking strategies to help capture all the great ideas generated at the Untrouble the Waters Summit, in order to engage future audiences that also seek to untrouble the waters!

#FWL, #UntroubleTheWaters, #InkFactory

#WaterCosts, #DigitalStorytelling, 

#EnvironmentalJustice, #OilPipelines, 

#LeadPipes, #GoodWaterNeighbors 




(312) 996-6352


The Freshwater Lab

UIC Institute for the Humanities

701 S Morgan St

Chicago, IL 60607