Michigan Climate Action Network
A farmer, a forester, a grassroots organizer, a political scientist, a professor … Denise Keele comes to her role as Director of Michigan Climate Action Network with a deep and multi-disciplined understanding that we need to move rapidly to stop and reverse global warming. “I just want all of us to have a livable future,” she says, with a straightforward conviction that likely traces its roots to the centennial Iowa farm where she was raised.
For Denise, a top priority is inspiring and connecting people and building the MiCAN network beyond its already strong base of 80 member organizations and more than 25,000 individuals. Also, “there are real opportunities at the state level,” she says. Notably, the newly released Mi Healthy Climate Plan, which will continue to evolve and take shape in coming months, meaning that now is an essential time to influence its future and make sure that equity lives at the center of the solutions for a net zero Michigan.
But it’s the realm beyond the capital that especially draws Denise’s interest. “I’m a political scientist, but I’m a boots on the ground political scientist. I like to look at how policy is matching up with lived experience.”
The people Denise grew up with—farmers—and the people she worked with early in her career—foresters—“have a different perception of climate change, but the climate movement needs the folks who work the land every single day. They know what’s going on around them.”
In MiCAN and Groundwork, Denise saw that same big-tent viewpoint and that same desire to connect with people and communities—and then joined our team.