wmeac Staff

Deirdre Nieves

Director of Climate Solutions and Justice

‘I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.’ – Angela Davis

Deirdre Nieves (she/her/hers) is a social scientist, educator, and environmental justice advocate. Deirdre works with communities and organizations in Michigan and across the country advancing energy democracy and organizing for transformative federal action to cut carbon emissions, end fossil-fuel use, and address the climate crisis.

Deirdre comes to WMEAC with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a master’s degree in anthropology. Deirdre has long been committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in teaching and in the workplace. “Because we are in a state of emergency for environmental justice our pursuit must be to mitigate the causes of climate change that impact marginalized communities especially where displacement is the final outcome. Deirdre is excited to join an ever-emerging class of environmental justice professionals. “We are starting to see social justice action and environmental advocacy aligning side by side,”  “as they did during the 1970s civil rights and environmental movements.” She has connected with fellow activists through many venues, including:

  • The Environmental Fellows Program – Yale School for the Environment & UM SEAS, 2021 Cohort: the program cultivates the environmental career aspirations of master’s and doctoral students from historically underrepresented groups.
  • The Advance Midwest Partnership – Joining Forces NSF, Fellow: this consortium of Midwestern universities designs, implements, and assesses the impact of a package of programs that enhance the career success of women and under-represented STEM faculty.

Deirdre enjoys spending time in the great outdoors. In the past few years, she has traveled to experience the stunning natural beauty and wildlife of Yellowstone, Zion, Olympic, Glacier, and Grand Teton National Parks.