GRAND RAPIDS, MI— 43 local, statewide, and national organizations, known as Drawdown Allies, banded together to produce a conference on climate change on September 25, 2019 at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids.. Rise Up & Drawdown Michigan, the one-day conference was the first of its kind to  focus on community, collaboration, solutions, and action.  


Paul Hawken, the editor of the New York Times Bestseller Drawdown, the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming, and world-renowned environmentalist, entrepreneur, author and activist keynoted the conference. Drawdown Allies collaborated for one common purpose: to create action in our community towards the reversal of human induced climate change. “Climate change is happening all around us,” says Cheri Holman, Executive Director of U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan, “ it is no longer a future problem or distant prediction. It is right here, right now.” 


The premier event hosted speakers such as Mayor Rosalynn Bliss of City of Grand Rapids, Dr. Brandy Brown, Climate and Energy Advisor for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, and Frank Ettawageshik, the Executive Director of United Tribes of Michigan.  


More than 50 students from a myriad of schools including Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Whitehall Public Schools, Grand Rapids Community College and Aquinas College took the main stage with pleas  urging immediate action on our climate crisis. The powerful and emotional display brought tears to the capacity crowd of 500 civic and community members including former Mayor George Heartwell, Mary Judnich of Senator Stabenow’s office and Peter Dickow of Senator Peters office.


Solutions for climate change actions were offered with total cost, return on investment and the corresponding reduction of atmospheric carbon.  A few of the top solutions include an immediate transition to clean energy, carbon-free mass transit, walkable cities and net zero building operation.

Drawdown Allies

3R Environmental Education

AIA Grand Rapids

American Sustainable Business Council

Ann Arbor 2030 District


City of Grand Rapids

Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Climate Witness Project


Detroit 2030 District

Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice


Good For Michigan

Grand Rapids 2030 District


Grand Valley State University, Office of Sustainability

Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition

GreenHome Institute

Green Michigan

Habitat for Humanity of Kent County

Hispanic Center of Western Michigan

International Living Future Institute 

Lansing Environmental Action Team

Michigan Battle of the Buildings 

Michigan Energy Options

Michigan Interfaith Power & Light

Michigan League of Conservation Voters

Michigan Mosaic Energy Cooperative 

Michigan Saves


Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

Small Business Association of Michigan

Sunrise Movement

Urban Roots

U.S. Green Building Council Detroit

U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan

West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

West Michigan Environmental Action Council

West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum     

Drawdown Supporters

Wege Foundation

Consumers Energy

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy


SMG/DeVos Place

Boxed Water


Books & Mortar


Founders Brewing