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the michigan

by Lara Zielin



Growing Up Green Tiya Miles uses a love of the environment to inspire young women

firsthand experience with sustainable

“I LIKE GECKOS. Does that make me

will come to U-M and learn from students

weird?” That question from her sevenyear-old twin daughter sparked Associate Professor Tiya Miles’ founding of Eco Girls, an organization that fosters and encourages girls’ love of nature. In contrast to what Miles calls the “prepackaged princess takeover of culture,” Eco Girls is designed to help girls be “engaged, active, and making contributions to the world, versus focused on what they look like and what they spend their money on,” she says. For example, Eco Girls, who are between eight and 12 years of age, will get 44

LSA Magazine / SPRING 2011

farming by helping grow a community garden. They will camp and do service projects, as well as learn about plants and animals in the Michigan habitat. They and faculty, and will “experience and

campus to larger communities.” What’s

move through the natural world, under-

more, all core organizers for Eco Girls are

standing more about it and their place in

LSA alumni.

Miles says it’s critical that girls get

it,” says Miles. Eco Girls is a departure from Miles’

engaged in their environments now, as

traditional scholarly work, which is large-

“environmental issues are going to loom

ly focused on Native American and Afri-

larger and larger on the horizon.” She

can American comparative histories. Yet

hopes Eco Girls will “contribute to the

her efforts on both fronts are connected

science education of girls — making it

through the Department for Afroameri-

fun, accessible, and real. We want them to

can and African Studies (DAAS), which

have the tools they need to be empowered

Miles will chair next year. Miles says Eco

to change the world for the better.”

Girls fits in perfectly with DAAS’s many outreach projects, which “connect the

To learn more about Eco Girls, visit n

PHOTO Mark Edward Atkinson/Corbis ILLUSTRATION Rachel Dennis

Crime and Punishment  
Crime and Punishment  

Spring 2011 issue of LSA Magazine.