Monica Lewis-Patrick (aka The Water Warrior) is a mother, educator, entrepreneur,
and human rights activist/advocate. She is co-founder of We The People of Detroit
where she served as Director of Community Outreach & Engagement since 2009 and
became President & CEO of the organization in 2014. Through her work with We the
People, Lewis-Patrick has set up emergency water stations, opened hotlines,
delivered water, provided education, and conducted community research to raise
awareness about water shutoffs and water affordability in Flint and Detroit.
She is one of the leaders at the forefront of the water rights struggle in Detroit and
beyond. She has served as a former Lead Legislative Policy Analyst for Detroit City
Council and is also the visionary, co-designer and co-author of the We The People of
Detroit-Community Research Collective that published and released “Mapping the
Water Crisis: The Dismantling of African-American Neighborhoods in Detroit” (August
2016) which is volume one of a three-part series documenting the effects of austerity
and its relationship to race in Detroit.
She is also an active member of the People’s Water Board Coalition, US Human Rights
Network, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), HOW (Healing Our
Waters)/ Equity Advisory Council, PolicyLink-WERC, Flint Strong Stones (Co-founder),
Freshwater Futures/All About Water (Advisory Committee), Lead and Copper Rule
Advisory Group at University of Michigan/Ann Arbor - Water Center, The Nature
Conservancy and Michigan State University Water Fellow 2019, Michigan Water
Table:PFAS Workshop, Water Affordability-Flint/Mayor Karen Weaver, Detroit Equity
Action Lab (Fellow 2016), Michigan Lifestage Environmental Exposures and Disease
Center - Stakeholder Advisory Group, and was named to the World Water Justice
Council in October 2015.
Lewis-Patrick, attended the historic Bennett College, and is a graduate of East
Tennessee State University where she earned a Bachelors degree in Social Work
and Sociology; a Masters degree in Criminal Justice/Sociology and Public
Management; and was a Ron McNair Scholar.