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Families & Community

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons

Some Iraqi immigrants who are being detained while they fight deportation have gone on a hunger strike.

It’s not clear how many detainees are refusing to eat. Family members and the ACLU say it might be as many as 50. 

Many of the detainees are from metro Detroit and are being held at a federal facility in Youngstown, Ohio.

tahira Khalid and halim naeem
Stateside / Michigan Radio

It is an interesting, and also tough, time to be both black and Muslim in Michigan.

Anti-Muslim rhetoric in politics and media seems to be intensifying, and there are daily reminders of our nation's long, painful – and still unresolved – history of race relations. 

Dr. Halim Naeem​, a psychologist based in Livonia, and Tahira Khalid, head counselor at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, joined Stateside to share their perspectives on what it means to be both black and Muslim in Michigan.

Muhammd Ali and first responders
Courtesy of George Franklin

Everyone over a certain age remembers where they were when the Twin Towers fell 16 years ago. But George Franklin also remembers a different day.

“I have seared in my memory, the date of September 20, the day I took Muhammad Ali to Ground Zero.”

A music teacher fluent in the language of small children

Sep 11, 2017
Vera Davis

Violin teachers usually earn their reputations through the fame and virtuosity of their students. But every virtuoso has to start somewhere, and those early lessons have their own challenges.

Wendy Azrak is a teacher whose genius is showcased in a less grandiose, but arguably more difficult accomplishment: She can get a three-year-old to stand still.


BasicGov / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Michigan's "Hardest Hit" program for homeowners is winding down.

Hardest Hit is the federal program to help people keep their homes after the Great Recession.

Mary Townley is vice president of Step Forward. That's the name of the state's Hardest Hit program.

She says Michigan has received $761 million from the federal government since late 2010.

A little more than half has gone to blight demolitions, and the rest to homeowners in distress.

Mercedes Mejia/Michigan Radio

Religion and politics are always a combustible mix.

During the long debate over gay marriage, many people of faith and their leaders argued that it violated their deeply held religious beliefs.

Now, more are speaking out against our nation's immigration laws and their enforcement by the Trump administration. And they're using religious convictions as the reason why. 

Today, some faith leaders gathered in Washtenaw County to make a passionate declaration of support for protecting immigrants from deportation.

Stateside 9.5.2017

Sep 5, 2017

Today on Stateside, we take a trip to Bach Elementary School in Ann Arbor to hear how students are feeling on the first day of school. Also on the show, a Michigan DREAMer says DACA changed his life "drastically," but today he faces uncertainty. And, a psychiatrist offers tips for returning college students on how to keep stress in check.

Stateside 8.30.2017

Aug 30, 2017

Today on the show, we hear the story of how three women in Michigan found the vaccine for whooping cough. We also learn how Michigan students' 2017 test scores stack up against those in other states. And, we speak with a Battle Creek mom who chose to panhandle to raise money for her daughter's Michigan State University tuition.

stack of dollar bills
tom_bullock / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Battle Creek mom Lori Truex didn't have the money to pay her daughter's Michigan State University tuition.

But she didn't let that stop her. Truex decided to stand on the side of a street asking for donations. Seventy nine days later, she was able to end her panhandling campaign, which she called "One Mom, One Year."

Updated Friday, September 1, at 6:30 p.m. ET

After Hurricane Harvey made landfall and dropped more than 2 feet of rain, thousands of people in Houston and along the Gulf Coast have been displaced. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott activated the entire Texas National Guard.

Reverend Joan Ross recording in her studio
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s North End neighborhood is changing.

It's in a part of the city that's adjacent to the residential and retail boom that's drawn so much attention to Detroit in recent years. As that development moves outward from downtown, things are starting to look a little different around here. 

Joan Ross is a reverend and community organizer who works in the neighborhood. And like a lot of people who've worked or lived in the city for a while, she's thinking about what those changes mean.

Stateside 8.28.2017

Aug 28, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how Michiganders are helping with hurricane relief in Texas. We also learn about our state's history at the forefront of extremist movements. And, Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon returns to the show to bring us his first predictions for college football season.

Adriana Flores next to E2 box
Courtesy of Adriana Flores

The Next Idea

Give a book, take a book. You've probably seen or heard of those tiny, roadside libraries with that mantra. They're usually small wooden structures, like a dog house on stilts, filled with books that are free to anyone in the community.

Our latest contributor to The Next Idea has taken that concept and turned it into a special way to provide basic necessities to folks in need. It’s a box called E²: Empathy and Equity. Instead of books, the box holds free hygiene products.

Aaron Foley is the city of Detroit's chief storyteller – and yes, that is a position in city government. He's also the author of How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass

His latest work gathers neighborhood stories from writers who live or have lived all around the city. It's titled The Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook, and Foley is the editor.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

People in the Howell area gathered Thursday night at the First Presbyterian Church for a special "prayer service for racial harmony and peace," singing hymns, reciting prayers, and listening to a sermon by Pastor Judi McMillan.

McMillan says she decided to hold the service to help the many people in her congregation who are feeling distressed after seeing the racial violence in Charlottesville.

They want to know what to do, she says.

Joybox Express

Take one 385-pound piano, and strap it onto a tricycle. Add a piano player and then hit the road from Flint to Mackinaw City.

Plop that piano on a barge, tie it to your ankles, and then swim all the way to Mackinac Island. 

That's the gist of the memorable fundraiser Sprint for Flint that's taking place this weekend.

Hannah Johnson, of Spera Foods, making granola and flour out of tiger nuts and the Incubator Kitchen at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market
Grand Rapids Downtown Market

The Next Idea

The Incubator Kitchen at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market is helping people with an idea for a food product or business turn their dreams into reality without risking their life savings.

The Incubator Kitchen is a full-sized commercial kitchen where hopeful food entrepreneurs can get help with business planning and the licensing required to legally produce their products and sell to the public.

Stateside 8.22.2017

Aug 22, 2017

A man who killed his gay admirer was released from prison today after 22 years. On Stateside, we revisit that story, which dominated headlines in 1995, to hear what the case means in today's world. And, we talk about John Saunders, the late ESPN broadcaster who opened up about depression and personal trauma to help others.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below: 

V@s / flickr

Michigan State University has denied a request from the National Policy Institute to rent space on campus in September.

NPI is headed by Richard Spencer, a well-known white supremacist who self-identifies as a white nationalist.

In a statement, MSU said: 

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

The first hearings to compensate people who’ve been wrongfully convicted started today, but some left the courtroom unsatisfied.

 

The hearings come after a new law was signed at the end of last year. That law provides for wrongfully convicted people to be compensated $50,000 for each year they were in prison.

 

Stateside 8.14.2017

Aug 14, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn why white supremacists carried the Red Wings logo in Charlottesville, and about the ideology they ascribe to. And, we hear a Flint man's story of being jailed for nearly a year before getting psychiatric help. 

Stateside 8.11.2017

Aug 11, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from the two sides at odds over development plans for the Saugatuck Dunes. And we learn how the legacy of discriminatory housing policies in Michigan continues to shape metro areas today.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

 


A stretch of sand dunes along Lake Michigan might be under development soon, and a lot of people are concerned about that. They want to protect the natural state of the Saugatuck Dunes.

David Swan is the president of the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance. He’s worked with a coalition of locals who want to see the dunes protected. Swan said he’s not against the idea of economic development around Saugatuck, but it should be balanced with preservation of environmentally sensitive areas.

Shereen Allen-Youngblood is a community outreach specialist at The Children’s Center in Wayne County. She helps recruit foster parents and says Wayne County needs thousands more foster parents
Lester Graham

Michigan has a shortage. There are thousands of children who need foster families, but far fewer families willing to help.

Shereen Allen-Youngblood is a community outreach specialist at The Children’s Center in Wayne County. She recruits foster parents, and says many people who consider becoming foster parents think they may not be qualified, when that isn’t the case in reality.

Stateside 8.9.2017

Aug 9, 2017

Are classroom troublemakers a disruption or a warning sign? We discuss that question today on Stateside. We also hear about the time NASA gave Michigan a piece of the moon and it wound up in the governor's garage. And, we break down a recent case of "river rage" on the St. Clair River.

Sono Tamaki / Creative Commons

The overall infant mortality rate fell in Michigan over the last three years, but many trends remain troubling, especially when it comes to the health of minority babies and mothers.

As a part of the Kids Count in Michigan project, the Michigan League of Public Policy published its annual Right Start: Maternal and Child Health Report Wednesday, and found that although the state’s infant mortality rate is down overall, there is a growing gap in the health of white and minority babies.

BYTEMARKS / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

By now, it’s been widely reported that the state of Michigan’s unemployment insurance computer system wrongly alleged fraud against thousands of people who filed for unemployment benefits.

The mess is still being worked out. In  many cases, the state is resisting making the people it wronged whole.

A new report by Zach Gorchow, editor of the Gongwer News Service, indicates there were concerns about that computerized system going back to the early days of its implementation.

a group of people involved in Circles Grand Rapids
Courtesy of Circles Grand Rapids / Facebook

The Next Idea

Building community to end poverty.

That's the mission of Circles USA. It's a long-term effort that's all about empowering people of low-income to move out of poverty.

Low-income participants are the program's leaders. They pair up with an middle-to-high-income ally. The idea is to gain resources and fight poverty by building circles of influence.

Grand Rapids
Steven Depolo / Flickr

Two Grand Rapids area nonprofits will use new grant money to help supply affordable housing.

The grants came from Project Reinvest: Neighborhoods, a program of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit NeighborWorks America. It awarded a $500,000 grant to both Habitat for Humanity of Kent County and LINC Up. 

NeighborWorks America is a coalition of public and private partners that want to create affordable housing for communities throughout the country.

Stateside 8.3.2017

Aug 3, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from the family and lawyer of Raheel Siddiqui, a Muslim-American Marine recruit who died after just 11 days of boot camp on Parris Island. His family and lawyer insist Raheel's death was "not caused by any misconduct of his own." And, we hear an update on Michigan's juvenile lifers – inmates who were sentenced to life without parole when they were juveniles. Are they getting the shot at a second chance that the U.S. Supreme Court said they should?

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