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Families & Community

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?

Courtesy of the Siddiqui family

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Felix will soon face a general court martial at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

The former drill instructor is facing charges including hazing and maltreatment — violations of military discipline — and drunk and disorderly conduct.

He is being tried for his alleged involvement in the March 2016 death of Marine recruit Raheel Siddiqui.

Roymundo VII / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Next Idea

Homelessness has a different look in a city than it does in rural areas, and somehow it feels easier to overlook.

Dennis Van Kampen, executive director and CEO of the Grand Rapids nonprofit Mel Trotter Ministries, joined Stateside to talk about a pilot program aimed at helping homeless families in rural Cedar Springs, and take on the problem of rural homelessness more broadly.

Stateside 8.1.2017

Aug 1, 2017

Today on Stateside, a guest cautions others about the power of rip currents after almost drowning in Lake Michigan. And, a teacher describes her quest to help a promising student in the classroom, and later in his prison cell.

Courtesy of Julie Burrell

The Next Idea 

Caring for a baby takes up a huge amount of time.

Yet one mom managed to find the time to come up with an idea for a product, pitch it in entrepreneurial competitions, win, and make her idea reality: The Pumpndo.

The slogan? "Because mom life doesn't stop when you pump."

Stateside 7.31.2017

Jul 31, 2017

Today, we hear about the new breast pump that allows moms to "keep on keepin' on" at work, in the car, or while cooking. And, usually people are "called out" for mental illness. We hear from two Michigan poets taking a national tour to "call people in."

downtown detroit
flickr user Tim Wang / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Philanthropic groups have played a central role in helping Detroit recover from the depths of bankruptcy.

But has that philanthropic giving been too “top down” and not enough “bottom up”? And has it done enough to bring grassroots and neighborhood groups into the conversation about what is needed and how those dollars can be best used?

two young men in tshirts
Lyricist Society / YouTube

It's been 50 years since 1967, the summer of one of the deadliest civil disturbances in American history. Teacher Quan Neloms knew now was as good a time as any to teach his students about what happened that year in Detroit.

gordon park sign
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and there’s a party of sorts going on at 12th Street and Clairmount on Detroit's west side.

Exactly 50 years ago, the police raid that sparked the city's massive, deadly riots started right here. Now there’s a newly-refurbished park on that corner and a marker designating it a state historic site.

military veterans
John M. Cropper / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Democratic lawmakers in Lansing say the Attorney General is doing too little, too late.

The Attorney General announced criminal charges against workers at the state-run Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Schuette’s investigation of the veteran’s home started in May of 2016. This was after a scathing audit of the home revealed that workers falsified records, skipped room checks, and other issues.

But Representatives Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, and Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, said they sounded the alarm as early as 2013.

Stateside 7.27.2017

Jul 27, 2017

Today, we hear Detroit cast members explain why they hope the new film will spark conversations about race relations. And, nuns recall their role in the 1967 rebellion. They also talk about the injustices still troubling the city today.

班森 / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Next Idea

Baseball and opera usually don’t end up in the same sentence. But for the next year, they will in Detroit.

Next May, the Michigan Opera Theatre will be producing Daniel Sonenberg’s The Summer King, an opera about Negro League’s baseball player Josh Gibson.

The CEO of the Michigan Opera Theatre Wayne Brown joined Stateside to tell us about a partnership between the Michigan Opera Theatre and the Detroit Tigers, called Take Me Out to the Opera.

Courtesy of Sister Theresa Milne

The Detroit rebellion erupted in the early Sunday morning hours of July 23, 1967, just blocks away from the Catholic church and school of St. Agnes located on 12th Street. That street is now known as Rosa Parks Boulevard.

The parish had been a strong presence in the neighborhood for many years, with its church and a community high school staffed by nuns: the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHMs). The order is noted for its strong commitment to social justice and education.

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