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Families & Community

 "My grandmother always told me I was smart, and so I believed it. And so by the time she left, being smart and doing good in school was something that Shawn just did," Blanchard told us.
Courtesy of Shawn Blanchard

 


If anyone seemed destined for a life that would either end in a drug deal gone bad or in prison, it would probably be Shawn Blanchard.

Everything in his life pointed him down that path, beginning with the fact that he was born with crack cocaine in his system.

Instead, Blanchard is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he majored in math and economics. He’s also a graduate of Wayne State University’s Law School.

His memoir is titled How ‘Bout That for a 'Crack Baby.'

Stateside 3.14.2017

Mar 14, 2017

Today, we hear from two brothers, one a citizen and one an undocumented immigrant. They discuss the uncertainty they face under President Trump. And an immigration attorney explains why DACA recipients could end up as "collateral damage" without explicit protection from the president. Also today, our guests say studying for the SAT and ACT can really pay off, and there are low cost tools to help students prepare.

At PechaKucha 20x20, speakers have to tell the audience "Why Flint?" using 20 images and 400 seconds.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

You've heard of poetry slams, TED talks and the Moth. Now, we'll introduce you to PechaKucha 20x20, happening Thursday at Tenacity Brewing in Flint.

David Stanley, one of the organizers of the event, joined Stateside to explain what this presentation style is all about.  

Wikimedia Commons

Young immigrants were filled with joy and hope when President Obama signed the executive order called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) almost five years ago.

But today, those feelings of excitement have changed to ones of fear and apprehension. 

The Shockey family sits on their couch waiting to start a card game.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

About 400,000 homes and businesses in Michigan were still without electricity Friday night – after high winds knocked out power to much of the state on Wednesday.


Stateside 3.9.2017

Mar 9, 2017

Today, we answer this MI Curious question: "What happened to Dr. Rafaai Hamo, the Syrian refugee featured in Humans of New York?" And, we hear an outsider's ode to the "tiny, tiny train" in Detroit.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

It happened in a Detroit alley in 1967.

Detroiter John Hall and an accomplice beat a man who later died of his injuries.

John Hall was convicted of first-degree murder and received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. He was 17 years old. His accomplice was never arrested.

But Hall's future changed with two landmark rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court – rulings that outlawed mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles.

On Feb. 2, at age 67, John Hall walked out of a Michigan prison.

Stateside 3.7.2017

Mar 7, 2017

Today, you'll hear the final half of our conversation with John Hall, one of only five juvenile lifers to be re-sentenced and released in Michigan. He tells us what he plans to do with his second chance at freedom. And, we learn what 2016 taught us about removing lead pipes in Flint.

Jeremy Brooks / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Have you ever seen an old movie where police officers are “walking the beat” in a neighborhood? It turns out foot patrols are more than just a movie trope. They can actually be a way for police and public safety officers to build closer ties with the people they serve and protect.

A recent study by the Police Foundation examines that tradition of foot patrols, and how it’s working in four communities, including Kalamazoo.

Stateside 3.6.2017

Mar 6, 2017

Today on Stateside, you'll hear the first part of our conversation with John Hall, one of only five juvenile lifers to be re-sentenced and released in Michigan. He tells us what freedom feels like after 50 years without it. And, we learn about a Great Lakes pirate who sailed his way into Michigan legend with booty of timber and venison.

Marvin Wadlow (right) and Matthew Schmitt organized an effort called The Table Setters to help facilitate conversations about race.
TheTableSetters.org

Too often people have a hard time talking about race. White people don’t understand black people. Black people just shake their heads at the behavior of white people. It’s rare that they’ll actually sit down and talk about it.

It's not that white people and black people don't talk. But they rarely talk about race. 

Jewish Community Center and Hebrew Day School in Ann Arbor, which received a bomb threat on February 27.
Kate Wells

 

In the last few weeks, intimidating acts have been aimed at Jewish and Muslim communities in Michigan. In Ann Arbor, a bomb threat forced the evacuation of a Hebrew Day School. In Dearborn, threats have been called into Muslim community centers and mosques.

kevinwburkett / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In May of 1936, when Detroit resident Charles Poole climbed into a car with Dayton Dean and Ervin Lee, he thought he was going to a meeting that might land him a position at an axle factory and a spot on the factory’s baseball team.

Unemployment in Michigan was high and Poole did not have a full-time job. Any opportunity for work was worth pursuing.

What Poole did not know was that Dean and Lee were members of an organization called the Black Legion. After driving to an unpopulated area outside of Dearborn, they took Poole out of the car and shot him.

Yousef Ajin stands with his family. His wife and kids are U.S. citizens. He has been working toward citizenship, but now faces the possibility of being deported.
screen shot from Donal Harrison's Vimeo video.

Update Feb. 28, 4:21 p.m.:

Our reporter Sarah Cwiek attended Yousef Ajin's hearing today. 

WMUK

This week marked one year since a mass shooting in Kalamazoo County. A part-time Uber driver, Jason Dalton, is facing charges. The shooting spree killed six people and seriously injured two others. One of the injured is teenager Abigail Kopf.

Gene Kopf​, Abigail's father, joined Stateside to talk about his daughter's recovery.

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees in Oakland County
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan's refugee community has some basic needs that aren't being met, according to several refugee services organizations.

Arab-American rights and service groups in metro Detroit want to find ways to better coordinate with one another to more adequately serve refugee and immigrant families.

Haifa Fakhouri, president of the Arab American and Chaldean Council, or ACC, wants these groups to fill in the holes when it comes to the services they provide.

user Werwin15 / Creative Commons

One of the largest hubs for artists in the Midwest may soon be abandoned, at least temporarily, after Detroit's Building Department ordered all tenants in the Russell Industrial Center to immediately vacate the premises, due to building code violations.

Jimi Custer owns a video production company, The Afterhours Network, that operates out of the Center, as well as Channel 313.tv.

He says the notice was a complete surprise.

"I came to my work today and all of a sudden I can't do my business," says Custer.  "Now I've got to figure out where I'm going to relocate."

Courtesy of Lydia Rae Levinson/Michigan Community Resources

The Next Idea

You can’t rebuild your home or your neighborhood without tools. But tools cost money.

Here’s a solution: a community tool-sharing program. “Shovel Share” is just that, and it’s a finalist in the Knight Cities Challenge.

Should the idea win, Shovel Share would create a network of tool-sharing centers around Detroit.

Stateside 2.16.2017

Feb 16, 2017

On this "Day Without Immigrants," we hear from Michigan farmers who say a week without immigrants would "cripple us." And, now that home birth midwives are regulated in Michigan, we learn what that means for moms.

Screengrab / YouTube

Learning disabilities are often invisible to everyone but the people who have them.

Eventually, though, the secret gets out. When that happens, it can be an incredibly emotional experience.

Stateside 2.9.2017

Feb 9, 2017

Time banks are popping up around the state. Today on Stateside, we learn how they use time as currency to match people who need a service with people willing to provide it. Also on the show today, we talk about a House proposal to cut income taxes in Michigan.

The Car Plunge Contest asks the question: How long will it take for this 1998 Saturn to fall through the ice?
Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford

It's the heart of winter, and there you are in the heart of the Upper Peninsula, wanting to raise some money for the community.

If you're the Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford, you embrace the winter and come up with a pretty unique fundraiser: the Car Plunge Contest.

Jayna Huotari, secretary of the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Rotary Club, joined Stateside to talk about the third annual contest, including how placing bets on when a 1998 Saturn will fall through the ice became a fun, and successful, fundraiser.

Courtesy of the MI Alliance of TimeBanks

The Next Idea

Match people who need a service with people willing to provide a service. Use time as the currency.

That’s the concept behind a time bank.

“A time bank is a community skill exchange," said Kim Hodge, executive director of the Michigan Alliance of TimeBanks. "It’s a way of saying we all have something to offer – we all have skills and assets and we all have needs, and we could be sharing them with each other. So it’s kind of a pay-it-forward, or circle-of-giving program.”

Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It wasn't all that long ago when proud parents might carry a small photo album they would happily whip out to show photos of their kids.

Today, parents have various options for sharing photos of their kids on social media. But what do kids think about all that sharing?

Courtesy of Christopher Phillips

What can we learn from the children around us? Do we really even listen to them?

Christopher Phillips, founder of Socrates Café, has been sharing what he’s heard and learned from our youngest citizens.

Phillips is author of The Philosophers' Club, Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy, and most recently The Philosophy of Childing: Unlocking Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason through the Wisdom of Our Youngest.  

Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

President Trump's executive order on immigration was signed last Friday.

Here's what it does:

Stateside 1.27.2017

Jan 27, 2017

Fifty years ago today, a Grand Rapids astronaut died in the Apollo 1 disaster. On the show, we hear how that accident changed NASA forever. And, we take a trip to Ferndale, where one of the very first Michigan craft cocktail bars is tucked away on 9 Mile.

Courtesy of the Broad Art Museum

A project facilitated by Chicago-based artist Jan Tichy brought high school English students in Flint together with high school art students in Lansing to depict life in Flint without safe water.

The project culminates in an installation at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and a book filled with student work called Beyond Streaming. The installation invites visitors to open the nozzles of floor-to-ceiling copper pipes. Sounds and original poems recorded by the students will then stream out of the pipes.

Courtesy of HandUp Detroit

Giving money to the homeless, especially on the street, seems to give rise to a whole range of emotions, from the joy of giving to plain suspicion at handing over money to a stranger. 

There are those who don’t want to give cash because they aren’t sure how it will be used. Others feel compelled to help a person in obvious need. Some cities have even gone so far as to ban panhandling altogether.

Now, an online giving platform called HandUp is taking a new approach. The San Francisco-based website recently launched an effort in Detroit that allows online donors to give money directly to homeless individuals and families in the metro area.

Detroit councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez speaking at Michigan United press conference about ongoing immigration issues.
Mateus Defaria / Michigan Radio

Donald Trump's recent executive orders have people in some immigrant communities in Detroit worried.

Detroit has a large immigrant population, but President Trump's executive order to crack down on undocumented immigration means some families and communities could be separated.

Trump’s executive orders will increase efforts to deport undocumented immigrants and build a wall on the country’s southern border. He also wants to cut federal funding to so-called "sanctuary cities" for immigrants.

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