seeking change

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Michigan Radio's Kyle Norris has been been spending a lot of time in Detroit lately to report on stories of people doing things to help the homeless in the city.

And this week Michigan Radio will be airing the first of her three part series on the homeless on Stateside.

Norris reported on a mobile medical clinic that works with the homeless, how a woman gives homeless shelters makeovers, and how homeless gay youth create their own families.

Norris talked about her experience reporting on these stories on Seeking Change. She says her stories are about people doing little things to make a difference for the homeless in Detroit.

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This week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Loreen Niewenhuis. She's a Michigan author who hiked 1,000 miles to parts of all the Great Lakes.  She wanted to learn how this water that surrounds our state-- and defines our state-- works. She also wanted to learn about the concerning points for the lakes.  She'll write about this experience as well, in a book out early next year.

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This week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Dean Hall. He is the president of Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. The group donates it's game venison to soup kitchens and food pantries across the state. He says, "We can use the benefit of deer management to people that need the help sorely."

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Many cities across the state are cutting back, and police and fire department budgets are often on the chopping block. In some cases, citizens have taken safety matters into their own hands, through neighborhood patrols. The aim is to observe what's going on in the community, and call the police if anything usual is noted.

Coach Muhammad is president of the community patrol of the Grandmont neighborhood, in northwest Detroit. He volunteers 40 hours a week to keep his neighborhood safe.

As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series. Muhammad talks with Morning Edition host Christina Shockley about what his patrol has been able to do for his neighborhood.

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For Seeking Change, Christina Shockley spoke with Tracie McMillan. She is a journalist who went undercover to find out why we eat the way we do in America, and what it would take for everyone to eat well in this country.

To learn more about the food industry, she lived and worked in three different communities across the country, including Detroit.

She wrote about her experiences in her book, "The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table."

She says we need to ensure that quality, healthy foods are available in all neighborhoods.

Emily Fox / Michigan Radio

For this week's Seeking Change Christina Shockley talked to Michigan Radio producer Emily Fox about a hip hop church in Grand Rapids she reported on.

The EDGE urban fellowship was started by Troy Evans, a former gang member.

He's using religion, music and dance to get young people to steer clear of gang activity.
 

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This week on Seeking Change, Christina Shockley talks with Angelique Day about the foster care system.

Day grew up in foster care. She now focuses her work on researching and helping children in foster care in the state.

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As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Morning Edition Host Christina Shockley talked with Terran Frye. He’s a veteran of the Marine Corp and had two deployments in Iraq. He’s now the veteran liaison for an organization called Stiggy’s Dogs, based in Howell Township. It trains psychiatric service dogs to help military vets who suffer from PTSD or Traumatic Brain Injury.

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As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Morning Edition host Christina Shockley talked with the founder of En Garde Detroit. It's a program teaches the sport of fencing to kids ages 8-16.

Founder Bobby Smith said getting kids involved in non-traditional sports can help them break the cycle of poverty and gain access to college. 

Healing with music therapy

Sep 17, 2012
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As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, Morning Edition host Christina Shockley talks with someone who has a vision of how to make things better and is working toward that goal.

This week Shockley spoke with Theresa Merrill. She's the director of Music Therapy at Eastern Michigan University. Merrill talks about how music therapy changed her life and how she uses music to help others. 

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

Dawn Yarbrough is from Benton Harbor. These days she lives part time in Milan, Italy. But, she has been spending more time in her hometown lately to start a new public television show called Harbor Lights. It will focus on positive things happening in Benton Harbor. Some of the programs  Dawn highlights include the local boys and girls club, a group that teaches teens how to make and allows them to sell their work at an art fair and a school program that brings students from St. Joseph and Benton Harbor together to discuss issues of race.

It’s difficult for many people to talk about race.  But, studies show, it’s important to talk with kids about race in order to instill unbiased attitudes.  Racial bias can show up as early as 3 years of age.  As part of Michigan Radio's Seeking Change series, I spoke with Sarah Salguera, program director for Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance in Holland. She’s trying to get more parents and caregivers to openly discuss race with kids by heading up the program, "Talking to Kids About Race."

More information on the program and studies about how early on racial bias sets in can be found at Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance's website

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Each Monday, Christina Shockley talks with someone who is trying to have a positive impact on their community or the state and asks why they're doing it.

Hayg Oshagan is Director of Media Arts & Studies at Wayne State University. He sees a lack of coverage in mainstream media of ethnic issues, so he created Detroit New Media.

Oshagan talks about the program as part as Michigan Radio's "Seeking Change" series.

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On Mondays Christina Shockley speaks with someone who is trying to change their community for the better. This morning, as part of our Seeking Change series, Shockley spoke to Amy Kaherl. Kanerl is with Detroit SOUP, a group that gathers money to support small projects that benefit the city of Detroit.

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Last week in our Seeking Change series we heard about the kindness journal, an effort to get kids to write about being kind. One of the effects was fewer incidents of bullying among the kids who took part.Today we’re going to talk about cyber bullying. Paul McMullen is a father and he’s come up with a smartphone app, called Parenting Pride, to help combat cyber bullying among kids. It records text messages, but also aims to respect a teen’s desire for privacy. Michigan Radio's Christina Shockley spoke with McMullen about how he hopes to decrease bullying.

This story was informed by the Public Insight Network.

Every Monday Christina Shockley talks with someone who’s trying to make change in their community, and find out why they’re doing it.

In January, each elementary school student in Muskegon County received a journal. In that journal, they wrote about their daily acts of kindness. Bill Page came up with the idea.  He’s a children’s book author and former superintendent. Page spoke with Christina Shockley as part of our, "Seeking Change" series.

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Dr. Alicia Tisdale, a licensed psychologist and regression therapist says hypnosis is a way for people to overcome fears, anxieties, and depression.

She spoke with me this morning about why she thinks this type of therapy is becoming more common.

You can listen to my interview with her above.

Each Monday on Morning Edition, we speak with someone who is trying to have a positive impact in the lives of others. This morning we speak with Bryan Wilkinson. He's with Michigan Gifts, an organization that creates those gift baskets you often see from corporations. Michigan Gifts also provides job training and opportunities for people with physical and cognitive disabilities. It's part of The Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living, or C.I.L.

Master Sgt. Jeremy Lock / USAF

Today in our Seeking Change series, we have a story of a high school teacher who made an impression on one of her students. Then, that student made an impression on her.

Chris Trainor is a teacher at Saline High School. Last year, a former student named Jeremy Searls told her about the group he co-founded, “Poured Out.”  The group was installing water filtration systems in homes, schools, and churches in Haiti.

Trainor told her family about the group and her twelve year old son urged her to go and help the group in Haiti.

Now, Trainor is trying to help the young Haitian translators who worked with her group in Haiti attend college in the United States.

Listen to the interview!

Every Monday morning we speak with someone who is trying to change their community. Today, as our Seeking Change series continues, we speak with Ariana  Bostian-Kentes. She's the co-founder of the group Military Partners and Families Coalition. It’s a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and  transgender partners of active military service members. The founders came together after testifying in Washington D.C. before  the group analyzing the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, and what would happen post-repeal.

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You’ve probably seen people sitting or standing on highway exit ramps asking for money from drivers. Duane Zook, a community service trooper with the Michigan State Police, knows dozens of these panhandlers by first name and he’s decided to try to get them help.

As part of our weekly series, "Seeking Change," Michigan Radio's Christina Shockley spoke with Zook.

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Jeff and Sara Tow have lived through two cycles of postpartum depression. Now they plan to swim across Lake Michigan to raise awareness of postpartum mood disorder, and help others overcome it. As part of our weekly series, "Seeking Change" Michigan Radio's Christina Shockley spoke with the Tows.

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The FBI says Flint is one of the most violent cities in the country. Last week, Governor Rick Snyder  unveiled a plan to combat violence there and other Michigan cities. But a group of Flint residents is already working on the problem. They’ve formed the “Urban forum for the prevention of violence” to encourage others in their neighborhoods to pledge to promote peace. Aaron Dunigan has been attending the meetings. As part of our Seeking Change series, I spoke with Aaron about what he is trying to do to end the violence in his city.

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The loss of a loved one is difficult enough for an adult. For a child, it can be overwhelming. A group in Lansing and Ann Arbor is trying to help children manage their feelings after someone close to them has passed away.

As we continue our Seeking Change series, we speak with Laurie Strauss Baumer, president and CEO of Ele's Place, an organization that is trying to help children deal with their grief.

Environmental Protection Agency

As part of our weekly series, "Seeking Change," we're meeting with people who are trying to create positive change in the communities in which they live. Planners of the Manitou Arbor Ecovillage want their residential community to be a place where people live harmoniously with each other, and with nature. It’s a planned village near Kalamazoo. Ginny Jones is the founder of the ecovillage.  She’s also an environmental studies professor at Western Michigan University.

Courtesy of Detroit Dog Rescue

As we continue our Seeking Change series, Michigan Radio’s Christina Shockley spoke with Daniel "Hush" Carlisle, co-founder of Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR). The former hip-hop artist and producer drives through the streets of Detroit looking for stray dogs, which are then vetted, housed, boarded, and fostered before beginning the adoption process.

How do these dogs get into this situation? Carlisle told us:

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Every Monday, we're checking in with people who are  trying to do what they think is needed to improve life for people in Michigan. This morning we speak with Sean Tracy. He’s a truck driver and World War II buff, and he’s working to show gratitude to the nation’s veterans—especially World War II vets. He builds models of the planes or ships the veterans served on while they were on active duty and gives them as gifts to the vets he finds.

*This story was informed by the Public Insight Network. Add your story here.

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Each Monday, as part of our "Seeking Change" series, we’re checking in with someone who’s trying to improve life for people in Michigan. I spoke this morning with Andy Sopher about a particularly difficult subject: sex trafficking of kids. Sopher is with Wedgewood Christian Services in Grand Rapids and is behind a new project aimed at curbing trafficking of youngsters.

As we continue our Seeking Change series, Michigan Radio's Christina Shockley speaks with Alan Headbloom, founder of Headbloom Cross Cultural Communication. The business helps foreign workers learn the nuances of English and American culture to help them get along in the workplace. And, an offshoot of his work is helping businesses tackle racism.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

In May of 2010, Pastor Bill Freeman asked the Holland City Council to pass a Gay Rights Ordinance. The city's Human Relations Commission considered the question for nearly a year, and recommended unanimously that the City Council add the words, "sexual orientation and gender identity," to the city's anti-discrimination ordinances.

The City Council voted 5-4 in June of last year against doing so. Pastor Freeman is trying to keep the issue alive. He’s attended every regular City Council meeting since June to ask that the "no" voters change their minds. He also tried to "occupy" city hall on October 19th last year.  He was arrested for trespassing.

As part of our new "Seeking Change" series, we speak to Pastor Freeman about his efforts in Holland.

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