89.1 WEMU

On the Ground Ypsi

  • Hosted by Patrick Campion, Sarah Rigg

89.1 WEMU has forged a partnership with Concentrate Ann Arbor to highlight some of the positive things taking place in Ypsilanti. The sponsored-project from SecondWave Media is called, "On the Ground Ypsi." WEMU Program Director Patrick Campion will visit with project reporter Sarah Rigg discuss her observations and interactions while, "On the Ground" in Ypsilanti. 

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

There was a house in Ann Arbor was a place where people could celebrate life with music, poetry, and delicious pancakes.  Patrick Elkins and his friends, who once occupied the so-called "Totally Awesome House," decided to take such a celebration to a wider audience and created the "Totally Awesome Fest" in Ypsilanti.  Elkins joins WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to talk about this year's festival on this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Back in 2018, the "In Our Neighborhood" grants program awarded funding to several projects in and around Washtenaw County.   One of which was the "Ypsi Fidelity" or "Y-Fi" initiative, created by Nick and Yen Azzaro.  The goal of this particular program was to bring together high school students through the performing arts and other social means.  The Azzaros talk more about their "Y-Fi" project in detail with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


#OTGYpsi: Debating The Future Of The Peninsular Dam

Apr 24, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The Peninsular Dam has been a point of controversy in Ypsilanti for years.  Some, like climate change activist Beth Gibbons, believe it should be demolished.  Others, like Margery Dosey of the Friends of Peninsular Park, want the dam repaired and preserved.  Both Gibbons and Dosey present their arguments in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi" with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg.


#OTGYpsi: 'Memory Cafes' Maintain Social Skills Of Local Seniors

Apr 17, 2019
David Lewinski / Concentrate Media

Living with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia makes life difficult for older people and their family members.  One life aspect that suffers the most is social interaction, which is why the Ypsilanti Senior Center established the "We Care Connect Memory Cafe" program.  It allows seniors to maintain social connections and even create new ones.  Monica Prince and Shonda Gibbs from the Ypsilanti Senior Center talk about the program with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


#OTGYpsi: Special Day In Ypsilanti Honors Legacy Of Booker T. Washington

Apr 10, 2019
Patrick Campion / 89.1 WEMU

Booker T. Washington was an integral part of African-American history, especially in the realm of education.  Washington's work inspired local photographer Noah Rucker to create an holiday designed to spread education, business, and art in the black community, which he calls "BookDay."  Rucker talks all about the most recent BookDay with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Many people look at their lives and might say that they wish they had more time and energy time to pursue some activities other what their careers involve.  That is why the DO (something) Conference was recently held at Ypsilanti's Riverside Arts Center.  It allowed people to make interpersonal connections when it comes to pursuing new careers or special projects.  WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg hear all about the event from conference organizer John Eslinger and guest speaker Khalid Ibrahim in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


#OTGYpsi: Uniting Women Of Color Through The Art Of Poetry

Mar 27, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Throughout the decades, women of color have faced many challenges, whether it's a result of their culture, upbringing, or surroundings.  So, a group of Washtenaw County women formed a project called "Untold Stories of Liberation and Love," which allows such women to share their experiences through poetry.  WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg learn all about this collaborative from two of its co-founders, Maria Ibarra-Frayre and Julie Quiroz, in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

During the Obama administration, a new program called "My Brother's Keeper" was established to assist young people of color in their education and potential career paths.  Washtenaw County was the first county in the U.S. to jump on this new mission.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg hear all about the Washtenaw County chapter of My Brother's Keeper from Shamar Herron, who sits on its planning committee.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

In the years following the Great Recession, Ypsilanti neighborhoods have rebounded from economic and housing problems.  However, Ypsilanti's Sugarbrook neighborhood has seen a slower upswing.  So, the Huron Valley chapter of Habitat for Humanity decided to step in.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg learn all about this redevelopment project from Sugarbrook neighborhood watch coordinator Glenn Fitzhugh and Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley representative Ceara Murtagh.


#OTGYpsi: Assisting Expectant Mothers In Michigan's Penal System

Mar 6, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Pregnancy is a very stressful time in a woman's life.  For women who are incarcerated, that time is consideredly more stressful, due to lack of support or proper medical care.  This is why the Michigan Prison Doula Initiative, or MPDI, was created.  MPDI co-founder Jacqueline Williams talks about her project with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


#OTGYpsi: HighScope's Extensive Work On Early Childhood Education

Feb 20, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Early childhood education is essential to a child's development.  Yet, more research needs to be done to make such education more effective.  Fortunately, a little-known organization in Ypsilanti called HighScope has been making strides in this field.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg takes us inside HighScope with its executive vice president, Dr. Ben Edmondson, and its early childhood applied practice manager, Shannon Lockhart.


#OTGYpsi: Bringing Ypsilanti Families Together With Books

Feb 13, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Many young people remember being read to by their parents, whether it's a bedtime story or just a daily activity.  Of course, such an activity fades over time, but the Ypsilanti District Library believes that it shouldn't.  In fact, it should evolve into a more in-depth experience.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg learn all about the "Ypsi Family Read" program from Ypsilanti librarians Jodi Krahnke and Gilliam Ream Gainsley.


#OTGYpsi: Teaching Good Values Through Contracting Work

Feb 6, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

When someone's a roofer, plumber, or carpenter, some negative stereotypes come out of it.  So, local handyman Tyrone Bridges decided to change all of that.  In fact, he wanted to show young people that good values can come out of an honest day's work.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," Bridges talks about his mentoring program with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg.  Plus, we hear from members of the Snowdon family and their friend Jared Taylor, who benefited from Bridges's guidance.


#OTGYpsi: Robotics Teams Gives Ypsilanti Students Technological Boost

Jan 30, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Building and working with robots is a fascinating endeavor.  In Ypsilanti, high school students can get a head start in such high-tech feats, while making some great, emotional connections along the way.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk to members of the Grizzly Robotics Team, as well as one of their mentors, Dan Schunck.


#OTGYpsi: EMU Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Through Song

Jan 23, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Over the last few days, Eastern Michigan University has celebrated the life and accomplishments of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a series of events.  One event returned to the schedule after a long absence, and that was the MLK Gospel Fest.  WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg learned about this musical event with Engage at EMU's Caroline Sanders and EMU Gospel Choir president Da'Tuan Demaris Stinson in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Getting a haircut in Ypsilanti is more than just regular self-maintenance.  Many barbershops and salons serve as pieces of Ypsilanti's history, as well as places that serve the common good.  Among these establishments is Finesse 1 Salon, owned by Shawn and Hala Green.  They talk about their experiences with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


#OTGYpsi: EMU's Aviation Program Reaches New Heights

Jan 9, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

What may came as a surprise to some residents is that Eastern Michigan University trains future pilots.  In fact, the number of students that have enrolled in the aviation program has increased significantly in the past few years.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk all about the program with Tom Simon, who is director of marketing and recruitment for the Eagle Flight Centre.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

When parents try to talk to their kids about subjects like drugs, sex, or suicide, the kids may not want to listen.  So, the Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti developed the "Health Ambassadors" program, which uses younger counselors to work with teens on these tough subjects.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg learn all about this program with Corner Health Center behaviorial health coordinator Jen MacLeod and health ambassador Cecilia Aguilar.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Many people work outside of a traditional office space, whether it's at home or at a coffee shop.  Such working situations can have a lot of distractions, which is why the new "Back Office Studio" in Ypsilanti was created.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk about the new co-working establishment with its co-owner Sun Chao and its community manager John Newman.


#OTGYpsi: Providing Warm Clothes For Residents In Need This Holiday Season

Nov 28, 2018
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

There are many people in this community who are less fortunate than others, especially when it comes to having warm clothes for the winter.  But there are organizations, such as the Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Ypsilanti, that regularly hold clothing drives to provide needed aid.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk about the church's ongoing drive to help homeless people with its coordinator, Linda King.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

For the last two decades, Ypsilanti's Michigan Firehouse Museum has displayed over a century's worth of firefighting memorabilia.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg take a tour of the museum with its recently-appointed director, Al Dyer, Jr.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

When Concentrate Media reporter Sarah Rigg was writing about Ypsilanti Township's master plan for 2040, she learned that there are nearly 30 neighborhood watch associations currently operating in the area.  So, she dug a little deeper into this fact for this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."  Sarah and WEMU's Patrick Campion talk about the association with local neighborhood watch leaders Jo Ann McCollum and Maurice Stovall.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Once a member of the Ypsilanti Community High School Choir, Crystal Harding has returned as choir director.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk to Harding and two high school students as part of this week's "On The Ground-Ypsi."


#OTGYpsi: Ypsilanti Township's Master Plan For 2040

Oct 24, 2018
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The year is 2040, and what would Ypsilanti Township look like in that time?  A four-day, master plan workshop was held in order to make that future year seem much brighter.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk about this workshop with Ypsilanti Township planning and development coordinator Charlotte Wilson.


#OTGYpsi: The 'BlackBook' Of Eastern Michigan University

Oct 17, 2018
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

One year ago, EMU students formed the Black Media Association, whose mission is to assist students of color who want to pursue media careers.  One member named Honore Washington wanted to make Eastern Michigan University more welcoming by creating a resource guide called "The BlackBook."  She talks about this project with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


#OTGYpsi: Vacant Buildings In Ypsilanti Find New Life

Oct 10, 2018
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Several empty buildings, such as the old Smith Furniture building, could be found throughout Ypsilanti.  Thanks to the Michigan Advocacy Program, small business owners and nonprofit organizations are ready to breathe new life into these structures.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk about these business developments with Ann Routt, co-director of the Michigan Advocacy Program.


#OTGYpsi: TED Event Comes To Ypsilanti To Discuss Mobility

Oct 3, 2018
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The TEDxYDL event came to Ypsilanti's Riverside Arts Center recently.  It featured numerous speakers who offered their perspectives on mobility, from vehicles to animals to ideas.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg spoke to two of those speakers, EMU assistant professor of biology Jamie Cornelius and Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels executive director Alison Foreman.


#OTGYpsi: New Community Benefits Ordinance To Take Effect

Sep 26, 2018
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Last year, Ypsilanti City Council met to discuss the International Village development project, and residents were looking to have a say in the situation.  In time, the council passed a community benefits ordinance, or CBO, that would allow public input on such developments.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk to Desirae Simmons, who represents REDY, the group that helped make this ordinance possible.


#OTGYpsi: NAAAHR Invests In Ypsilanti

Sep 19, 2018
Brianna Kelly / Concentrate Media

In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Brianna Kelly talk to Nat Alston, chairman of the National Association of African-Americans in Human Resources, which will host its national conference in Ypsilanti later this month.  Also, Brianna announces her departure from the On the Ground-Ypsi project.


#OTGYpsi: Mentor2Youth Seeks To Help Ypsilanti Kids Find The Right Path

Sep 12, 2018
Emmanuel Jones
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Eastern Michigan University alumnus Emmanuel Jones had trouble finding a direction in life.  After many personal trials, he found his calling in helping young people find their own direction in life.  From there, he created the nonprofit organization, Mentor2Youth.  Jones talks all about his journey with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Brianna Kelly in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


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