89.1 WEMU

Washtenaw United

Mondays During Morning Edition

WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw County to explore the people, organizations and institutions that are creating opportunity and equity in our area. And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services. It is a community voice. It is, Washtenaw United. 

Ways to Connect

Our House
Our House / ourhousemi.org

The transition to adult life can be difficult for those raised in the foster care system.  The Washtenaw County-based nonprofit, "Our House," was founded to make such transitions a little easier.  However, the coronavirus crisis has made the organization's work  more challenging.  But, there are successes to champion and optimism for the future.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," Our House executive director Natasha Doan-Motsinger speaks to WEMU's David Fair about how the organization, and those it serves, are adapting. 


MOASH
Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health / moash.org

COVID-19 and issues surrounding law enforcement and policing are impacting us all.  Stay-at-home orders and bias can impact some portions of our community even more.  The Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH) has received a grant from the United Way of Washtenaw County to assist transgender and nonbinary youth better deal with those issues.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair and MOASH executive director Taryn Gal will explore the intersection of adolescent sexual health and the circumstances we find ourselves living in today.  


Sam Killian
Ypsilanti District Library / ypsilibrary.org

The local and national dialogue on racism continues.  To understand where we are and where we are going, it is important to understand how we got here.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair checks in with Sam Killian from the Ypsilanti District Library.  They'll discuss the resources available while the library branches remain closed and look forward at what may come as they reopen. 


United Way of Washtenaw County
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

Managing finances can be difficult.  It becomes infinitely more difficult if there is very little money to work with.  COVID-19 has destroyed financial stability for a great many.  Add in issues of racial and economic oppression, and the difficulties are further compounded.  A grant secured via a partnership between the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development will allow for further investment in teaching residents in need how to build a better financial future.  WEMU's David Fair talks to UWWC financial coach Ugbaad Keynan about the "Financial Navigation" initiative for this week's "Washtenaw United."


United Way of Washtenaw County
United Way of Washtenaw County / Facebook

Each year, the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) hosts its National Day of Action, where residents get together to improve their neighborhoods through community service.  Yet, due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, this year will a little different.  For this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair speaks to UWWC representative Madeline Mortimer and Engage @EMU staff member Kristen Klochko about the first-ever "National Day of Virtual Action," a partnership between UWWC and Eastern Michigan University.


Reach Church / reachchurcha2y.org

A matter of race and faith.  Pastor Jason Robinson of Reach Church in Ypsilanti is ministering to an outraged and heartbroken congregation in the wake of yet another police killing of a black man.  Is this time different?  Will there be enough unity to make signifcant changes in systemic racism and bring an end to police brutality?  Perspective from a faith leader in this week's "Washtenaw United." 


Sarah Thornburg
Friends In Deed / friendsindeedmi.org

For several decades, the Ypsilanti-based organization "Friends In Deed" has been a major asset to Washtenaw County residents.  It has provided everything from furniture to financial aid to those who need it most.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation with Friends In Deed executive director Sarah Thornburg, who explains the organization's strategies during the COVID-19 crisis.


Neel Hajra
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation / aaacf.org

For more than 50 years, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) has been investing in the community with the aim of improving quality of life.  While the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t altered its mission, it has forced some changes in how the foundation decides how and where to apply its philanthropic efforts.  In this week’s "Washtenaw United" conversation, WEMU’s David Fair explores the changing landscape with the CEO of the AAACF, Neel Hajra. 


United Way of Washtenaw County / Facebook

African Americans in Washtenaw County have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.  The percentage of infections and fatalities is higher than any other ethnicity.  There are systemic reasons that existed pre-pandemic that are being highlighted by the crisis.  The United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) is kicking off a new, five-day equity challenge in hopes of creating heightened awareness that, in turn, will prompt action to remedy the  inequities.  UWWC Vice President of Impact and Advocacy Bridget Healy and local minister Darryl Johnson discuss the issues and challenge with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Washtenaw United." 


Washtenaw United
Washtenaw Literacy / washtenawliteracy.org

For nearly 50 years, Washtenaw Literacy has been dedicated to improving math and reading skills for adults.  Now as the COVID-19 crisis goes on, the organization has had to change their tactics.  Washtenaw Literacy executive director Amy Goodman joins WEMU's David Fair to discuss the organization's new methods in delivering the best adult education possible for this week's "Washtenaw United."


Raymond Rion
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

The coronavirus pandemic has affected virtually everyone, but it has been particularly difficult for those who struggle with access to health care.  On "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with Dr. Raymond Rion, executive director of Packard Health.  It is the non-profit mission to help that part of the community, but there are changes in how many of those services are rendered. 


Avalon Housing
Avalon Housing / avalonhousing.org

The coronavirus crisis has proven particularly difficult for the homeless.  Some Washtenaw County hotels are being used as temporary housing sites, but it is not a part of the long-term solution.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation with Aubrey Patiño, executive director of Avalon Housing in Ann Arbor, about what preparations are underway to serve the moment and the future. 


Pam Smith
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) has been building its $1 million, COVID-19 Community Relief Fund.  It provides financial assistance to fellow nonprofit organizations to be put to use to those most vulnerable and in need.  As of today, approximately $830,000 has been raised.  For this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair is joined by UWWC president/CEO Pam Smith, who details the latest plans for the relief fund.


NEW
Nonprofit Enterprise at Work / new.org

The Washtenaw County Health Department recently released data regarding confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.  The data shows African-Americans have a disproportionately higher number of cases, despite representing a much smaller segment of the overall population.  On "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with Yodit Mesfin-Johnson, president and CEO of Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW) and chair of the board of the United Way of Washtenaw County.  They discuss what the data reveals and what is being done to address the immediate and underlying issues. 


Food Gatherers
Food Gatherers / foodgatherers.org

As we work through the Coronavirus pandemic, we must consider the needs of others, including basics like access to food.  For more than 30 years, Food Gatherers has put feeding the hungry and addressing food insecurity at the center of its mission.  During this public health crisis, the need for that work is increasing.  Food Gatherers president and CEO Eileen Spring joined WEMU's David Fair to tell the story of a community coming together to make sure those needs are met in this week's installment of "Washtenaw United."


United Way of Washtenaw County
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

The United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) has committments for more than 600 thousand dollars in its effort to raise money for non-profits and those in the service sector.  This week, it will begin setting priorities on how best allocate that money with a plan to get the money back into the community as quickly as possible.  UWWC Vice President of Impact and Advocacy Bridget Healy provided the latest information in her conversation with WEMU's David Fair on this week's installment of "Washtenaw United."


Pam Smith
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, many non-profits, businesses, and residents are under serious financial strain.  The United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) decided to start a fund drive to help those in need.  UWWC President/CEO Pam Smith joined WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about the initiative in this week's installment of "Washtenaw United."


Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

As the coronavirus outbreak continues, many developments have occurred in the state of Michigan.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair checks in with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia about the latest precautions being taken in Washtenaw County to keep the virus from spreading any further.


Americorps
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

This fall, the Americorps program will celebrate its 25th anniversary.  Washtenaw County has a robust Americorps program.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," you'll meet two members who are taking the service work component of the program and building personal and professional growth into something of benefit to the greater community.  WEMU's David Fair welcomes current Americorps member Tien Holmes and Americorps alumnus Brian Rakovitis to talk about the paths they're forging.  


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

As tax season gets closer, managing your finances can be challenging.  Because of this, the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) has partnered with local investment firm Revalue for an event called "Show Me the Money Day," which will offer free financial advice to any interested resident.  UWWC financial stability specialist Tien Holmes and Revalue CEO Angela Barbash join WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about personal finances, financial literacy, and the resources to plan for the future on this week's "Washtenaw United."


Belinda Dulin
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

Conflict resolution is not an easy task, which is why the Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) was created.  For several years, it has worked toward bringing peaceful and equitable solutions to local conflicts in both Washtenaw and Livingston Counties.  DRC executive director Belinda Dulin joins WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about the center's mission in this week's "Washtenaw United."


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW) has made it its mission to get nonprofit organizations the help they need.  Their latest endeavor is the "Champions for Change" project, which intends to help achieve racial equity in leadership positions.  Two of NEW's representatives, Melvin Henley and Will Jones III, explain the program in detail in this week's "Washtenaw United" with WEMU's David Fair.


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

"Girls on the Run" is a national program with a Washtenaw County chapter.  It is a 10-week program designed to get girls moving but with an even more aspirational goal: Empowerment and confidence.  In  this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks to two of the program's leaders, Rhonda Fields and Manuela Yost.  Plus, you'll meet one of the program's beneficiaries, Yost's daughter, Linda Gomez.


Washtenaw United WMBK My Brother's Keeper
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The "My Brother's Keeper" program was created by the Obama administration in 2014, and Washtenaw County was among the first to sign on.  Two representatives from Washtenaw My Brother's Keeper (WMBK), Rod Wallace and Jamall Bufford, talk to WEMU's David Fair about its latest projects for this week's "Washtenaw United."


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The United Way of Washtenaw County's 21-Day Equity Challenge is at an end.  For this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair welcomes three guests who reflected on their participation in the challenge, what they learned individually, and how they can carry the message forward.  A Brighter Way executive director Aaron Suganuma, Building Matters Ann Arbor executive director Jessica A.S. Letaw, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County enrollment coordinator Capri Ervin.


WISD
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The 21-Day Equity Challenge continues this month as put forth by the United Way of Washtenaw County.  The Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) is working to contributing to the cause, not only through the challenge, but throughout the year.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with WISD superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel and WISD justice facilitator Greg Myers about the district's work to promote equity and social justice.


Ginsberg Center
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The United Way of Washtenaw County's 21-Day Equity Challenge is underway, and several organizations are doing their part to improve equity and social justice in the community.  Among them is the University of Michigan's Edward Ginsberg Center.  Two of the center's representatives, Dave Waterhouse and Dr. Neeraja Aravamudan, discuss their current efforts with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Washtenaw United."


Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

The New Year is officially underway, and the United Way of Washtenaw County has now kicked off its 21-Day Equity Challenge.  Ann Arbor YMCA President/CEO Toni Kayumi and Ypsilanti Township trustee Monica Ross-Williams talk to WEMU's David Fair about how they hope to improve equity, particularly on the Eastern side of the county, through partnership, development and increased opportunity. 


Saline Area Social Service
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Saline is considered a rather affluent community, and some of its residents are still of need of basic necessities, like food and health care.  For the last 50 years, Saline Area Social Service has been there to lend a hand.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about the impacts Saline Area Social Service has made with its executive director, Anne Cummings, and one of its most devoted volunteers, Lynne Bush.


SOS Community Services
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Receiving an eviction notice is a difficult situation.  Typically, it's the first step to homelessness.  In response to this, SOS Community Services and the Ann Arbor Housing Commission created the SOS Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Eviction Prevention Program, which helps maintain housing for those at risk of eviction.  SOS's executive director, Rhonda Weathers, and its housing support coordinator, Zhe-Ahnte Johnson, explain their program in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair for this week's "Washtenaw United."


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