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On the Ground Ypsi

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 Second Wave Media is called "On the Ground Ypsi." Concentrate Media project reporter Rylee Barnsdale discusses her observations and interactions while "On the Ground" in Ypsilanti. 

  • Starting back in 2010, Ypsilanti residents and community leaders all over Washtenaw County began meeting every Monday at the Parkridge Community Center to discuss upcoming events and voice concerns about local issues. The weekly ritual has stayed strong, even through the COVID pandemic. Monday Meeting's founder, Anthony Williamson, joined Rylee Barnsdale to discuss the meeting and its ongoing impacts.
  • The opioid epidemic is alive and well in Washtenaw County. In addition to prescription medications, fentanyl and heroin continue to claim lives. Fortunately, Narcan is saving lives. The Washtenaw County Health Department has put a focus on harm reduction and recovery when it comes to drug use. through the "It Is Possible" campaign. Communications coordinator Beth Ann Hamilton joined Rylee Barnsdale to discuss educating the efforts.
  • Student activism on college campuses in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s was at an all-time high. Some students at Eastern Michigan University today are working on two oral history projects to better document life on the Ypsilanti campus in those days. One of them is Kat Haycanyan. She shares more about the project and what current EMU students are taking away from the experience with Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale.
  • Studies show that integrated, whole person care provides better health outcomes than traditional medical practices. The Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti has provided such care for many residents who struggle with health and their finances. The Hope Clinic's behavioral health manager, Julie Payne, discusses whole-person treatment services with Rylee Barnsdale.
  • Learning about art can be exciting and intimidating, whether it's at the elementary level or in college. For the last two years, students from Ypsilanti International Elementary School (YIES) have been mentored by students from the University of Michigan Stamps Schools of Art and Design to develop their skills for their annual International Baccalaureate Exhibition project. YIES fifth-grade teacher Melanie Eccles has helped lead this partnership, and she talks about how it has expanded the heart and minds of both her students and the Stamps students with Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale.
  • For quite some time, Ypsilanti went without a brick-and-mortar art supply store. That is no longer the case. Megan Foldenauer opened Ypsi Art Supply & Atelier almost a year ago. She says she couldn’t have done it without the help and mentorship of many in the Ypsilanti small business community. Selling art products and learning about the art of community building—that’s what Megan talks about with Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale.
  • Food and housing insecurity continue to grow in our community. For the unhoused, it is a constant struggle to stay warm and fed. That's where FedUp Ministries steps in. During the summer, it provides food to those in need with a mobile food truck, while in the winters, it visits area warming centers to provide food. Now, FedUp is providing its WashUp services with a mobile shower vehicle to provide hygiene and dignity to the unhoused. FedUp Ministries board president Tajalli Hodge joins Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale to discuss new services and the plan for more in the near future.
  • One of Michigan’s largest pagan gatherings is making its way to Ypsilanti later this month. ConVocation is a four-day convention hosted by the Ann Arbor Magical Education Council. It brings together many mystical paths and the people that follow them through educational classes, art shows, a merchant’s room and more. One local merchant appearing at ConVocation is Mara Evenstar. She is owner of Evenstar’s Chalice in Ypsilanti and joined Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale to discuss the event and sense of community it brings.
  • Though the residents of the West Willow neighborhood in Ypsilanti Township are predominantly people of color, a document affecting about 196 homes on a parcel in the neighborhood is still on the books that bans anyone who isn't white from living there. In an effort to change that, the New West Willow Neighborhood Association (NWWNA) has partnered with the Justice InDeed project at the University of Michigan Law School's Civil Rights Litigation Initiative to repeal the race-restrictive covenant covering that plat of land. Concentrate Media’s Rylee Barnsdale discusses the work being done to repeal this document with NWWNA president JoAnn McCollum.
  • Michigan primary elections are just about a month away. This will be the earliest the state has held its primary and marks the first time early in-person voting will be allowed. There is an educational process that needs to take place for everyone, but there is a concentrated effort on getting the student vote out on college campuses around the state. Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale talks with EMU student Naomi Barbour about her work to help the campus community overcome challenges and barriers to voting.