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Sarah Rigg

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The number of people who will turn 65 years old this year will exceed the number of people who turn 18. Aging services face a looming crisis around the country and here in Washtenaw County. Monica Prince is the executive director of the nonprofit Ypsilanti Senior Center. She sees the struggles on a day-to-day basis and is among those trying to create a stable source of funding for aging services in Washtenaw County. She discusses the challenges with Rylee Barnsdale on this week’s #OTGYpsi.
  • Not many 19-year-olds decide to start their own business, but with the advent of online sales and the stay-at-home work ethos fostered during the pandemic, more young people are choosing this avenue. That includes Ypsilanti’s Christian Knox. Christian is now 22, and his online vintage clothing business, Thrift Activist, continues to grow and expand. He explains why he has chosen to be own boss with Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale on this week's “On the Ground Ypsi.”
  • Original Moxie started off as a hair care line out of owner Rachel Blistein’s home. Now, it is part of a the aptly-named “Beauty Block” at the Ridge Center on Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti Township. Its three businesses support and collaborate with one another and have bigger plans on the horizon with another woman-owned business planning to move in soon. Find out more when Rachel Blistein from Original Moxie joins Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale for this week's "On the Ground Ypsi."
  • Getting an education as an adult can be challenging and costly. But for the last 25 years in Washtenaw County, the organization “Adult Transitions” has been helping adults get their GED, take English as a Second Language classes, and much more. WEMU's Josh Hakala and Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale talk about this path to education with Bonnie Truhn, the program director of Adult Transitions.
  • The Michigan Avenue branch of the Ypsilanti District Library flooded during a severe rainstorm back in July. Its closing has been a big loss to the community, but plans are in the works to come back bigger and better. WEMU's Josh Hakala and Concentrate Media's Rylee Barnsdale caught up with downtown branch manager Joy Cichewicz for the latest.