© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

United Way of Washtenaw County

  • As of Sunday, October 1st, the United Way of Washtenaw County is no more. A previously announced merger rolls the community services support agency's efforts into the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, which is based out of Detroit. However, the United Way will keep an office in Ann Arbor, and the expectation is that staff and funding in Washtenaw County will be expanded. WEMU's David Fair discussed the merger and its anticipated impacts on the community with senior director of collective impact, Bridget Herrmann.
  • The creative arts can play a significant role in providing structure and direction for our at-risk children. However, access to such programs often prove difficult for many families, particularly in lower income communities and communities of color. How can youngsters connect with strong mentors and gain access to good training? That’s the mission of Elevation Youth Corp. WEMU's David Fair talked with the group's president, Keith Ragland, and its executive director, Yolanda Ragland, about engaging and connecting at-risk youngsters to a brighter future.
  • There is a value in mentorship and the wisdom of our elders. Unfortunately, not every family has access to such relationships and it can have adverse educational impacts. That’s the reason the Washtenaw County Foster Grandparent Program exists. WEMU's David Fair met with the director of the program, Sandy Bowers, and foster grandparent Annie Young. They discussed the positive differences created for both children and the foster volunteers.
  • There are ongoing efforts to increase workforce diversity. In order to be successful, there also has to be more diversity in corporate and business leadership. That’s one of the objectives of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber’s A2Y Leadership Program. That program is now 41 years old. Is it making a difference? WEMU's David Fair answers that question with the chamber’s Vice President of Foundation and Leadership, Barbara Davenport, and Meg Scaling, a local business owner who recently graduated from the program.
  • On a Labor Day edition of "Washtenaw United," we’re taking a look at an institution that made it possible for all of Rosie the Riveters to work at the Willow Run Bomber Plant in World War II. Back then, it was called Perry Nursery School. Now, it is known as Foundations Preschool of Washtenaw County. It stills primarily serves single and working mothers and is about to celebrate its 90th anniversary. WEMU's David Fair with the school's executive director, Sandy Williams, about developing the workforce of the future.
  • Violence is far too pervasive around the country and right here in Washtenaw County. There are efforts to address these matters educationally, legislatively and through the criminal justice system. There is a program in Washtenaw County that is taking its anti-violence message straight to the streets called WeLIVE, which has a particular focus on preventing retaliatory violence. And the program is proving to be one successful. WEMU's David Fair was joined by community outreach specialist Roger Roper and Derrick Jackson from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office to find out more on efforts to prevent retaliatory violence.
  • It has been said that art doesn't just decorate our lives but gives us reason to live. For some inmates in a University of Michigan program, those words ring true. "Humanize the Numbers" is part of the U-M's Prison Creative Arts Project. The incarcerated are discovering creativity and learning about themselves, and the program is having an impact not only on the inmates, but on the students from Ann Arbor that work with them. The program is led by lecturer Isaac Wingfield. WEMU's David Fair spoke with Isaac and José Burgos, who participated in the program prior to his release from prison.
  • Combatting poverty is difficult, particularly when you work against systemic issues that have been in place as long as the country. Ypsilanti-based "Friends In Deed" offers immediate and direct assistance to those in need but also invests in programming and mentorship that helps people build the tools and support community needed to get out of poverty permanently. Tracey Hoesch and Amtheyst Floyd from "Friends In Deed" joined WEMU's David Fair to share the progress being made to better address local poverty.
  • Julie and Scott Halpert know all too well what it means to lose a loved one to self-inflicted harm. Their son Garrett took his own life in 2017. Ever since, the Halperts have been working to provide support to others in hopes of preventing more grief. Now the plan is to have a brick-and-mortar facility on 76-acres of land in Superior Township to provide holistic and non-medical support and care services for young adults struggling with life. And, it's to be called Garrett's Space. The Halperts joined WEMU's David Fair to share their story.
  • It can be a daunting task to become a foster parent or to adopt a child. Children in foster care face so many challenges, and finding adoptive homes becomes more difficult the older they get. Ann Arbor-based Hands Across the Water helps navigate those turbulent times. Its services continue to expand to better help all involved get through the process in healthy and happy ways. Executive director Katie Page Sander joined WEMU's David Fair to share her stories.