Black Lives Matter

Trische' Duckworth

Since June 2021, two Black Lives Matter murals adorned downtown Ypsilanti and Riverside Park. The idea was to inspire community unity in the call for an end to racism and  injustice for people of color. Over the weekend, vandals splashed white paint all over the Riverside Park BLM mural. "Survivors Speak" founder and executive director Trische' Duckworth helped bring those murals to life. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the process of moving forward. 


Trische' Duckworth
Trische' Duckworth

As WEMU continues to mark Women's History Month, we continue to talk with some of the women working today to building a new and better future.  The Black Lives Matter movement was initiated by women.  Community activist Trische' Duckworth has been a vocal leader of the movement in Washtenaw County.  WEMU's David Fair discussed the journey to activism with Duckworth and the history she hopes to help write and the legacy she wishes to leave on this  week's "Washtenaw United." 


Justin Onwenu
LinkedIn / linkedin.com

The movement towards racial equity is an ongoing fight.  Environmental racism has been an issue in our area since the industrial revolution, and it persists today, inflicting the most harm on communities of color.  In another Black History Month edition of "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair and the Sierra Club's Justin Onwenu explore problems and solutions in the effort to bring environmental injustice to an end. 


University of Michigan

The Black Student Union at the University of Michigan says more people may be inspired to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 18th because of the current racial climate being felt across the country.  


Wikipedia

The University of Michigan Museum of Art announced a commitment to anti-racist action.  

Ann Arbor District Library

The Ann Arbor District Library is commissioning a Black Lives Matter mural. 


NEW
Nonprofit Enterprise at Work / new.org

All too often, when public discourse centers on issues of racial equality and justice, the voices we hear from are from white people.  Ann Arbor-based NEW (Nonprofit Enterprise at Work) is changing that by putting forth leaders in the Black community to lead the conversations.  The online series is called "Centering Justice."  Will Jones III is Relationship Manager at NEW.  He joined WEMU's David Fair on this week's edition of "Washtenaw United" to discuss racism and the task of creating meaningful and lasting change. 


Tariq Speights

At least two protests will take place this weekend in Washtenaw County after Jacob Blake, an African-American man, was shot seven times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin last Sunday.  

WEMU

An Ypsilanti pastor says churches are playing an important role in the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement.  

Ken Magee
Ken Magee

Tuesday is primary election day.  Incumbent Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton is being challenged in the Democratic primary by Ken Magee.  Magee has a long career in law enforcement, including a stint as Chief of Police at the University of Michigan.  Magee joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss his candidacy and changes he would like to make, if elected. 


City of Ypsilanti

Community policing will be a main topic of discussion Monday night during an Ypsilanti city council meeting.  

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.  


The Corner Health Center / cornerhealth.org

Ypsilanti's Corner Health Center is connecting with Ford Motor Company to provide a safe space for teens and young adults deal with the many challenges of what's happening right now due to COVID-19 and systemic racism.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Corner Health Center executive director Versell Smith and Pamela Alexander, director of community development at Ford, about a recent virtual teen summit and plans for additional community outreach moving forward.


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. 


Ann Arbor District Library

The Ann Arbor District Library has launched a Black Lives Matter initiative.  

Rick Snyder
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Civil rights groups in Michigan are calling on Governor Rick Snyder to issue a stronger denunciation of comments by a local elected official calling for death to Muslims.


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

200 people participated in a Martin Luther King, Jr. march hosted by Ypsilanti Community High School students.  The event took place after students expressed racial and immigration concerns when Donald Trump was elected president last November. 


Ypsilanti District Library
Ypsilanti District Library / ypsilibrary.org

As students continue to protest at Eastern Michigan University, their movement could soon become a permanent part of our history.  The Ypsilanti District Library launched an African-American Oral History Archive last summer that has expanded since then.


Jerry Clayton
Washtenaw County / ewashtenaw.org

2016 has brought its share of challenges, not the least of which has been racial and ethnic tensions from the police shooting deaths of unarmed black men around the country, to the campaign rhetoric of the President-elect, to the white supremacist messages spray-painted on campus buildings at Eastern Michigan University.  The Washtenaw County Sheriff is hoping, by taking it head-on, this area will be a model for how to address these issues.


Kinara
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

African-Americans around the country, including right here in Washtenaw County, started celebrating Kwanzaa today.  This special time has many traditions and can impact the Black Lives Matter movement.


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

Thousands of students gathered at the University of Michigan's Diag for a rally and march to protest white supremacy.
 


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

After another racist graffiti message was found on a wall at Eastern Michigan University, a new approach will be used to address the issue. 
 


Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

More than 500 people attended Thursday night's town hall forum on policing and community relations at Eastern Michigan University.  It was moderated by WEMU.  Panelists included a representative from Black Lives Matter, the ACLU of Michigan, and the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's office. It also featured the organizers of the event, Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton and 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. 


WEMU held a Town Hall panel discussion on policing in our community, Thursday evening at the EMU Student Center. Led by 12th District US Congresswoman Debbie Dingell and the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, WEMU will moderate a community forum to discuss the important issues facing our residents and first responders. If you did not get the opportunity for you to add your voice to the conversation, ask questions, and raise concerns, and to focus on how we can all work together to stop the violence at studio@wemu.org 

Dedicated To Make A Change

The recent police-related shootings across the country have sparked conversations about race and policing in Washtenaw County.

The City of Ypsilanti recently held a public forum on the issue to determine what they need to do about it.

I spoke with Gail Wolkoff, the founder of Dedicated To Make A Change, a youth empowerment group in Ypsilanti.  She was at the forum and gives her take of the situation.

Hundreds of Ypsilanti residents filled the city’s high school auditorium Monday night for a community forum on policing and violence.

 

 

Ann Arbor Wiki / localwiki.org

The Ypsilanti Police-Community Relations Black Lives Matter Task Force is meeting in hopes of hearing from the community and dive more deeply into local policy change in light of recent police shootings around the country.

I spoke with Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds about the meeting.  She says growing interest in the task force has prompted them to move it to a bigger venue to accommodate more people and let concerned citizens have a voice.


Black Lives Matter
xddorox / flickr.com

The public is invited to a "Police-Community Relations/Black Lives Matter Task Force meeting" tonight in Ypsilanti, which had a recent change in venue. 


Jason Koxvold/ Wikipedia

 University of Michigan researchers say low income and minority communities are targeted as sites for hazardous waste facilities.


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

As part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations at Eastern Michigan University, a seminar on Black Lives Matter protests was held. 


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