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. 

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

It doesn't take much to create a space for roller skating, an activity one Ypsilanti area man hopes to see more of in the community.  In this week's "On The Ground-Ypsi," Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk to Daniel Wall about bringing together a "roller culture," or network of skating enthusiasts, in the Ypsilanti area and future plans to have an outdoor skating rink in Ypsilanti Township.

Survivors Speak
Survivors Speak / Facebook

Several local, elected government leaders, as well as several hundred Washtenaw County residents, plan to gather in an Ann Arbor park Saturday afternoon for a community forum on racism.  

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with one of the forum's organizers, Trische' Duckworth of Survivors Speak.

Wiki Commons

The Washtenaw County Health Department will use social media to target teens who may be addicted to or are considering using vaping products.  

Blue LLama
Blue LLama Jazz Club / bluellamaclub.com

Just as Ann Arbor's Blue LLama Jazz Club was getting ready to celebrate its first birthday, it was forced to shut down like all other clubs and restaurants in Michigan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the owner of the club, Don Hicks, about how they, like many jazz musicians, have had to improvise to stay connected with the community.

Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Sheriff / Facebook

The number of  COVID-19 cases in Michigan and Washtenaw County is flattening.  As such, the economy is slowly starting to reopen.  As more cars hit the roads, law enforcement will begin to step up traffic enforcement.  Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton checked in with WEMU's David Fair to discuss those changes and other issues the department is dealing with as we move through the COVID-19 crisis. 

Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended her stay-at-home order through the end of May, while introducing a multi-step plan to get Michigan's economy going again.  12th District Representative Debbie Dingell expressed her optimism to WEMU for a safe start to the process while calling for more bi-partisan efforts to support those in need. 

Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The number of confirmed coronavirus is now over 43,000.  More than 4,000 have resulted in death.  Still, the curve is flattening in Southeast Michigan.  Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss more testing for the most impacted areas of the county and gathering more data on potential exposures.  

Jerry Clayton
Washtenaw County Sheriff / Facebook

Tensions have been running high as the COVID-19 lockdown continues.  Domestic violence calls have increased, while armed protesters once again gathered in Lansing.  Washtenaw  County Sheriff Jerry Clayton addresseed those issues and more in his weekly conversation with WEMU's David Fair.  Additionally, the sheriff previewed another town hall forum he's hosting on Facebook this evening.

Cami Fussey

Based on a Monty Python skit from 1970, a Detroit area resident started recording people on the street in front of her house doing a "Silly Walk" to try and ease the stress of what many are feeling during the current coronavirus pandemic.  Cami Fussey of Ypsilanti liked the idea so much, she set up a similar opportunity in front of her home and has been sharing it on Facebook and Instagram.

WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with the Ypsilanti woman about her idea and the resulting participation.

Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Sheriff / washtenaw.org

As Governor Whitmer has extended her "Stay Home Stay Safe" order, public safety concerns in Washtenaw County are ongoing.  Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton spoke with WEMU's David Fair about the health of those in the Sheriff's Office and in the county jail and how law enforcement practices are evolving.  Additionally, the Sheriff previews a special Facebook live event tonight that will allow residents to have their concerns addressed by a number of community partners. 

Local Ramadan Observances Moving Online

Apr 24, 2020
Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor / mca-a2.org

The Muslim community in Washtenaw County is currently observing Ramadan online instead of in-person because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Jerry Clayton
Michigan Sheriffs' Association / misheriff.org

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton will hold a Facebook Live event tonight to touch on matters of public health and safety during the coronavirus crisis.  Clayton joined WEMU's David Fair to provide updates on the health of sheriff's office employees and the inmates in the county jail, on where the biggest concerns are in servicing the community, and what we can learn from operating in the midst of a pandemic. 

Local Easter Services Moving Online

Apr 10, 2020
Journey of Faith Christian Church of Ann Arbor / journeyoffaitha2.org

Christians across Washtenaw County will celebrate Easter Sunday this weekend in a new way.  WEMU’s Jorge Avellan reports.

Good Friday Services Move Online

Apr 9, 2020
Vineyard Church of Ann Arbor / annarborvineyard.org

Many churches in Washtenaw County will observe Good Friday this year online because of the coronavirus crisis.  

Debbie Dingell
89.1 WEMU

It’s been two months since the country’s longest serving congressman, Michigan’s own John Dingell, passed away.  89.1 WEMU’s Lisa Barry sat down with his wife and the person who currently holds that 12th District Congressional seat Debbie Dingell for an honest and emotional conversation about community, civility, and healing.  


Many emotions are shared in this, the more personal part of the interview.  Congresswoman Dingell begins by talking about her recent remarks about gun ownership before fellow members of Congress.  Then, she shares more about her long relationship with John Dingell, his final days, and the impact he’s had on the country.



Jorge Avellan / WEMU

The student body president at Eastern Michigan University is asking a professor to resign after posting a racist acronym on social media last year.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan has the story.

Smash Bros.
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Eastern Michigan University students, under the direction of Dr. Sadaf Ali and Patrick Campion, were given the opportunity to create a reporting project as a final project in their CTAT 334 class.  This is the work of Will Bogen, reporting on groups who meet and play the video game "Super Smash Bros. Melee," both socially and competitively.

Capital Photo
Liam James Doyle / NPR

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is appearing on Capitol Hill for a second day of hearings about protecting its users' data. The House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing follows hours of questioning by lawmakers in the Senate. Facebook is under scrutiny after revelations that the data-mining and political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica obtained the data of tens of millions of Facebook users. The company is accused of using that data to target American voters in the 2016 election

Garlin Gilchrist
University of Michigan School of Information / umsi.info/csmr

With millions of users, the social media site Facebook has been under scrutiny recently after it was learned they were monetizing user data.  WEMU's Lisa Barry speaks to Garlin Gilchrist II from the Center of Social Media Responsibility at the University of Michigan's School of Information about the best ways to protect your information on social media.

Kristy Etue
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder says he’s close to a final decision on what disciplinary action – if any – will be taken against the leader of the Michigan State Police over a controversial Facebook post. 

US Flag
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Ten state House Democrats yesterday linked arms during the Pledge of Allegiance in lieu of putting their hands over their hearts.  They say it was to show solidarity with NFL players and to protest a controversial Facebook post by the leader of the Michigan State Police. 

Kristy Etue
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder says there is no reason to fire State Police Colonel Kristy Etue over a controversial Facebook post. 


As people spend more and more time on social media, the lack of true friendship or in-person connections could be harming their health.

I spoke with Ann Arbor psychologist, author, and adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Dr. Robert Pasick about the impact this is having on people.

Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The Michigan Supreme Court says the music streaming service Pandora does not violate the state’s privacy law by collecting and sharing information about user preferences. 

Chris Hughes
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The co-founder of the world's largest social networking site is speaking at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business today.

It's back to business as usual on the the Facebook pages of the University of Michigan football and basketball teams after they were hacked twice in one day.  University officials say they still don't know how it happened but have apologized to the two million followers who may have caught a glimpse of the pictures of scantily clad celebrities.