89.1 WEMU

racism

Alize Asberry Payne

2020 reinforced that there is still a lot of work to do to achieve racial equality and justice in America.  Numerous acts of police brutality and a pandemic that disproportionate impacted people of color highlight the need for greater investment in equity.  In a special Martin Luther King Jr. Day edition of "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair discusses the state of "The Dream," locally and beyond, with Washtenaw County racial equity officer Alize Asberry Payne.


Eastern Michigan University / emich.edu

Eastern Michigan University, in collaboration with the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, is bringing a distinguished keynote speaker to the annual Martin Luther King Junior  celebration event this year.  White House correspondent for PBS and NBC and MSNBC political contributor Yamiche Alcindor will be delivering the keynote address virtually this year because of the pandemic.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with the award-winning journalist about her experiences covering President Donald Trump and what message she hopes to share in her address.


Jerry Clayton
Washtenaw County Sheriff / washtenaw.org

Thousands of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building Wednesday as Congress worked to certify Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election.  Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton Joined WEMU's David Fair to share his thoughts on the racist motivations behind the insurrection and the police response to the mob attack. 


Ann Arbor Public Schools

A Black Students Matter protest will be held Saturday, October 24th at 1 p.m. outside of Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor after a teacher was accused of creating a racial hostile environment for Black students.  

Ari Weinzweig

Zingerman's co-founder Ari Weinzweig has written several books and pamphlets in recent years about a variety of topics, mostly having to do with improving ourselves and our perspectives, which can lead to better relationships, whether personal or business-related.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks to Weinzweig about his latest pamphlet called “Humility: A Humble, Anarchistic Inquiry.”


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.


Washtenaw MBK

After declaring that racism is a public health crisis, the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners is considering allocating $50,000 to the Washtenaw County My Brother’s Keeper program to promote increased equity work across our area.  

Wiki Commons

The parents of an Ann Arbor Skyline High School student, who was called a racial slur during a school tennis match with Saline High School last week, say more needs to be done to address racism at local school districts.  

Ann Arbor Public Schools

With the help of the University of Michigan’s Civil Rights Litigation Initiative, a black student from Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor filed a complaint with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.  

Collaborative ChangeMakers / changemakerscounseling.com

We are living through what many call a “double pandemic.”  COVID 19-hit, and now we are struggling through another phase of change in the effort to end systemic racism and anti-Black violence.  The struggles are real, and many feel alone and without support.  Addressing it gave birth to the project “Ypsi: In This Together.”  The program, developed in conjunction with the counseling services organization Collaborative ChangeMakers, is creating needed connection.  In this week’s edition of “Washtenaw United,” Dr. Mishelle Rodriguez shares the genesis and growth of the program with WEMU's David Fair.


Ypsilanti Township

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation after someone shot a car owned by the husband of Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustee Monica Ross-Williams.  

Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Coronavirus cases have spiked in several states, including Michigan, and 12th District U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell fears more restrictions and shutdowns.  Meantime, the Dearborn Democrat is pushing for another federal relief package, new policing measures, and protections for international students that could face deportation.  Dingell joined  WEMU's David Fair to update work on all of those fronts. 


Avery Williamson / Instagram

This week, "Art and Soul" focuses on the local visual arts.  WEMU's Lisa Barry and state and local arts leader Omari Rush talk with Avery Williamson, who works with many different types of materials to weave and paint and write blending her love of history, especially the history of Black women in this country.


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. 


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

On Thursday,  the U.S. House of Representatives passed the "George Floyd Justice and Policing Act."  It aims to create higher accountability in policing and create standards and oversight to protect from discrimination and brutality.  As written, it will not pass in the Senate.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss that legislation and the prospects of another coronavirus relief package. 


Sandra Turner-Handy
Michigan Environmental Council / environmentalcouncil.org

Systemic racism touches all aspects of life in America.  There is police brutality, economic oppression, lack of access to health care, less opportunity to advance, and not enough political clout to be heard.  It’s all connected.  Another component is environmental justice, and it contributes to all of the above.  In WEMU’s "Issues of the Environment," Michigan Environmental Council engagement director Sandra Turner-Handy explains why this is the time where real progress can be made. 


Jerry Clayton
Michigan Sheriffs' Association / misheriff.org

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton is speaking out about police reform, saying recent racial incidents involving police have "sparked a moment requiring immediate action."  He talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry and says that moment needs to be turned into a new era of police reform, criminal justice reform, and societal reform that fundamentally deconstructs institutional systemic and structural racism.


Ann Arbor District Library

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

Beth Bashert

A protest is scheduled for this afternoon at 4 pm in Ypsilanti to demand the resignation of Mayor Beth Bashert.  

Ypsilanti Mayor Says She Will Not Resign

Jun 19, 2020
City of Ypsilanti

Some residents want Ypsilanti Mayor Beth Bashert to resign after making controversial comments during a city council meeting earlier this week.  

Today is Juneteenth.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry has been sharing the thoughts of several different community members about what Juneteenth means to them.  We The People Opportunity Farm Director Melvin Parson talks about what Juneteenth means to him and shares his concerns about being an African American man in 2020.


Charles Wilson
Charles Wilson

Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when slavery was abolished in the United States and has been declared a day of celebration in Michigan by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

WEMU's Lisa Barry has been sharing what several local African Americans in Washtenaw County think about the day or how they may be celebrating.  In this edition, we hear from Charles Wilson, who works for the Washtenaw County Health Department and supervises the community health promotion division.


Wikimedia Commons (TOP), State of Michigan (Bottom)

Friday, June 19th has been declared "Juneteenth Celebration Day" in Michigan by Governor Gretchen Whitmer commemorating the day in 1865 when slavery was abolished in the United States.  Following the deaths of several African Americans by police, a light has been shone nationwide on the problem of systemic racism in our country.

WEMU's Lisa Barry is talking--mostly listening--to a number of community voices about what Juneteenth means to them, beginning with Alize Asberry Payne, the Racial Equity Officer for Washtenaw County.


Christopher Taylor
Christopher Taylor

Local law enforcement is top of mind in many communities around the country, including in Ann Arbor.  The city council recently introduced a resolution asking for a review of the city's police department, which raised some questions and concerns from the Independent Community Police Oversight Commission tasked with overseeing the investigation.

After talking with the commission chair, WEMU's Lisa Barry checks in with Ann Arbor mayor Christopher Taylor for his hopes and intentions for the police department review.


Lisa Jackson

Like many communities across the country, police reform is an important topic being discussed by local government officials including in Ann Arbor.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Lisa Jackson, chair of the Independent Community Police Oversight Commission in Ann Arbor, which is looking into its own ideas for how that should be done. 

 

 

Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Since the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, the call for more police accountability has intensified.  Federal legislation has been introduced to rectify this problem, and 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is one of its top supporters and discusses the bill's merits and its chances of passing.  Additionally, she explores COVID-19 pandemic trends in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair. 


Gretchen Whitmer
State of Michigan / michigan.gov

It's been nearly three months since Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued her first executive order to "stay home" to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan.  Even though the number of cases are declining, the pandemic has had a negative economic impact on many areas of the state budget and residents of the state.  WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with the governor, who talked about the many different issues she is trying to deal with as a result of the current global health crisis.


Riverside Arts Center
Riverside Arts Center / riversidearts.org

This week, "Art and Soul" is about the local visual arts scene.  WEMU's Lisa Barry is joined by Omari Rush, executive director of CultureSource and Chair of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.  They talk with Elisa Guyton, executive director of the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsilanti, who has been working hard to keep the center connected to the community during a pandemic which began just a few months after she took over the job.


University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance / smtd.umich.edu

In November of 2015, Eugene Rogers commissioned and debuted a powerful musical performance piece called "The Seven Last Words of Unarmed Men," which was performed by the University of Michigan Men's Glee Club.  Five years later, the musical performance conducted by Rogers, now the Director of Choral Activities and Conductor of the U of M chamber choir, is gaining even more attention following the recent death of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Rogers about the performance piece and shares some of the music.


Pages