89.1 WEMU

Sarah Rigg

Eastern Michigan University

Video game competitions, or "eSports," has grown from a social activity among friends to a nearly $1 billion business.  eSports teams are now forming in school districts and universities across the country, including Eastern Michigan University.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk about EMU associate vice president of student affairs Calvin Phillips, who explains how EMU's new eSports team will impact the university and its students.


Corner Health Center

Restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 health crisis have to started to ease up recently.  Many nonprofit organizations, including the Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti, are introducing new safety procedures in their work.  The center's community outreach and youth development manager, Kamilah Davis-Wilson, joins WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to discuss their new ways of serving the public in this week's installment of "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Kim Clarke

It's safe to say that the COVID-19 crisis will be more than a footnote in world history.  In fact, a new initiative is underway to see that this moment in time will be never be forgotten and that "we're all in this together."  For this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk to local historian Kim Clarke about the "Ypsilanti Coronavirus Digital Archive," a new photo project designed to preserve memories of everyday life during the pandemic.


New West Willow
Sarah Rigg / Concentrate Media

The coronavirus pandemic has kept people, including those living in Ypsilanti Township, confined to their homes.  It has also made it difficult for local neighborhood associations to keep their residents informed of any events or developments in their respective communities.  For this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg hear about the new ways associations communicate with residents from Jo Ann McCollum, president of the New West Willow Neighborhood Association.


Alize Asberry Payne
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Earlier this month, the Washtenaw County Health Department released data regarding confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county.  The most disturbing information came out of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township, in which there more infections among African-Americans than any other ethnicity.  WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg examine why this situation exists with Washtenaw County racial equity officer Alize Asberry Payne for this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Alex Clark / Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Ypsilanti

The coronavirus crisis has kept people from meeting in large groups, which includes going to church or any other weekly religious service.  Because of this, many of Ypsilanti's religious institutions are performing their sermons online, while still providing food and supplies to their neediest members.  Alex Clark, pastor of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church of Ypsilanti, provides further details on this new, digital venture in a conversation with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg for this week's edition of "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Evenstar's Chalice / evenstarschalice.com

The coronavirus pandemic has hurt businesses across the country, and small business owners may have felt the effects most of all.  So, some small business owners in Ypsilanti, including Mara Evenstar of Evenstar's Chalice, have had to find new ways to keep their establishments alive during this health crisis.  Evenstar joins WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to discuss her new business actions for this week's installment of "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Ypsilanti Community Schools
Ypsilanti Community Schools / ycschools.us

School districts across the state of Michigan have closed their doors indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Yet, a number of students are now at a disadvantage, especially those who rely on their schools for food and internet access.  So, Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) stepped up to help these kids out.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk to YCS assistant superintendent Dr. Carlos Lopez about how the district is serving the community during this crisis.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Concentrate Media's "On The Ground-Ypsi" this week focuses on "Contacto Michigan" and its internet radio station, "Contacto Michigan Ypsilanti," or CMY.  WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with On The Ground-Ypsilanti project manager Sarah Rigg about the organization in downtown Ypsilanti.


SOS
SOS Community Services / soscs.org

Since its inception at Eastern Michigan University, SOS Community Services has always been there for Ypsilanti residents.  The organization has provided services such as child care, supportive housing, and a food pantry.  Later this spring, SOS will celebrate its 50th anniversary, and its executive director, Rhonda Weathers, talks all about this amazing endeavor with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg for this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

There are students out there who face constant struggles in their schoolwork, including here in the Ypsilanti area.  Fortunately, the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan (SAC) is there to provide guidance and mentorship to those who need it.  SAC executive director Peri Stone-Palmquist and former SAC board member Brittany Barros join WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to talk about the center ongoing work in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

This week for "On The Ground Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Sarah Rigg from Concentrate Media about her latest online story about The Collaborative: Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center.  Their guest is Donetta Mazyck, director of the Collaborative, and one of its success stories.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

There are plans to revive the ​Ypsilanti Art Incubator​, a project started by a small group of Ypsilanti-based artists in 2012.  The incubator went dormant for several years, but Ypsilanti resident Alexa Dietz is looking to relaunch it in 2020.  WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Alexa and Concentrate Media’s Sarah Rigg about what this might mean to area artists for this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi." 


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Seeing a need for more partnerships and support for younger school students in Ypsilanti, Tim Wilson helped create "Washtenaw Promise."  It's an Ypsilanti-based nonprofit that seeks to remove barriers to success and increase opportunities for children to thrive, starting in early childhood.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Tim and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg about the focus of her story in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The Washtenaw County chapter of My Brother's Keeper (WMBK) has been helping young men of color get far in life for years.  Their latest endeavor involves connecting with the community through rap music.  WMBK project specialist Jamall Bufford discusses the group's new "Formula 734" project with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg for this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

When a child ages out of the foster care system, the transition to adulthood can be extremely difficult.  The Ypsilanti organization known as "Our House" seeks to make such transitions as simple as possible.  Our House executive director Natasha Doan-Motsinger explains the organization's work in more detail with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's installment of "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Washtenaw County
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The 2020 Census will take place in just a few months.  In the meantime, residents of Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township may need to prepare for how the results may affect their respective communities.  Peter Lindeman, who is a communications and policy specialist for the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development, discusses these potential challenges with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg for this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Gospel music can have a great impact in the community.  The most well-known gospel scene is in Detroit, but Ypsilanti has made its mark as well, particularly at the Second Baptist Church.  For this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," Second Baptist Church pastor George Waddles, Jr. and the church's minister of music, Johhny Jordan, talk about the world of gospel found in our own backyard with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Homelessness is one of many problems the Ypsilanti area faces every day.  Out of this sad situation, an organization called "House N2 Home" came to be, whose mission is not only give homeless people a place to live, but to make that place feel like a true home.  Two of the organization's representatives, Peggy Farrell and Ruth Ann Logue, join WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg for a conversation about their work in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Growing Hope is among the top food entrepeneurships in the Ypsilanti area.  Yet, like all startup businesses, it takes time, patience, and good financial planning to get off the ground.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg have a conversation with Cynthia VanRenterghem, Growing Hope's executive director, and with Angela Barbash, CEO of the investment advisory firm Revalue, about the work and rewards involved in becoming a food entrepeneur.


#OTGYpsi: Making Spritual Connections Through Ypsilanti's Harmony Collective

Nov 13, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

The Hare Krishna faith, which traces its origins to India, encourages its practitioners to connect with all walks of life.  The Harmony Collective seeks to carry that message in Ypsilanti through such means as family counseling, drug rehabilitation, and community service.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg talk about the collective's work with its community director, Dava Medhava Das.


#OTGYpsi: Ozone House Expands Reach In Ypsilanti After 50 Years

Nov 6, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Since 1969, Ozone House has been a place where young people can go to for shelter and protection from their troubled lives.  As the organization celebrates its 50th anniversary, it has begun expansion of its current Ypsilanti location, which will provide better services to its clients and their families.  Former client-turned-volunteer Bara Youness and Ozone House education program manager Dawn Espy talk about the program's future plans with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


#OTGYpsi: 'YpsiWrites' Program Mentors Writers Of All Ages And Professions

Oct 30, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

It can be hard to put your thoughts on paper, whether it's writing a good cover letter to go with your resume, or getting started on that novel you put off for years.  This inspired representatives from Eastern Michigan University, 826Michigan, and the Ypsilanti District Library to form an alliance known as "YpsiWrites," which offers instruction and guidance to up-and-coming writers.  Catherine Calabro Cavin from 826Michigan and Jodi Krahnke from the Ypsilanti District Library talk about this amazing program in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," hosted by WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

When Kaiser Elementary School in Ypsilanti Township shut down as a result of the Willow Run/Ypsilanti schools merger, the nearby West Willow neighborhood received a serious blow.  It wasn't long before the Greater Faith Transition Center took control of the old school building.  From there, a lot of charitable action took place, such as providing a food pantry to offering clothes for job interviews.  The center's founders, Pastor Robert Ford and his wife Dorothy Ford, talk about their work with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

When young people experience physical and/or emotional trauma, it becomes difficult for them to express themselves.  After seeing a group of former inmates perform theatre and poetry, Deborah Gordon-Gurfinkel developed the "Telling It" program, which helps kids cope with their experience through the visual and performing arts.  She, along with fellow counselors Cozine Welch and Kelly Kundrat, talk about what the program seeks to achieve in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi" with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg.


#OTGYpsi: WIC Program Gives Helping Hand To Ypsilanti's Nursing Moms

Oct 9, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Many negative thoughts come along with breastfeeding, from less health benefits to making others uncomfortable while in public.  Luckily, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program in Washtenaw County offers advice and support to nursing mothers, especially in the Black community.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg explore this highly-beneficial project with WIC service coordinator Gayathri Akella and WIC peer educator Dera Williams.


#OTGYpsi: New Tool-Lending Library In The Works For Ypsilanti Residents

Oct 2, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Habitats for Humanity of Huron Valley (HHHV) has been helping out Washtenaw County residents for years.  While the organization is mostly known for building houses, it has attempted other projects that could bring locals closer together.  In this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi," HSHV community development coordinator Ceara Murtagh joins WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg to talk about a new tool-lending library that's coming soon to Ypsilanti's West Willow neighborhood.


OTGYpsi: Ypsilanti Students Taking Their Art To DC

Sep 25, 2019
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Ypsilanti Community Schools students are heading to Washington, D.C. to exhibit their art at the U.S. Department of Education.  Patrick Campion and Sarah Rigg speak with some of the students and a teacher involved in the project to find out how this happened, what the students are inspired to create, and how they're getting 60 students and teachers and chaperones to DC.  Listen here and find more pictures and information about the project at Concentrate Media's site.  


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

On this week's edition of "On The Ground Ypsi," Patrick Campion and Sarah Rigg welcome Eastern Michigan University students to discuss "Optimize Eastern." 

From Sarah Rigg: This "new student organization at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) is seeking to not only fund small startups that have a social mission, but to also create a community for local entrepreneurs.

Core team members of the organization, called Optimize Eastern, describe it as a social innovation community that supports student-led social impact projects.  The organization was created by students for students."


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Since the formation of the new Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) district, many changes have had to take place.  Busing routes were reorganized, learning curriculums have changed, and new school principals were hired.  Still, new YCS superintendent Alena Zachery-Ross sees nothing but a positive future for the district.  She talks about the district's progress with WEMU's Lisa Barry and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi."


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