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Among the candidates who will appear on next week’s general election ballot are two who are running in Washtenaw County’s non-incumbent 22nd Circuit Court judge race.  

Gretchen Driskell
Gretchen Driskell

The 7th Congressional District in Michigan includes seven counties, including western Washtenaw County.  Republican Tim Walberg, who is currently in his sixth term in Congress, is being challenged for the third time by Democrat Gretchen Driskell, who served two terms in the state House and as the city of Saline's first female mayor for 14 years.  WEMU's Lisa Barry reached out to both candidates to talk about the election.  Only Driskell responded and talks about why she decided to run again and what issues she believes need addressing in Congress.


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.


Bev Willis

Bev Willis grew up in Washington, D.C., literally in the epicenter of the Civil Rights Movement because of her parents and grandparents.  Deb Polich and David Fair talk with Bev about how those experiences led to her becoming a graphic designer, active in her community, and encouraging everyone to use their talents to document defining historical moments.  Hear the conversation on this edition of "creative:impact."  Listen here.


NEW
Nonprofit Enterprise at Work / new.org

The Washtenaw County Health Department recently released data regarding confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.  The data shows African-Americans have a disproportionately higher number of cases, despite representing a much smaller segment of the overall population.  On "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with Yodit Mesfin-Johnson, president and CEO of Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW) and chair of the board of the United Way of Washtenaw County.  They discuss what the data reveals and what is being done to address the immediate and underlying issues. 


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The United Way of Washtenaw County's 21-Day Equity Challenge is at an end.  For this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair welcomes three guests who reflected on their participation in the challenge, what they learned individually, and how they can carry the message forward.  A Brighter Way executive director Aaron Suganuma, Building Matters Ann Arbor executive director Jessica A.S. Letaw, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washtenaw County enrollment coordinator Capri Ervin.


WISD
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The 21-Day Equity Challenge continues this month as put forth by the United Way of Washtenaw County.  The Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) is working to contributing to the cause, not only through the challenge, but throughout the year.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with WISD superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel and WISD justice facilitator Greg Myers about the district's work to promote equity and social justice.


United Way of Washtenaw County
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Fighting racism and social injustice is an ongoing battle. Washtenaw County residents will have a chance to make a difference through the United Way of Washtenaw County's "21-Day Equity Challenge."  For this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair sits down for a conversation with UWWC President/CEO Pam Smith and UWWC board chair Yodit Mesfin Johnson about how the challenge works and what it seeks to accomplish.


Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Many social inequities and tendencies toward violence exist throughout the country.  So, a few young Michigan residents formed an organization called "Creating a Righteous Environment Around Me," or "The Cream" for short.  The group seeks to promote community peace and understanding through special events, including an upcoming gun buyback event in Ypsilanti.  Three of The Cream's top members, Mwai Leonard, Srikar Chiravuri, and Tru Ajani, talk about their work in this week's "On the Ground-Ypsi" with WEMU's Patrick Campion and Concentrate Media's Sarah Rigg.


Martin Luther King
Eastern Michigan University / emich.edu

January 21st is Martin Luther King Day, an annual federal American holiday that celebrates the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.  It is intended to celebrate the life and achievements of the influential American civil rights leader. 

At Eastern Michigan University, nearly a week of activities are planned, including a keynote address by Keith Boykin, New York Times bestselling author and TV's leading commentator on politics, race, and sexual orientation.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke to Boykin about the current state of politics and his upcoming address at EMU.


Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

The 23rd annual Evening of Sacred Song is taking place December 1st in Ann Arbor, benefiting the Washtenaw County Poor People's Campaign.  89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry talked with Lisa Bashert and Ayron Smith-Douglas about the concert giving voice to social change, environmental justice, and peace.


Marcy Epstein

With handwritten cards and "comfort items" purchased with money raised in Ann Arbor, a contingent of area activists traveled to Texas this week to raise awareness about hundreds of children at an immigration detention camp separated from their families.

89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with Marcy Epstein, one of the participants who traveled from Ann Arbor this week in hopes of making a difference.


Lisa Barry

Whether it's "Me Too" or "Time's Up," men and women have been sharing different messages lately by wearing a special pin or button.  It was one year ago when Kate Lind of Ann Arbor co-created a special button in advance of last year’s women's march that was worn by people all over the world.

Now she has created a new button for this year's upcoming march and joined 89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry to talk about that and other efforts she's highlighting with wearable buttons.


Eastern Michigan University
emich.edu

 Eastern Michigan University on Friday will host a social justice forum and workshops.

A Day in Social Justice is a one day forum addressing issues like class, race, sexism, and education.