social justice

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Affordable housing and gentrification are just some of the issues addressed by an Ypsilanti arts advocacy program called "Staying Power." Lisa Barry and "On the Ground Ypsi" project manager Sarah Rigg talk with one of the participants, Malik Henry, who shares his experience and one of the poems he wrote as part of the project.

Morgan Foreman
Morgan Foreman

Growing up in a household infused with art, creativity, and as the granddaughter of Motown Temptation Melvin Franklin, Morgan Foreman-McGovern gained confidence and direction.  She is a Renaissance woman: a dancer, singer, advocate for the environment and the BIPOC community, and the constituent services director for Michigan Representative Felicia Brabec.  She tells Creative Washtenaw's Deb Polich and WEMU's David Fair her story on this edition of "creative:impact."

 

Debbie Dingell
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy / flickr.com

In the wake of the conviction of former Minneapolis, MN police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, police reform is at the top of local and national discussions.  12th District Representative Debbie Dingell weighs in on the opportunity to make meaningful change on that and other issues in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair.

Court TV/AP

Local civil rights activists are praising the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Jerry Clayton
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton says he, like others, feels no joy in the guilty verdicts of Derek Chauvin but agrees there is some sense of relief and validation.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the sheriff about his reaction to the verdicts and shares his support of public protests and encourages them to be done in a safe manner.


Pam Smith
Pam Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

This year marks the United Way of Washtenaw County's 100th anniversary.  Appropriately enough, "Washtenaw United" has now surpassed 100 episodes on WEMU.  David Fair marks both milestones in a conversation with UWWC president and CEO Pam Smith and touches on what the future holds. 


Trische' Duckworth
Trische' Duckworth

The trial of white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is nearing an end.  He's charged in the killing of George Floyd, a Black man.  Not far from the trial, another Black man, Daunte Wright, was killed last Sunday by another white police officer.  Survivors Speak founder and executive director Trische' Duckworth joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss these current events and the goals of this weekend's protest in Ann Arbor. 


Yen Azzaro
The Paper Pusher / thepaperpusher.co

Yen Azzaro: graphic recorder, illustrator, serial creative entrepreneur, and arts activist.  She founded The Paper Pusher and applies her talent for the common good and understanding.  She tells Creative Washtenaw's Deb Polich and WEMU's David Fair how she now needs her community to rise up for her and other Asian Americans experiencing racism and acts of violence.  Hear her story on this edition of "creative:impact."


Carla Dirlikov Canales
Carla Dirlikov Canales

Meet Carla Dirlikov Canales, Ypsilanti native, renowned opera singer, and arts advocate.  She is also founder of the Canales Project, an organization that uses the arts to bridge cultural divides.  She joined Creative Washtenaw's Deb Polich and WEMU's David Fair to talk about how she uses her voice to advocate for the arts and creativity in the halls of Congress and across the world. 


Melissa Borja
Patricia Burmicky

In addition to everything else going on in the world right now, there is increasing attention to the nearly 4,000 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women, that have occurred in the past year.

University of Michigan assistant professor and anti-Asian racism researcher Dr. Melissa May Borja talks with WEMU's Lisa Barry about her findings and what it has been like personally for her and her family especially over the past year.


YCS

Artwork produced by Ypsilanti Community Schools students is on display at six local businesses after their original show in Washington D.C. was cancelled, due to COVID-19.  

Wiki Commons

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.