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United Way of Washtenaw County

United Way of Washtenaw County

The United Way of Washtenaw County is taking steps to help local non-profits affected by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.


Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

As the coronavirus outbreak continues, many developments have occurred in the state of Michigan.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair checks in with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia about the latest precautions being taken in Washtenaw County to keep the virus from spreading any further.


Wikimedia Commons

Concerns over the Coronavirus are prompting a growing number of local organizations to cancel, postpone, or issue advisories about upcoming events.

The Ann Arbor District Library is cancelling all library events and programs, effective immediately, and until further notice, although the libraries themselves will remain open to the public.

WEMU’s Lisa Barry talks with Library Director Josie Parker about their decision made in the interest of public health.


Americorps
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

This fall, the Americorps program will celebrate its 25th anniversary.  Washtenaw County has a robust Americorps program.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," you'll meet two members who are taking the service work component of the program and building personal and professional growth into something of benefit to the greater community.  WEMU's David Fair welcomes current Americorps member Tien Holmes and Americorps alumnus Brian Rakovitis to talk about the paths they're forging.  


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

As tax season gets closer, managing your finances can be challenging.  Because of this, the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) has partnered with local investment firm Revalue for an event called "Show Me the Money Day," which will offer free financial advice to any interested resident.  UWWC financial stability specialist Tien Holmes and Revalue CEO Angela Barbash join WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about personal finances, financial literacy, and the resources to plan for the future on this week's "Washtenaw United."


Belinda Dulin
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

Conflict resolution is not an easy task, which is why the Dispute Resolution Center (DRC) was created.  For several years, it has worked toward bringing peaceful and equitable solutions to local conflicts in both Washtenaw and Livingston Counties.  DRC executive director Belinda Dulin joins WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about the center's mission in this week's "Washtenaw United."


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW) has made it its mission to get nonprofit organizations the help they need.  Their latest endeavor is the "Champions for Change" project, which intends to help achieve racial equity in leadership positions.  Two of NEW's representatives, Melvin Henley and Will Jones III, explain the program in detail in this week's "Washtenaw United" with WEMU's David Fair.


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

"Girls on the Run" is a national program with a Washtenaw County chapter.  It is a 10-week program designed to get girls moving but with an even more aspirational goal: Empowerment and confidence.  In  this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks to two of the program's leaders, Rhonda Fields and Manuela Yost.  Plus, you'll meet one of the program's beneficiaries, Yost's daughter, Linda Gomez.


Washtenaw United WMBK My Brother's Keeper
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The "My Brother's Keeper" program was created by the Obama administration in 2014, and Washtenaw County was among the first to sign on.  Two representatives from Washtenaw My Brother's Keeper (WMBK), Rod Wallace and Jamall Bufford, talk to WEMU's David Fair about its latest projects for this week's "Washtenaw United."


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.


Ginsberg Center
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The United Way of Washtenaw County's 21-Day Equity Challenge is underway, and several organizations are doing their part to improve equity and social justice in the community.  Among them is the University of Michigan's Edward Ginsberg Center.  Two of the center's representatives, Dave Waterhouse and Dr. Neeraja Aravamudan, discuss their current efforts with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Washtenaw United."


Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

The New Year is officially underway, and the United Way of Washtenaw County has now kicked off its 21-Day Equity Challenge.  Ann Arbor YMCA President/CEO Toni Kayumi and Ypsilanti Township trustee Monica Ross-Williams talk to WEMU's David Fair about how they hope to improve equity, particularly on the Eastern side of the county, through partnership, development and increased opportunity. 


Saline Area Social Service
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Saline is considered a rather affluent community, and some of its residents are still of need of basic necessities, like food and health care.  For the last 50 years, Saline Area Social Service has been there to lend a hand.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about the impacts Saline Area Social Service has made with its executive director, Anne Cummings, and one of its most devoted volunteers, Lynne Bush.


SOS Community Services
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Receiving an eviction notice is a difficult situation.  Typically, it's the first step to homelessness.  In response to this, SOS Community Services and the Ann Arbor Housing Commission created the SOS Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Eviction Prevention Program, which helps maintain housing for those at risk of eviction.  SOS's executive director, Rhonda Weathers, and its housing support coordinator, Zhe-Ahnte Johnson, explain their program in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair for this week's "Washtenaw United."


Girls Group
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Young women in Washtenaw County can face many obstacles in life, whether they're financial, educational, or emotional.  Since 2003, Girls Group has been there to put these young women on the path to success.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about the work Girls Group does with its executive director, Sue Schooner, and one of its first participants, Tanee Collins.


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.


Pam Kisch
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

The Federal Fair Housing Act banned housing discrimination in 1968, but fair housing laws are not self-enforcing.  The Fair Housing Center of Southeast and Mid Michigan (FHC) is one of many organizations across the nation, whose mission is to ensure that no one faces discrimination when searching for a place to live. FHC's executive director, Pam Kisch, sits down with WEMU's David Fair to discuss the center's ongoing work for this week's installment of "Washtenaw United."


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

The end of the year is approaching, which means it's time to start thinking about filing your tax returns.  Such a task can be daunting, which is why the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) developed the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about this program with UWWC senior community manager Amanda Reel and Bob Mull, who was UWWC's 2017 Volunteer of the Year.


Meals on Wheels
Volunteer Washtenaw / volunteerwashtenaw.org

Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels relies on nearly 100 volunteers each week to ensure that our homebound neighbors receive their meals.  People volunteer for a variety of reasons, and sometimes, it becomes a family affair.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation with Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels executive director Courtney Vanderlaan and one of its volunteers, Crystal Metzger.  


Washtenaw United
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Back in November 2017, Washtenaw County voters approved a millage to increase funding for mental health services and public safety.  In the last two years, those funds have been allocated to 11 new programs.  Derrick Jackson from the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Department and Lisa Gentz from Washtenaw County Mental Health Services join WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about how these vital services have improved and what lies ahead in this week's "Washtenaw United."  


Washtenaw United
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

For the last five decades, Ozone House has been a place where troubled young people can go for shelter and guidance.  Bara Youness was one of many kids who benefited from this organization, and, now, he acts as one of its advocates and volunteers there as well.  Youness and Ozone House executive director Krista Girty join WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about Ozone House's work and legacy in this week's "Washtenaw United." 


Melvin Parsons
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

There are many ways to work towards equity and opportunity in our community, but urban farming might not be the first thing that comes to mind.  Melvin Parsons saw the trade as a way forward for himself and is now expanding and giving back through his "We the People Growers Association" and the "We the People Opportunity Center."  Parson joined WEMU's David Fair for this week's installment of "Washtenaw United."


Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Access to health care at a young age can prove difficult sometimes.  Fortunately, the Corner Health Center makes it possible in a high-quality, judgement-free environment.  The center's executive director, Versell Smith, Jr., joins WEMU's David Fair for a conversation about what the center is all about in this week's "Washtenaw United."


Alize Asberry Payne
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Washtenaw County is one of the economically vibrant communities in southeast Michigan.  Yet, there are socio-economic and racial disparities to work through.  That is why the county has created the position of Racial Equity Officer.  Alize Asberry Payne is the first person to take the title and joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the "One Community" initiative in this week's "Washtenaw United."


Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Providing affordable housing for low-income residents can be difficult, especially those who are senior citizens.  Fortunately, Michigan Medicine created the HomeShare program, which allows seniors to share housing with other individuals.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about this amazing program with Janet Hunko, director of the Housing Bureau for Seniors at Michigan Medicine, and Judy Slater, who volunteers regularly with HomeShare.


Peace Neighborhood Center
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

For 50 years, the Peace Neighborhood Center in Ann Arbor has been providing opportunity to those facing social and economic challenges.  The work continues today with services, such as the Alternatives for Youth (AFY) program.  The center's executive director, Bonnie Billups, Jr., joins David Fair for a conversation about creating opportunity and working toward equity in this week's "Washtenaw United."


Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living / https://www.annarborcil.org/

The way we’ve developed the world isn’t always fully accessible. For those with challenges, accessibility remains an issue. WEMU's David Fair introduces you to two men who are helping open doors for those who often felt locked out. Alex Gossage is interim executive director for the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living and Will Purves is director of planning and program development.


Manchester
Manchester Community Resource Center / manchestercrc.org

In rural communities, services, such as grocery stores, medical facilities, and access to public transportation, can be seriously limited.  The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) was created by the Corporation and National Community Service (CNCS) and housed within the Senior Services department at Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County. The RSVP program seeks out community partnerships who are in need of volunteers to help support their mission and goals. Manchester Community Resource Center director, Laura Seyfried and local RSVP volunteer Delores Notten talk about the program's efforts and goals with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Washtenaw United."


Washtenaw United
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

If you’ve been convicted of a crime, getting a job can be far more difficult.  That is particularly true for felons but even those with misdemeanors run into employment barriers.  That’s the idea behind an upcoming expungement fair in Washtenaw County.  In this week’s "Washtenaw United," attorney Michael Kiehne and Michigan Works! Washtenaw County Service Manager Johnny Epps discuss the societal benefits of helping the convicted fully reintegrate. 


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