89.1 WEMU

washtenaw united

Ankoor Soni
Packard Health / packardhealth.org

Opioid addiction is ravaging all parts of the country, and Washtenaw County is no exception.  Packard Health has launched a new Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program to help the addicted.  On "Washtenaw United" this week, WEMU’s David Fair will talk with Packard Health medical director, Dr. Ankoor Soni, about the shift in perspective, from addiction as a crime issue to one of public health.


Bill Manns
St. Joseph Mercy Health System / stjoeshealth.org

Bill Manns' initial career plan was to become a doctor.  While working toward that goal, he recognized health administration was the better path to make the differences in health care services he thought necessary.  Now, Manns is president of the St. Joseph Mercy Health Systems hospitals in Ann Arbor and Livingston.  Manns shares his journey and discusses the future of health care in our community on this week’s "Washtenaw United."


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

Childhood trauma takes time to heal.  It also requires resources that may not be easy to find.  Deb Gordon-Gurfinkel decided to use her experience in drama education to create a program called "Telling It."  It uses arts as a means to help troubled youth in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.  Gordon-Gurfinkel joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss "Telling It" on this week's "Washtenaw United."


Nancy Shore
Ann Arbor Public Schools / a2schools.org

The school year is right around the corner for Washtenaw County K-12 students.  Unfortunately, all too many will head to class without the supplies that better prepare them for academic success.  That’s the purpose of the “Stuff the Bus” campaign that begins today.  89.1 WEMU’s David Fair gets the history and mission of the “Stuff the Bus” school supply drive in this “Washtenaw United” conversation with the Ann Arbor Schools' Nancy Shore and United Way of Washtenaw County’s Susan Smith


Washtenaw United
Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Once people age out of the foster care system, they face many uncertainties.  That is why the 'Our House' program was created.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair is joined by Our House volunteer Rose Putler and client Alexis Deese-Romberg to discuss what this program brings to the community.


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

Bhuvna Murthy has performed more than 700 hours of community service through her high school career.  Service work is a passion that formed early in her life and has manifested in great works to the benefit of many.  That’s why the United Way of Washtenaw County awarded Bhuvna’s efforts with a “Varsity Letter” in Community Service.  WEMU’s David Fair met with Bhuvna and UWWC Director of Development Susan Smith to discuss the Varsity Letter program and the past, present, and future of an outstanding young woman. 


Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

Get a personalized look at the work of the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan.  It’s been around since 1975 and now has offices in Ypsilanti, Jackson, and Detroit, and there can be no question it is a community resource that is changing lives.  Anell Eccleston is programs manager for the Student Advocacy Center and Jakobie Pillar is one of his mentees who just graduated from ACCE High School in Ypsilanti.  Their story comes to you through WEMU’s partnership with the United Way of Washtenaw County in this week’s edition of "Washtenaw United."


United Way of Washtenaw County
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The New West Willow Neighborhood Association was formed in 2015 and, ever since, the future of the Ypsilanti Township neighborhood has become brighter.  Long-time resident, association member, and neighbohood watch activist Janice Williams provides a look at living in West Willow and building to something greater. 


University of Michigan
Susan B. Meister Child Health Evaluation and Research Center / chear.org

Sickle cell disease afflicts thousands of people across the country, especially people of color.  This particular disease has led to a number of dangerous health issues and can even be fatal.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair sits down with University of Michigan research assistant professor Dr. Sarah Reeves and United Way of Washtenaw County president Pam Smith about what work is being to combat the disease and the social stigma that comes with it.


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

The mission of the Ypsilanti-based 'Black Men Read' program is clearly stated: "We exist to promote the power of stories, storytelling and literacy to children in order to normalize the historical and cultural contributions of Black people throughout the diaspora, uplifting Black men and all of the ways that they engage in their families and communities while disrupting tropes of Black father absenteeism."  In this week's 'Washtenaw United,' you'll find out why the program is changing dynamics throughout the entirety of the community.  


Washtenaw United
David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

It is said, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  That is particularly true if you live near or below the poverty line.  Foundations Preschool has a mission to support at-risk children and their parents to create opportunities of prosperity.  As a non-profit, the school can’t do it alone.  That, too, takes a village.  In this week’s "Washtenaw United," you’ll hear from the school’s executive director, Sandy Williams, and from United Way of Washtenaw County "Volunteer of the Year" Jessie Schlanderer as Foundations Preschool gets set to celebrate it’s 85th anniversary. 


Jason Gold
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

Many K-12 students live with food insecurity, housing and transportation issues, and, too frequently, physical or emotional abuse.  That presents a barrier to positive educational outcomes.  In this week’s "Washtenaw United," WEMU’s David Fair talks with student advocate and Adverse Traumatic Experiences master trainer Jason Gold about how best to identify and deal with the issues to change life trajectories.


United Way of Washtenaw County
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

A recent study concluded that Washtenaw County does not provide equal opportunities in health, education, and other life essentials to its Latino citizens.  Out of that study, the Buenos Vecinos collaborative was formed to make such things more available.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks about the program with its leader Charo Ledón and the UWWC's director of community impact, Bridget Healy.  


Food Gatherers
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

Food insecurity and hunger is more pervasive in Washtenaw County than you might think.  In this week’s "Washtenaw United," WEMU’s David Fair finds out what is being done, in both the short and long term, to eradicate the problem.  In this conversation, Food Gatherers president and CEO Eileen Spring and United Way of Washtenaw County president and CEO, Pam Smith, discuss the progress made and the work still to be done.


Susan Smith / United Way of Washtenaw County

To paraphrase, it takes a village to create a full-service child care and early childhood development center.  A group of like-minded partners combined resources and created 'The Collaborative'-Ypsilanti YMCA Child Development Center.  In this week’s "Washtenaw United," WEMU’s David Fair talks with Eastern Michigan University Director of Student Engagement Decky Alexander and EMU doctoral candidate Veronica Konglim about the creation, purpose, and impacts of 'The Collaborative.'


Jason Frenzel
Doug Coombe

It is Earth Day, and there's no better way to celebrate than volunteering your time to make our planet a little more eco-friendly.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks to the Huron River Watershed Council's Jason Frenzel and Amanda Reel of the United Way of Washtenaw County about the importance of volunteerism.


David Fair / 89.1 WEMU

Today is Tax Day.  As many people rush to file their returns, there are a few who can't afford to have someone file their returns for them.  That's why the United Way of Washtenaw County formed the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.  UWWC representatives Andrew Johnson and Patrick Helman talk all about the VITA program with WEMU's David Fair in this week's "Washtenaw United."


United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

In this week's "Washtenaw United," hear from the man who founded and co-owns the popular Boober Pedicab company in Ann Arbor.  From drug and alcohol addiction to community service and entrepreneurship, you’ll find inspiration and motivation in Kevin Spangler’s story.  


Yodit Mesfin Johnson
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

Implicit bias plays a big role in how we collectively go about our lives.  It can shape personal viewpoints, public policy, and it often creates inequities that limit access to opportunity.  In this week’s, “Washtenaw United,” WEMU’s David Fair explores these issues with the incoming board chair of the United Way of Washtenaw County, Yodit Mesfin Johnson.