Mutually Inclusive

A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Larry Nassar, the sports doctor who was convicted for molesting 190 girls and women earlier this month has been making headlines nationally. Katie Strang is the managing editor of The Athletic, a sports news publication in Michigan. Her coverage of the Nassar’s trial stood out in that it centered the stories of the women who spoke out and stood up to the doctor who abused so many. WGVU’s Mariano Avila talked to Katie Strang about her coverage.  A warning, accounts of abuse described here may be disturbing. 

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“When you read that there were 190 women sexually abused, that’s a number. It is something entirely different to see a young girl with bangs and braces, and someone that fiddles with their necklace and has tears rolling down her cheeks, and is shaking reading her letter.”

Katie Strang is the managing editor at the sports news site “The Athletic.com” She tells me that when Larry Nassar’s trial began, she dropped everything to tell the story from the survivor’s point of view, starting with Rachael DenHollander, the first woman to come forward.

Linc Up / lincup.org/

Weekly we focus on the work of area organizations advancing inclusion and equity in our community. This morning we hear from Denavvia Mojet, Strategic Communications Coordinator with LINC UP here to talk about their programming and events. Joining the discussion from WGVU are grant writer, Steve Chappell, and inclusion reporter, Mariano Avila.

Zach Linewski / WGVU

As part of GVSU’s MLK Day celebration, twitter maven and racial inclusion advocate April Reign came to west Michigan. 

April Reign is best known for her hashtags #OscarSoWhite and #NoConfederate—which trended globally and yielded real Hollywood results. We sit down for an interview and she offers some tips, some insights, and even issues a calling. First, I ask why she chooses Twitter over other platforms.

“You are the lowest form of human life that I have been able to observe and see. You are a monster, and quite frankly, you are evil. What you did was sickening and disgusting. You should never be allowed out of prison.”

Judge Mark Trusock of the 17th District Court issued these harsh words to 25-year-old Elis Nelson Ortiz-Nieves of Gaines Township as he handed him a life sentence for the murder of 4-year-old Giovanni Mejias. 

Weekly we focus on the work of area organizations advancing inclusion and equity in our community. This morning we hear from Alice Jasper, Associate Program Director with the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, here to talk about their programming and events, including a joint activity with WGVU on January 25th, a “World Café,” focusing on race relations during the Vietnam War era, 1955-1975. Joining the discussion is WGVU grant writer, Steve Chappell, project director of WGVU’s grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in the area of racial equity.

Medical marijuana shop in Denver.
O'dea via Wikimedia Commons | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Marijuana in Michigan is poised to be a big story for 2018. But what its legalization means to different communities is a complex question. 

Let’s start with the legal story. The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed back in 2008. But who could sell, grow, or transport, it was not clearly outlined. Bob Hendricks is a legal expert with Wrigley, Hoffman and Hendricks, a firm with an established medical marijuana business practice. Hendricks says after the act passed, dispensaries started popping up everywhere.

As 2017 wraps up, WGVU’s Mariano Avila asked four questions of four West Michigan leaders working with our most vulnerable communities. As part of WGVU’s Mutually Inclusive, here is his interview with Tami VandenBerg.

[Mariano Avila] Tami Vandenberg owns The Pyramid Scheme and the Meanwhile, two popular Grand Rapids bars. Somehow, she also finds time to direct Well House, a housing-first nonprofit addressing homelessness. At a downtown coffee shop I ask what changed for her in 2017.

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