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.

Shafer Photography / Shafer Photography

The new Grand Rapids Poet Laureate is the first person of color, first person under forty years of age, and the first laureate without a four-year degree.

The Grand Rapids Public Library made its announcement Tuesday morning naming Marcel Price, or Fable, the city’s poet laureate, not just because he’s published a book of poems or won awards, but because of his vision for bringing poetry to everyone in Grand Rapids.  

“There’s poetry shows almost every single night of the week in our city and people don’t know that.”

Ahmad Khodor

Ahmad Khodor, a Grand Rapids man born and raised in Syria, says he blames President Bashar Al Assad and the indifference of Western countries for the recent gas bombing of civilians that left between 60-100 people dead.

Khodor has been living in Michigan for over 30 years. He has graduate degrees from University of Michigan and Grand Valley State University and finally settled here in Grand Rapids. Still living in the country he called home until age 33, Khodor says has extended family, as well as friends living in Syria.

Disart / Disart

Jill Vyn, managing director DiArt has been employing a range of strategies to change perceptions around disability through art that centers disability or artists with disabilities

“We  do that, as an organization, through curated experiences and strategic partnerships in our community. Just really focused on trying to create a more welcoming and inclusive community as a whole.”

One of their staple programs is the “Disability Arts Now Symposium,” which will happen this Thursday through Saturday, April 6-8 at the Art Prize Hub on Sheldon.

Mariano Avila / WGVU

The Sikh community is often a mistaken target of Islamophobia, which is why Simran Jeet Singh, a high-profile member of the Sikh community in the United States, came to West Michigan to discuss what he calls a new racial group in post-911 America. 

“Part of my religious identity as a Sikh is a turban, uncut hair, so I have a beard. And so for my entire life, growing up, people have perceived me to be Muslim, based on their stereotypes of what a Muslim looks like.”


Weekly we focus on the work of area organizations and individuals advancing inclusion and equity in our community. This morning we are pleased to have with us Guillermo Cisneros, Executive Director of the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Joining Guillermo is WGVU grant writer, Steve Chappell, project director of WGVU’s grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in the area of racial equity.