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.

Mariano Avila

As 2017 wraps up, we asked four questions of four West Michigan leaders working with our most vulnerable communities.

[Mariano Avila] Hugo Claudin works at the Red Project helping folks living with HIV. He is also the curator of Mexicains Sans Frontieres—a gallery on South Division that brings jazz and Avant guard shows to Grand Rapids. He’s trim, middle-aged, wears black on most days and is a transplant from Mexico City. First I ask what changed in 2017.

Mariano Avila / WGVU

In the wake of community outcry over the Grand Rapids police officer who cuffed 11-year-old Honestie Hodges, Grand Rapids Area Pastors invited the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, and GRPD leaders and advocates to dialog yesterday at Abney Academy Elementary. 

Ace Marasigan

 Picture a walkway lined with star-shaped lanterns, made by hand out of bamboo and brightly-colored cellophane, that light the way to church for the nine days leading up to Christmas Eve. That’s a new event in Grand Rapids that the Filipino Cultural Group of Michigan hopes to make a city tradition.

“You know, in the Philippines the symbol of that parol is so meaningful, it symbolizes the star of Bethlehem, but it’s also a tradition because in 1908 this guy named Francisco (he’s the first guy who started this tradition), it was a way to light up a way to church.

Inclusion and Equity

Dec 8, 2017

Weekly we focus on the work of area organizations advancing inclusion and equity in our community. This morning we hear from Mariano Avila, WGVU's Inclusion Reporter, providing results of our recently concluded grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in the area of racial equity.  Joining the discussion is WGVU grant writer, Steve Chappell.

Mariano Avila / WGVU

  A group of Hope College students identifying as LGBT and People of Color started a campaign to amplify 95 stories of discrimination and disrespect on campus. 

Joshua Kam is generally well regarded by faculty and peers, when I meet him on Hope’s campus, he exudes politeness as he tells me why he stepped out of the choir formation on Sunday to disrupt his third and final Vespers concert as means to promote of his 95 Stories campaign.

Mariano Avila / WGVU

 This Tuesday, the topic will be Health and Environment. But, in case you missed it, the one at the Kroc center last Tuesday, November 28 was about economic opportunity. The free dinner was chicken and beef tacos, rice and beans, but the real dish was opportunities and barriers for minority business owners. Here’s Jamiel Robinson from GRAAB who says the main barrier is relational.

“If you look at Steelcase, who’s one of their top suppliers or dealers? It’s Custard! And so that’s two families, so it comes down to relational, in addition to access to capital.”

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