Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative, in collaboration with The Synergy Health Center and Integrated Services of Kalamazoo, will welcome community members to a Community Conversation: Navigating COVID – What’s Your New Normal? to take place at El Concilio, 930 Lake Street, in Kalamazoo on Tuesday, June 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Watershed Voice columnist and limited licensed psychotherapist Charles Thomas provides a guide to mental health services in Southwest Michigan.
This story is part of New/Nueva Opinión’s Contributions and Challenges of the Latinx Community in Kalamazoo series, and is funded by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. New/Nueva Opinión is a fellow member of the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative and was kind enough to share this story with Watershed Voice readers.
At the top of this week’s episode Alek and Doug address Monday’s troubling news that teachers within the Three Rivers Community Schools system were asked to remove Pride flags in their classrooms in response to an “external challenge” by an unidentified party.
The hosts of Keep Your Voice Down are also joined by Sarah Lee, Director of Marketing Communications at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. The trio discusses Sarah’s role at KZCF, her upbringing in Malaysia and how she became deeply rooted in Kalamazoo, the importance of being “equity-minded” when addressing matters of social and racial injustice, the foundation’s efforts to support local journalism, and the story behind the formation of the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative.
WSV’s fall member drive begins today and Executive Editor Alek Haak-Frost would like to have a quick word with you about it.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced plans in Detroit on Tuesday to make a significant investment in affordable housing that addresses the health, safety and well-being of Michigan residents. The proposal would assist 6,000 Michiganders, produce 2,000 rental housing units, and leverage an additional $380 million in private funding, while creating 1,600 jobs.
Rick Haglund writes, “[…] At a time when most new jobs paying a living wage require a certificate or degree beyond high school, Michigan is falling far short of needed support for higher education. The result is a state economy that lacks enough skilled and highly educated workers needed to attract technology and other knowledge-based employers.”
U.S. House Democrats’ highway funding bill is poised to include roughly three out of five transportation projects submitted by members, as legislators vie for their share of federal dollars through the resurrected congressional earmarks process. Michigan is poised to receive $210 million spread over 68 projects throughout the state.
The George Washington Carver Community Center hosted a virtual event on Thursday, May 29 to discuss trauma, grief, and resilience, particularly as those issues intersect with the African American community and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buy a regular monthly subscription or a monthly Champion subscription today, and be entered to win this collection of items from World Fare, Weenie Kings, and GG’s Cookies!
Watershed Voice set out to find how this pandemic is affecting young people in southwest Michigan, speaking to local mental health experts and teens alike. Throughout the past year, the coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered lives across the world; people have lost their jobs, lost loved ones, and had to put their lives on hold. That feeling of going on pause has especially affected young people, who feel removed from some of the most formative years of their lives. It’s no wonder these feelings of isolation and helplessness have taken a toll on child and adolescent mental health.
In March 2020, the pandemic hit Michigan, bringing upheaval to schools. When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed schools buildings that month due to the climbing number of COVID-19 cases, districts across the state scrambled to craft a plan to meet students’ needs virtually. Over the last year, the pandemic has highlighted the inequities the struggling, underfunded Partnership schools face while they work to make ends meet during this current school year.
Rick Haglund writes, “Lee Chatfield did more to advance the cause of diversity, inclusion and equity in Michigan workplaces in the past two weeks than he did in six years as a state lawmaker.”
The Kalamazoo City Commission voted unanimously Monday to withdraw from Southwest Michigan First’s “Council of 100” partnership, before City Commissioner Erin Knott passed a motion to also withdraw $10,000 in annual funding to the agency over former state House Speaker Lee Chatfield’s anti-LGBTQ views. Chatfield was recently named CEO of the Kalamazoo-based economic development agency.
The U.S. had a mental health professional shortage before the pandemic, and Southwest Michigan was no exception. Every county in Southwest Michigan had been designated as a mental health professionals shortage area by the Healthcare Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
In a press release Wednesday, St. Joseph County Sheriff Mark Lillywhite reported that Sheriff’s Deputies pursued a motorcyclist before taking him into custody Tuesday evening. At around 6:30 p.m., the deputies attempted to stop the motorcycle for a traffic violation on U.S. Highway 131 near Wilbur Road in Lockport Township.
An unknown person or persons spray painted “White Lives Matter” and “Keep America Great” at the intersection of 8th Street and W Avenue sometime before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22nd in Prairie Ronde Township, Schoolcraft. By 8 p.m. however, a group of nearly 40 people had chalked over the graffiti, writing “Hate has no home here,” “Let Black people live,” “SHS supports BLM,” and other phrases.