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Stateside Staff

the exterior of Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor
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Today on Stateside, the summer of calls for racial justice continues into the school year. A Black student at Ann Arbor’s Pioneer High School has filed a civil rights complaint against the school, alleging racial discrimination and an overall hostile environment for Black students. Also, an interview with the editor-in-chief of Car and Driver magazine as she works to create a more inclusive car culture and dealing with a changing auto industry.

people dancing in front of a mirror at a dance studio
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Some Michigan businesses have been able to retool and reopen this summer under Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 “Safe Start” plan. But for businesses that usually rely on close physical contact with clients, adapting to life under the pandemic is uniquely complicated. One example? Dance studios.

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A white Minneapolis police officer’s killing of George Floyd on May 25 sparked protests across the country and world, as well as conversations about how different sectors of American society uphold racial discrimination and inequity. This summer, Stateside is conducting a series of conversations on what systemic racism looks like. This week we hear from scholars on how systemic racism blocks Black Americans from opportunities to accumulate wealth.

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Today on Stateside, state health officials report that there are currently 14 COVID-19 outbreaks in Southeast Michigan associated with schools, but they won’t say which ones. A reporter talks us through how the health department shares—and retains—information on outbreaks. Also, the story behind the viral video of U.S. Postal Service mail sorter machines being scrapped in Grand Rapids. Plus, a new podcast documents the history of the Ford Bronco.

Sonari Glinton with a Ford Bronco
Ford Motor Company

Ford's rollout of the new Bronco was one of the marquee online events of the summer. Millions of people tuned in for the online reveal, or at least caught some part of the vast advertising blitz as the grand dame of SUVs was reborn for a new generation of consumers. Ford also commissioned a new podcast, titled Bring Back Bronco: The Untold Story, to share the history of the iconic car.  The mind behind the series is journalist and former NPR reporter Sonari Glinton. 

girl at a laptop
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Today on Stateside, we hear from one of the attorneys who helped negotiate a groundbreaking $600 million settlement between the state of Michigan and Flint residents impacted by the water crisis. Then, as school starts up in both virtual and in-person formats, advice for how to talk to kids about the uncertain year ahead. And we meet a comedienne and author who dismantles mansplaining and affiliated acts of conversation fail.

An excerpt from "Men to Avoid in Art and Life."
Courtesy of Chronicle Books

  

You never know what can happen on Twitter. Just ask Nicole Tersigni, a writer and comedian currently based in metro Detroit. What started as a single joke on her Twitter evolved into a viral tweet thread, which ultimately became a book that was published this month. The topic — and title — is Men to Avoid in Art and Life

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Today on Stateside, on Tuesday, Michigan State University announced it was transitioning to remote learning for undergraduates and urged students to stay home. Meanwhile, faculty at the University of Michigan are protesting the university’s decision to continue with in-person classes. Conversations with professors from both universities tell a tale of two schools. Plus, how the pandemic highlights racial inequality in college access.

ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

As the presidential election gets closer, many people are paying close attention to how the race is shaping up in the Midwest, including here in Michigan. The state, which President Donald Trump won by less than 11,000 votes in 2016, is seen as a key swing state this election.

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Today on Stateside, a familiar voice to Michigan Radio listeners has taken the mic on the national stage. A conversation with Jenn White, host of NPR’s 1A, who will host Stateside tomorrow. Plus, what a breakthrough on the state’s Return to Learn bills will mean for schools preparing to start this fall. And, in a continuation of our summer series on systemic racism, how lack of access to capital and intergenerational wealth affects Black Americans.

Courtesy of Jenn White

Jenn White’s public radio career has taken her from Michigan to Chicago to D.C. She’s interviewed everyone from local politicians to major public figures like Oprah and former President Barack Obama. Now, she’s behind the mic as host of NPR’s 1A.

Stateside spoke with White about her career in public radio, what she’s learned, and what it’s like to take over a national show amid a daily news cycle like no other.

back of child's head
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Today on Stateside, the Michigan Senate will meet in a special Saturday session this weekend to make recommendations for school reopenings. We hear from two reporters about what factors lawmakers are considering as they plan for what a return to the classroom could look like this fall. Plus, a Detroit-born journalist discusses how racial profiling and police brutality complicated his relationship with the cars he grew up loving. 

Man holding newspaper in front of him
Roman Kraft / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, playwright and Detroit native Michael R. Jackson talks about the meta-musical that earned him a Pulitzer Prize for drama. Plus, as many local newspapers close up shop, one family has kept the Minden City Herald in Michigan's Thumb running for more than 70 years. 

Amber Marks, Nathan Marks, Paul Engel, Janice Engel stand in front of the minden city herald building
Courtesy of Nathan Marks

After decades at the helm of the Minden City Herald in Sanilac County, Paul Engel is passing control of the small town newspaper to his grandson Nathan Marks and his wife Amber. The publication has been in operation since 1889 and serves the communities of Minden City, Ubly, Harbor Beach, and Deckerville in Michigan’s Thumb.

Engel inherited the Minden City Herald from his own father, Bill Engel, who bought the paper in 1946. Before passing it on to Marks, Engel says he warned his grandson that taking on the paper would mean a huge lifestyle change.

Kamala Harris with hand on a bible and Joe Biden
Senator Kamala Harris / U.S. Senate

Today on Stateside, the “veepstakes” are over and the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee is not Gretchen Whitmer. U.S. Senator Kamala Harris will be Democratic candidate Joe Biden's running mate. What does this all mean for Michigan? Plus, a new album from Michigan singer-songwriter May Erlewine offers a dreamy escape from a strange summer.

a photo of May Erlewine and the Woody Goss Band in front of a brick building
Courtesy of May Erlewine

  

Free, luscious, uplifting, joyful. These probably aren’t words many of us would use to describe how we feel right now, in the dog days of a uniquely stressful and solitary summer.

But that’s how Michigan singer-songwriter May Erlewine hopes you feel listening to her new album Anyway. The record is a collaboration with Woody Goss of Vulfpack, and it’s scheduled for release Friday, August 14.

School kids eating meals from USDA summer program
United States Department of Agriculture / USDA/wikipedia

The pandemic is putting more families at risk for homelessness as financial pressure builds and eviction moratoriums end. Michigan already has the sixth highest rate of homeless students in the country, and many of those children rely on the consistency of walking into a physical building five days a week. Stateside talked to Jennifer Erb-Downward, a senior research associate with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, about how schools can help students experiencing homelessness, even as classes move online.

a USPS mail truck
washjeff.edu

Today on Stateside, U.S. Senator Gary Peters joins us to talk about his plans to investigate delivery delays in the United States Postal Service. Also, a check in with a University of Michigan researcher on the impact of the pandemic on Michigan's many homeless students.

Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, were you planning on socially distanced tailgating this fall? Bad news: the Big Ten has reportedly voted against going forward with the college football season. We talked to sports reporter Chris Solari about what we know so far. Plus, we've got a conversation with an Escanaba teacher about the unique challenges rural schools face when it comes to online instruction this fall.

Teacher standing in front of a classroom of children.
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Last week, the state’s largest teacher’s union said it would stand behind any teacher who didn’t want to return to an in-person classroom setting. Many teachers have expressed concerns about health risks, both for kids and for themselves, as well as the lack of funding to create safer conditions at schools.

Keith Kindred is one of those teachers. He teaches social studies in South Lyon and wrote this essay for Stateside.

University of Michigan Stadium
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

It’s looking like this fall will be a quiet one at the Big House in Ann Arbor. The Big Ten Conference, which includes the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, has reportedly decided not to move forward with college football this season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. While a formal announcement from the conference is not expected until Tuesday, Stateside spoke with Detroit Free Press sports reporter Chris Solari about what we know about the decision so far.

Melvin Parson sits among plants and squints his eyes in a white t shirt and jeans
Courtesy of Melvin Parson

From who grows it to who cooks it, systemic racism has a major impact on the food that we eat. Take, for instance, farming. Less than two percent of America's farm owners are Black.  Many long time Black farmers are working to shift that number. We talked to three of them about their experiences in the agriculture world and how they think about the relationship between race and food. 

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Today on Stateside, a conversation with two Black farmers about the causes and consequences of systemic racism in the agriculture industry. Also, an update from the Michigan Radio newsroom on what we know about COVID infections in nursing homes.

instagram/thegreenmilegrille

In March of 2019, Daqwan Fistrunk opened up The Green Mile Grille in Detroit. Prior to starting the restaurant, Fistrunk spent seven years in prison, mostly at Lakeland Correctional in Coldwater, Michigan. That's where he met Jimmy Lee Hill, the executive chef at Lakeland who eventually became his mentor.

people sitting inside a movie theater
Krists Luhaers / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, how a Detroit restaurateur went from prisoner to proprietor with help from a prison food program. Plus, a film critic discusses the future of movie viewing.

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Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Flickr Creative Commons/Sanofi Pasteur

Dr. Howard Markel, medical historian at the University of Michigan joined Stateside to talk about the history of vaccine development and what a coronavirus vaccine will and won't mean when it's finally ready.

a face mask on top of an absentee ballot
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Today on Stateside, we check in with two reporters and a county clerk about what the primary turnout —both in-person and absentee — tells us about the upcoming general election. Plus, a medical historian walks us through the history of vaccine development and what complicates the race for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

A wastewater treatment facility
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, what a primary election looks like in the midst of a pandemic. Also, a deep dive into how leftover human feces and other waste from water treatment plants ends up on our farm fields. Plus, what back to school might look like for the University of Michigan. 

Courtesy of Owen Bondono

Owen Bondono, Michigan’s newly named Teacher of the Year and a ninth-grade English language arts teacher at Oak Park Freshman Institute, works to create a classroom community in which students feel comfortable sharing their experiences and ideas with eachother. But as a fall semester unlike any other approaches, and some schools lean toward virtual learning to limit the spread of COVID-19, Bondono is having to rethink the way he conducts meaningful class conversations with his students.

a photo of "Beach Finds II" which is a light blue box filled with vials laid out in front
Courtesy of Geo Rutherford

Today on Stateside, we'll talk about the biggest races and issues on the August 4 primary ballot. Plus, a conversation with the Michigan Teacher of the Year about the return to school and what it means for his students to have a transgender adult to look up to in their lives.

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