Stateside | Michigan Radio
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Stateside

Monday through Friday @ 3:00 & 10 p.m.

Stateside covers what you need (and want) to know about Michigan. You hear stories from people across the state—from policymakers in Lansing, to entrepreneurs in Detroit, to artists in Grand Rapids. Tune in every day for in-depth conversations about what matters in Michigan. Stateside is hosted by April Baer.

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Sierra Clark stands in black shirt and denim skirt with background of trees and Meghanlata stands with a green shirt and black skirt with traditional embroidery in front of building
Indigenizing the News

Despite all the shifts in national consciousness over the past couple of weeks, we can still say that people of color are deeply underrepresented in traditional media and in newsrooms. That may be especially true for Indigenous communities. Less than 0.5% of journalists at the country's leading newspapers and online publications are Native American.

And while there are 12 federally recognized tribes within Michigan, local journalists have consistently failed to include Native people and issues in their coverage. A new project hopes to change these paradigms by hiring and training Indigenous journalists to report for Michigan newsrooms. 

stock photo of surgical masks on a table
Macau Photo Agency / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, a new initiative called the Mishigamiing Journalism Project has created six month long fellowships for Indigenous journalists at the Traverse City Record Eagle. Plus, a conversation with two Michiganders about dealing with family separation along the Canadian border. And should masks be mandatory throughout the state?

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

Jelmer Assink / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we’re checking in with the owner of a gym and personal training facility to see how he’s approaching reopening in light of an appeals court decision upholding Governor Whitmer’s order to keep gyms closed to limit the spread of COVID-19 yesterday. Also, a conversation with Jim Toy, who has been at the forefront of the fight for LGBTQ rights in Michigan for more than five decades.

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Jim Toy sitting and State Rep Yousef Rahbi standing on stage
Courtesy of Jim Toy Center

This year’s Pride Month celebrations coincided with a major victory for the LGBTQ community. The U.S. Supreme Court last week ruled that workplace protections outlined in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 apply to gay and transgender people. 

The ruling comes after decades of work by activists in Michigan and elsewhere to expand legal rights and protections for the LGBTQ community. One of those activists is Jim Toy. 

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Today on Stateside, hospitals and health workers are still looking for ways to safely interact with patients following the first COVID-19 surge in Michigan. We check in with an epidemiologist who’s researching how plasma from recovered patients might help those at high risk of infection. Plus, we continue to look at what school might look like in the fall as the governor's Return to Learn Task Force wraps up its work and recommendations next week. 

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, recent developments with Enbridge’s Line 5 have lead Attorney General Dana Nessel to ask for a temporarily halt of operations. Tribes who live and work around the Great Lakes have had an eye on this for years.  Also, Michigan’s legislators have announced funding plans for reopening K-12 schools. What will that look like? Plus, what to expect when you’re expecting to travel this summer.

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Today on Stateside, Michigan has experienced a drop in COVID-19 cases these past few weeks, but over the weekend, case numbers slightly increased again. We check in with an epidemiologist on how to pace yourself for a pandemic. Also, two law professors explain how legal precedents make it tough to prosecute police misconduct. Plus, the founders of a new bilingual media outlet discuss the need for more local news in Spanish.

person holding a "no qualified immunity" sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Over the past few weeks, the Black Lives Matter protests have kept the issue of police brutality at the top of mind for many Americans. While police conduct may be informed by hundreds of years of systemic racism, it's also guided by a specific federal court cases. So how does change happen within the context of that legal framework? 

books lined up
Jessica Ruscello / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, a long-time educator discussed how racism and Black history is taught in schools. Plus, a cultural arts center in Detroit that’s finding ways to survive when the economy crumbles but the mission is more important than ever. And Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence (MI-14) discussed Juneteenth, and the need for a national dialogue about reparations.

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

a young black boy reading a workbook
Unsplash

Protests continue across the country in response to police brutality against Black Americans. But while systemic racism might be most visible in the criminal justice system, it touches every aspect of American society. That includes our education system. 

Sydney James stands in front of a mural of Malice Green
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

When Detroit artist Sydney James set out to create a mural of Malice Green, a Detroit man killed by police in 1992, she wanted to represent him not as a man, but "as a monument."

In James' mural, titled "Way Too Many," a black-and-white Green is pictured holding a long makeshift scroll. On it are the names of other Black Americans who have died at the hands of police. The list, too long for one piece of paper, spans multiple sheets that wind around Green and the entire 3,500 square foot wall. Written in bold at the bottom of the final page is the phrase “& Countless Unnamed." 

Band members standing on stage
Mark Samano

Many clubs and bars opened last weekend since stay-at-home orders have gone into effect, and musicians are eager to return to work and play for an audience. One of the venues to open last weekend for the first time was The Blind Pig in Ann Arbor.

The Blind Pig reduced its occupancy to 100 people, giving concert-goers more room in the small space. Masks are also required for entry.

On stage at the club last weekend was Sabbatical Bob, a local funk band.

The U.S. Supreme Court building
U.S. Supreme Court

Today on Stateside, we talk to a Detroit artist whose new mural is a monument to Malice Green and the wider community of Black citizens killed at the hands of police. Plus, two young Dreamers discuss what the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) means for them.

A protester holds a sign in this stock photo.
vivalapenler / Adobe Stock

The Supreme Court has rejected President Donald Trump's effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants, a stunning rebuke to the president in the midst of his reelection campaign.

Teacher standing in front of a classroom of children.
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Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer says schools should prepare for in-person instruction this fall. We’ll talk about what those plans could look like, even as the governor cautioned that things may change. We’ll also hear teenagers from Michigan Radio's newest podcast, Kids These Days, about how they are thinking and talking about race with their families. Plus, a Michigan musician and producer talks about a new song simmered in the same elements that have brought so many Americans to protest in the streets in recent weeks.

Brian Jennings stands at the front of a crowd of protesters who marched through Grand Rapids Wednesday.
Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer set off massive protests across the U.S. At many of those protests, there was a familiar refrain: "Defund the police." It was scrawled across poster boards and chanted by protesters. But what does that actually mean? For some activists in Grand Rapids, it means reopening the city budget to move funding away from police and to other community services. LaDonna Norman, a member of the group Together We Are Safe, is one of those activists.

the album cover of Nadir Omowale's single "Run"
Original Artwork by Jabarr Harper

Like many artists and activists right now, artist and producer Nadir Omowale has been reflecting on and reacting to the protests against police brutality happening in Michigan and across the country. It inspired Omowale to finally release a song he's been working on for years. It’s dropping on Juneteenth, a day that celebrates the end of slavery in America. He’s been working on the song since 1998. It’s called “Run.”

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, a conversation with a community activist in Grand Rapids looking to defund the police and what that would entail. Plus, four nurses have filed a lawsuit against the parent company of DMC and Sinai-Grace over what they say was negligence and mismanagement that led to unnecessary COVID-19 deaths.

The supreme court building
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Today on Stateside, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued a landmark decision that ruled LGBTQ people are protected from workplace discrimination under existing civil rights laws. An attorney with the ACLU of Michigan discusses the impact of the court’s decision. Also, an Ypsilanti bookstore owner talks about the recent flood of orders he and other black-owned businesses have gotten amid ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, and tells us the books he recommends for the current moment. 

Exterior of Bookie's Club 870
Joe Sposita / detroitpunkarchive.com

Detroit is well known for its pivotal role in shaping soul music during the 1950s and 1960s. What’s lesser known is that in the 1970s, the city’s slew of small bars also played a major role in forming the punk scene. Detroit writer and radio journalist Rob St. Mary just finished producing a new 2-LP album called The End of the Night (1967 to 1983). He pulled the music from the Detroit Punk Archive, a website that he created and maintains, as well as some previously unpublished recordings and stories. 

Sinai-Grace nurses file lawsuit, allege patients died because hospital was short-staffed

Jun 11, 2020
Junfu Han / Detroit Free Press

Nathália Rosa / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we’ll check in with former Michigan Radio reporter Bryce Huffman, who started working for BridgeDetroit—a newsroom made up entirely of people of color—just days before George Floyd was killed by police and Black Lives Matter protests took hold across the globe. Also, a conversation with a Detroit radio journalist about the music that made the city an indelible part of punk history.

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a rainbow chalk covered sidewalk
Jasmin Sessler / Unsplash

Like most things during this pandemic, Pride Month is looking a little different this year. Many of the normal gatherings and celebrations have been cancelled. Meanwhile, protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd continue to spread across the nation. Amid the unrest and uncertainty, some activists see this Pride Month as particularly poignant. Stateside spoke with Erin Knott, executive director at Equality Michigan, and Selma Tucker with Public Sector Consultants in Lansing about the connections between the fight for LGBTQ rights and the fight for racial justice. 

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Today on Stateside, less driving statewide during the COVID-19 pandemic means insurance companies need to distribute refunds. We find out about what this means for drivers, as well as how they’ll be affected by upcoming changes to the state’s no-fault law. Also, a look at how the history of LGBTQ Pride and the Black Lives Matter movement intersect. Plus, social media’s relationship to social change.

woman holding a sign that says "black lives matter"
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The political will for police reform has made a big leap forward this year. But once we get to the point of acting on proposed changes, it will be important to have data that tells us what's happening. 

someone writing on a ballot
Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, a researcher at University of Michigan has looked at data surrounding fatalities caused by police, and how those lethal uses of force break along racial and gender lines. And, a conversation with a brother and sister confronting a global pandemic on opposite sides of a prison wall. Plus, a talk with Senator Gary Peters about a bill introduced by House Democrats to combat police misconduct, excessive force, and racial bias in policing.

(Subscribe to Stateside on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or with this RSS link)

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

protests, black lives matter, police, police force, police training
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The protests against the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd at the hands of police continue across the country. Meanwhile, COVID-19 is having a hugely disparate impact on black communities, including in Detroit. For black journalists, the demands of covering these stories are both professional and personal. Stateside spoke with Kat Stafford, national race & ethnicity writer for the Associated Press, and Ken Coleman, reporter for the Michigan Advance about what it's like to be a black journalist at this moment in American history. 

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Today on Stateside, more Michigan businesses reopen, including some bars and restaurants. A bartender weighs in on some service industry workers’ concerns. Also, two Black American journalists discuss covering protests against police brutality, during a pandemic, in a field dominated by white reporters and editors. Plus, an artist collective based up north relaunches.

Beach
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced reopening dates for camping, harbors, and other outdoor areas. Camping at state forest campgrounds and overnight stays in DNR-managed harbors resume Wednesday, June 10. State parks have remained open for public use during the COVID-19 pandemic, but campgrounds, overnight lodging facilities, and shelters have been closed since March 23 in compliance with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order. 

Behind the Scenes of The Wretched film
Courtesy of Brett and Drew Pierce

Though some COVID-19 restrictions are loosening, Michigan’s movie theaters are still closed. One alternative? Catching a film at a drive-in, a pastime that might just be making a comeback—and providing artists with a new way to connect with audiences.

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