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Families & Community

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Protesters have marched in all 50 states to demand action against police brutality and mourn the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Stateside talked to two peaceful protest organizers in Grand Rapids and Detroit about what it was like demonstrating in their cities.

High school girls soccer match during the Flint Olympian Games.
Flint Olympian and CANUSA Games / flickr.com

The Michigan High School Athletic Association has updated their guidelines on summer athletics. This comes after Governor Gretchen Whitmer lifted Michigan’s COVID-19 related stay at home order. Now, groups of up to 100 can gather outside, as long as they practice social distancing.

people gathered around a campfire
Unsplash

Some parents and guardians staring down the prospect of a long summer with young kids cooped up at home are breathing a sigh of relief. When Governor Gretchen Whitmer lifted the COVID-19 stay home order, she loosened the restrictions on many businesses and programs. That includes children’s day camps, which will be allowed to reopen starting June 8.

A group of people marching with one arm raised in the black power symbol
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, what the Wayne State University police chief says needs to happen to regain public trust as the nation erupts in protest over the killing of George Floyd. Plus, a theater director speaks about the role of art in articulating black pain amid civil unrest. 

Garlin Gilchrist
Facebook video screengrab

Governor Gretchen Whitmer released a video statement Sunday in response to demonstrations across Michigan over the weekend against police brutality.

Whitmer was joined on the video by Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist. They both said anger over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis is justified. But they asked people to find non-violent ways to express their frustration.

people marching
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

For the fifth day this week, demonstrators gathered in Ann Arbor to protest excessive police force both nationally and locally. The protests were originally organized in support of Sha'Teina Grady El, who was shown being punched by a Washtenaw County sheriff's deputy in a video that spread across social media this week. 

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office in Grand Rapids
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A proposed immigration detention facility in Ionia County will face opposition every step of the way. That’s the message from a group that’s been speaking out against the facility.

The Ionia County Commission had been considering a resolution to support the proposed facility, which could eventually house up to 600 people. But commissioners tabled the resolution after a number of people spoke out against it.

couple walking on a sidewalk
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Child care businesses in Michigan are still shut down as part of Governor Whitmer's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" executive order, except for those caring for children of essential workers. 

Rebooting this industry will be essential for the recovery of the state’s economy.  But child care administrators say it will likely be a painfully slow process, and require the creation of a “new normal,” for kids, parents, and workers.

hair salon
Guilherme Petri / Unsplash

Safe Salons for Michigan, a coalition of barbershop and salon owners and workers, is requesting that Governor Gretchen Whitmer allow them to reopen with “comprehensive health and safety measures” in place. Hair, nail, and tanning salons as well as barber shops were closed in late March in compliance with the governor’s executive order issued as a result of COVID-19.

In an email, the coalition lists eight steps to re-open, which it says are modeled after states with salons and barbershops that are already open.

a man wearing a mask cuts the hair of a man not wearing a mask
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan judge has denied the state’s request to shut down an Owosso barbershop whose owner continued cutting hair in spite of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order. The executive order, issued March 21 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, temporarily closed hair, nail, and tanning salons, along with other businesses deemed non-essential. 

Mosques go virtual during a COVID-19 Ramadan

May 21, 2020
Three women in hijab and two men face away from the camera, praying
Courtesy Bushra Azom

For the first time in 25 years, Imam Abdul Latif Azom has closed the doors to the Islamic Center of North Detroit, or Masjid Al-Falah. It’s Ramadan, the month of fasting from dawn until dusk. Masjid means mosque.

“The greatest loss [to] our congregation is we can't go to the mosque,” said Azom.

A Catholic priest
Adobe Stock

Roman Catholic churches across Michigan will begin offering public Masses to the faithful this week. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, all dioceses in Michigan had temporarily suspended public Masses. As different sectors of the economy begin to re-open, so too are religious services, beginning with very small, weekday and private Masses.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan has set aside $130 million from its federal CARES Act funding to help child care businesses - both those that have remained open to care for the children of essential workers, and those that have been forced to close due to the state's stay at home order.

Scarlett London and Cate Weiser

"Bored, exhausted, and restless" probably describes how a lot of Michigan’s kids are feeling these days. They have been stuck at home for nearly two months now, ever since the COVID-19 outbreak shut down schools and hangouts. This week, we spoke with two of the million and a half young people who are adjusting to this new normal. 

Protesters at the Michigan Capitol
Abigail Censky / WKAR

Religious leaders in southeast Michigan are calling on other faith and political leaders to condemn racist symbols displayed by some demonstrators at protests in Lansing. 

Hundreds of protesters gathered again on Thursday at the state Capitol in violation of social distancing rules to protest Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay at home order. At an April 30 protest at the state Capitol building, some protesters displayed confederate flags, swastikas, and nooses. 

money
user penywise / morgueFile

The head of a Metro Detroit non-profit social services agency that’s in charge of distributing federal stimulus funds says the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people struggling to meet basic needs.

The Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency was allotted $11 million in CARES Act funds to distribute to households in Wayne County. $8 million of that is reserved for the city of Detroit.

Logan Chadde

In addition to cancelling sports, movie premieres, and the Olympics, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused a number of notable events in Michigan to cancel.

Here is a list of major festivals and events that have been forced to cancel or postpone due to the outbreak.

whitmer and khaldun
michigan.gov

This post was originally published on May 1. It has been updated to include details from the latest stay home order, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on May 7.

On Thursday, Republicans in the state Legislature adopted a measure to rein in Governor Gretchen Whitmer's executive power.

Erik Cooper / Flickr

For more than 90 years, the city of Holland has been celebrating its Dutch heritage with the annual Tulip Time festival. A sea of tulips as well as activities like parades draws hundreds of thousands of attendees every year. But thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak, there will be no Tulip Time this year. So what happens when a city's biggest annual event gets canceled?

kids hands playing
Sven Brandsma / Unsplash

New data from the Michigan League for Public Policy finds fewer Michigan children live in poverty today than a decade ago. However, there’s been a sharp rise in investigations and confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect. Since 2010, the number children in investigated families has increased nearly 72%, and confirmed cases are up by one-third.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report suggests restarting Michigan’s economy will face a serious roadblock – a lack of child care.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children estimates that 41% of Michigan’s licensed child care slots will be lost as many providers don’t have the money or staff to reopen.

bench on green grass in front of blue sky
Noah Silliman / Unsplash

Over the past several weeks, our collective losses have piled up. Jobs and income. Social connections. Routines. Security.

And people.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan families who are owed child support will start receiving money this week tied to federal pandemic stimulus payments.

“The Office of Child Support wants to make sure parents understand what is happening with stimulus payments to people who owe child support,” said Erin Frisch, director of the state Office of Child Support in a written statement.   

The money is coming from stimulus payments earmarked for non-custodial parents who owe back child support.

picture of Des Cooper
Courtesy of Des Cooper

As hard as this time is, some have found the experience of physical distancing offers unexpected opportunities. Detroit writer Desiree Cooper is riding out the virus as the full-time caregiver for two parents with dementia in Virginia Beach. She recently wrote an essay about what slowing down and staying home has meant for her. 


COVID-19 pushes census field operations to June

Apr 15, 2020
census letter
Enayet Raheem / Unsplash

The U.S. Census Bureau says it will resume its field operations on June 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the day when workers will start going door-to-door to interview people who’ve not yet completed their census form online, by phone or by mail.

woman holds her head in her hands
Adobe Stock Images

Public health experts say in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, it's essential for people to stay home and stay healthy. But for those living with an abusive partner or family member, the danger inside the home may be as threatening as the risk outside of it.

People are flooding into Leelanau County since COVID-19 hit Michigan last month, according to several local business owners.

Health departments in northern Michigan have asked those visiting to self-quarantine, and essential workers in the county are concerned about the increased foot traffic.


The State Theatre in Ann Arbor, MI
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Under Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order, there's at least one thing most Michiganders have in common: We're all, well, at home. 

Candice Fortman with her family.
Courtesy of Candice Fortman

This week, we've spent some time talking about how to cope with grief, uncertainty, and isolation in these strange times. Candice Fortman, Chief of Engagement and Operations of Outlier Media, has had to think about this for many years. Two years ago, she wrote in an article on Medium titled "Why I Still Get Out of Bed" about grieving the loss of her mother as an only child. 

picture of Des Cooper
Courtesy of Des Cooper

Writer Desiree Cooper has learned a lot about coping with uncertainty and isolation while caring for her elderly parents. Both have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. In a moment when so much our day-to-day life has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, Stateside turned to Cooper for some perspective, and advice, on adjusting to new realities.

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