Kayla Sosa

Reporter

Kayla Sosa is a general news reporter for WGVU Public Radio.

Ways to Connect

Grand Valley State University arch photo
gvsu.edu

 

As environmentalists continue to warn about the impending dangers of climate change, some educators may need to find a way of teaching the subject to youths in a positive and hopeful way.

That was one of the main themes at the Climate Change Education Solutions Summit Wednesday at Grand Valley State University as teachers shared what ideas and strategies they use to educate their students on the subject.

The Loving versus Virginia Supreme Court Case of 1967 ruled in favor of Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple who married in 1958 unaware it was illegal.

The Supreme Court case struck down anti-miscegenation laws nationwide declaring it a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

 

Edye Evans Hyde, director of Ebony Road Players, hosts an annual June 12th celebration honoring Loving Day.

 

 

  

Fifty years ago, La Grande Vitesse was constructed in downtown Grand Rapids by Alexander Calder. It’s the red sculpture in front of City Hall.

The year was 1970, and in honor of the new sculpture, a group of volunteers started the annual Festival of the Arts.

 

“All of this was a volunteer effort to just further the arts in the community and make the community a better place,” said local artist Fred Bivins.

 

 

 

People living in the first and third ward of the City of Grand Rapids are the focus of the 10 Minute Park Campaign that took place this past March. Catherine Zietse with the Department of Parks and Recreation says they wanted to focus on underserved communities.

 

“The neighborhoods of focus in Grand Rapids were severely underserved with the amount of park space available per resident,” Zietse said.

Kayla Sosa

 

 

“They’re talking about this as lifetime exposure levels, but if you live here you’re thinking on the terms of every breath you take. You think about your grandkids, every breath they take.”

That’s Larry Conkle, who has lived down the street from Viant Medical for the past 20 years. After hearing about the emissions at a neighborhood meeting, he and his wife became concerned for their family’s health.

Unsplash

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl compounds, or PFAS, are used in manufacturing, firefighting and thousands of household and consumer products. They’re linked to a variety of health problems, including cancer.

  

A total of $750,000 is being allocated to the Third Ward Equity Fund.

Eric DeLong, Deputy City Manager, said through this fund, the city is recognizing decades of inequity to the south east side of Grand Rapids.

“We have recognized as a community that those disparities exist and we know that, in order to be successful, we’ve got to work to reduce those,” he said.

Most African Americans in Grand Rapids live in the third ward, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders spoke to an energized crowd of about 200 West Michigan trade workers and community members Saturday afternoon at a local union hall.

The Independent from Vermont running in the democratic field of candidates began the rally on the topic of healthcare.

 

“In my view, healthcare is a human right, whether you’re rich, or whether you’re poor, or whether you’re middle class,” Sanders said. “We right now have a dysfunctional healthcare system.”

 

Courtesy Erin Cataldo

Nigerian born chef Tunde Wey is hosting a Culinary Conversations event at the Downtown Market. Using food to discuss heavy topics, Wey will focus on disparities in the food system, and racial disparities across the board. WGVU's Kayla Sosa sat down to chat with Wey on what his conversations revolve around, and why he chose this line of work. 

Steve Guitar, City of Grand Rapids

  

“The Grand Rapids neighborhood summit is a daylong opportunity for residents and stakeholders to come together to get to know each other build relationships and also build awareness and skills to take back into their communities to strengthen neighborhoods and to advance equity from wherever they are and from wherever they lead.”

That is Stacy Stout – she is the assistant to the City Manager of Grand Rapids. She says this is the fifth year the city will be hosting the daylong conference. An endeavor she says that has taken a year to plan for.