Mutually Inclusive

A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Taylor Running / Taylor J. Photography

The author of the Grand Rapids book of the year, A City within A City, held a speaking tour in Grand Rapids last week. Todd Robinson’s A City Within A City is a history of the African American community in Grand Rapids up until 1975. Mayor Rosalynn Bliss made it the Community Reading Project’s book of the year. Which may be part of why Robinson’s talks, including one at the LINC-up Gallery, were packed.

Randy Stobl / WGVU

A minority infant in west Michigan is two to four times more likely to die before the age of one than a white infant. WGVU’s Mutually Inclusive takes a look at the how and why.

“So, infant mortality varies dramatically across communities. And that’s something that people don’t quite understand, is infant mortality is a white-glove test for how well a community is taking care of it’s most vulnerable citizens.”

That’s Cathy Kothari, professor at Western Michigan University’s school of medicine.

Mariano Avila / WGVU

  Increased theft of car wheels and tires in Grand Rapids and Kent County are now on The Grand Rapids Police Department’s radar.

The Grand Rapids Police Department sent out a release urging citizens to be careful where they park their vehicles as several have ended up on bricks in the past couple of weeks. Sgt. Keith Hefner of the Combined Auto Theft Team at GRPD:

Mariano Avila / WGVU

A Rockford Construction proposal for development in the Madison neighborhood got concerned neighbors to City Council last night. 

Rockford Construction wrote an internal, 43-page proposal that LINC Community Revitalization posted on its website last week. That generated concerns of gentrification among residents of the Madison neighborhood. Among them Mary Van Poolen.

Mariano Avila / WGVU

The nation’s foremost academic on urban gentrification gave a talk at GVSU yesterday. Lance Freeman literally wrote the book most urban planners reference regarding gentrification.

“Gentrification is typically defined as when a neighborhood that has experienced divestment, property decline, depopulation, experiences an influx of more affluent residents and investment.”

Sounds great, right? Except when the net outcome is that original residents can’t afford to live in their own neighborhoods. But even if they can:

Mariano Avila / WGVU

There was basically one central message at the second Grand Rapids Neighborhood Summit. Here’s Mayor Rosalynn Bliss with the most concise version:

“So your voice matters, I think that’s the big message today. Your voice matters. We want you to have an opportunity to give input on what we need to do to move forward.”

Mariano Avila / WGVU

LINC Community Revitalization posted a press release accusing Rockford Construction of using their name to further development plans in Southeast Grand Rapids. 

“The plans that we came across, they had indicated that there was initial conversations with some organizations, a list of other organizations that they intended to converse with. LINC’s name was listed as an organization that they had initial conversations with. But we really have not met with Rockford staff about anything within these plans.”