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Traci Whiting, Coordinadora del Grupo Minoritario de Gilda's Club

Leaders of color are empowering southeast community to take charge of breast health

In Grand Rapids, black women are being diagnosed with breast cancer at higher rates than white women. Their diagnoses are coming at later stages of the cancer due to a lack of access to preventative screenings and ability to afford treatment. Educators, residents and advocates in the southeast neighborhood of Grand Rapids are taking charge to address these disparities and bring about systemic change in healthcare for black residents.

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From successful entrepreneurs, words of wisdom on networking: ‘Just do it’

When starting your own business, going to events and meeting people might be low on the list of things to do. It shouldn't be. Networking is a key part to building a successful business, and entrepreneurs who don't do it are missing out.

From left, Thomas Hopper, Kevin Ricco and Valerie Byrnes.

How the Muskegon Innovation Hub is driving entrepreneurship & transforming the business landscape

As entrepreneurs increasingly turn to Muskegon, the business community is transforming and growing. Behind this change is a major player that's working to ensure residents with a dream of starting their own company are encouraged and supported: the Muskegon Innovation Hub.

Walther Farms

Potatoes, pop and Jiffy corn muffins: Michigan's agri-businesses thrive and reinvest

Agriculture, food processors, and related businesses employ 923,000 Michiganders — 22 percent of the state’s workforce. March is the month the state sets aside to thanks its farmers and recognize the industry’s many career opportunities.

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A more welcoming city: DisArt symposium is changing the way GR approaches disability

Is it possible to create a more inclusive, welcoming city? DisArt Symposium: Disability Arts Now looks to be a part of that answer. 

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Space for everyone: Friends of Grand Rapids Parks' new director sets sights on equity & access

Stephanie Adams, the new executive director at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, is laying the groundwork for an ambitious tenure that includes strengthening neighborhoods’ access to nature and exercise, improving green space in areas that have historically been marginalized and disenfranchised, unifying communities through parks, and more.

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Constructing the future: How construction is paving the way for a growing Grand Rapids

As the Grand Rapids area's population continues to grow faster than anywhere else in the state, construction companies and workers are some of the biggest players helping to mold the city's quickly changing landscape. In this new series from Rapid Growth, we take a closer look at the region's construction industry and the numerous organizations, trends and innovations seeking to create positive advances in our community.

Beth George

RapidChat: Beth George on how to fight sex trafficking in our own community

Whether you have no idea that it exists, or merely have heard that it is happening, the sex trafficking industry is a serious global issue that is happening before our very own eyes. You can help take a stand against this modern day slavery by supporting a business that's right here in our community. Director of Field Development at Better Way Imports, Beth George, explains.

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In a world of uncertainty & struggle, advocates give voice to parents and students

As families in the southeast side of Grand Rapids face difficulty accessing housing, meeting basic needs, and even fears of potential deportation, community leaders in the schools are working hard to provide them with resources and support. 

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En medio de la incertidumbre y dificultad, defensores le dan voz a estudiantes y padres

Mientras tanto las familias del sureste de Grand Rapids enfrentan dificultades para acceder a vivienda, obtener las necesidades basicas y aun mas, el temor a ser deportados, los lideres de las comunidades en las escuelas trabajan muy duramente para proveerles y apoyarles. 

Chavez

Sí, se puede! Grand Rapidians march to support immigrants, farm workers in West Michigan

Grand Rapidians took to the streets for the annual César E. Chávez Social Justice March, calling for the respect, dignity and protection of all immigrants and emphasizing the driving force that migrant and seasonal farm workers play in the economy of West Michigan and the country.

Wende Randall

UIX: Essential Needs Task Force is rethinking the way Kent County addresses poverty

When families have to choose between paying utility bills and affording food, it's hard to find hope. For the many faced with that decision in Kent County, the Essential Needs Task Force is a crucially supportive resource.

Patty Eilers, resident of the Southeast community of Grand Rapids

Rising rents & displacement: The need for affordable housing in Grand Rapids

Residents in the city's' southeast neighborhood are facing displacement from communities they have long been a part of due to the increasing costs of housing. Here, residents, grassroots organizers, and city leaders are working together to find solutions to the housing crisis happening in Grand Rapids.

Pop Pop's Gourmet Pop Corn

Kernel of an idea grows into family popcorn business under Michigan Cottage Food Law

Gene and Patricia McFarland have built their gourmet popcorn business from a home kitchen operation to a successful storefront where they sell their handcrafted flavored popcorn.

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How one environmentalist is leading the charge to clean up the polluted Muskegon Lake

Growing up, Dennis Kirksey never wondered why Muskegon Lake was polluted. Now he chairs the organization that's working to clean it up. Here's how he got involved.
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