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Lauren Carlson

A fond farewell and the changing of the guard

Rapid Growth's Publisher Tommy Allen pays tribute to our former Editor Anna Gustafson as he introduces our new Editor Lauren Carlson. Please join us in celebrating these two innovative women of Rapid Growth. 

FaizShakir

ACLU West Michigan hosts National Political Director Faiz Shakir

Faiz Shakir, the new national political director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is the special guest speaker at the ACLU of Michigan Standing Together for Justice Annual Luncheon on Thursday, May 11 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Starting his new position in January of this year, Shakir has already made great strides as one the youngest senior staff members of the 97-year old organization. With the goal of implementing grass-roots organizing on a national scale, Shakir aims to reimagine the mission of the ACLU to empower everyone to be an agent for change. 

Diane Devereaux

UIX: Canning Diva Diane Devereaux brings can-do attitude to changing how we eat

When it comes to food, perhaps no innovation has transformed what, how, when, and even where we eat more than preservation. And in West Michigan, the "Canning Diva" is helping others understand that innovation in new ways.

A meeting at Left Right Boom.

How coworking spaces are growing an entrepreneurial community in Grand Rapids

Coworking spaces in Grand Rapids are creating a place for entrepreneurs, creatives and the community to connect and collaborate. Venues like The Factory, The Space at Start Garden, Left Right Boom Collaborative, and Urban LINC offer more than just a spot to work. They are providing members with the support and educational opportunities needed in a city that aims to be synonymous with entrepreneurship.

jarradgrandy

As construction industry faces shortage of workers, West Michigan groups innovate to fill gap

In what has become a national trend, West Michigan's construction industry is facing a serious shortage of workers — and even more talent will be needed in the near future. To address this, local trade alliances and educational leaders are rising to the challenge and are helping to provide local training programs and shape the future of construction in the region.

Tendai Masiriri

RapidChat: Heartside Ministry's new director Tendai Masiriri on his journey from Zimbabwe to GR

Growing up in Zimbabwe, Tendai Masiriri was inspired at an early age to want to make a difference in other people's lives. He started down a career path of social work, and now, about a quarter century later, he is the executive director of Heartside Ministry.

LOK

Intersections of race and class: The food divide in Grand Rapids' southeast community

What is your income? Where do you live? What color is your skin? These questions shouldn't matter when it comes to getting food. But they do, and residents and organizers in southeast Grand Rapids are working to change this by providing equitable access to affordable and healthy food for everyone.

Tommie Johnson

The people changing our city: A day in the life of SE community leader Tommie Johnson

This past week, we had the great privilege to spend a day with Tommie Johnson: a teacher, advocate and resident of the southeast community of Grand Rapids.

pe13

Las personas transformando nuestra ciudad: un día en la vida de un líder del SE de GR Tommie Johnson

La semana pasada tuvimos el gran privilegio y oportunidad de pasar un día en la vida de Tommie Johnson: maestro, defensor de la comunidad y residente del sureste de Grand Rapids.

FTfarmbillemma

From organic farming to affording groceries: How the Farm Bill shapes GR's food landscape

Why should you care about the Farm Bill if you're not a farmer? Well, for starters, the legislation that's expected to be renewed next year could seriously harm farmers' markets and smaller farms. Leaders in Grand Rapids' food and agriculture scene explain what this massive bill could mean for our city, and why residents need to be paying attention.

FTMarcelPrice1

A brutal (and joyful) honesty: GR Poet Laureate Marcel Price shines light on mental health, race

Marcel "Fable" Price is breaking all kinds of barriers with his poetry, and now he's doing the same by being appointed the Grand Rapids poet laureate. A writer who uses his words to tackle mental illness and racial identity, Price is the first person of color, as well as the youngest individual, to be named the city's poet laureate. 

Chief Rahinsky and Mari Beth Jelks speak about the traffic stop study during a public meeting.

Racial profiling in Grand Rapids: How the city is tackling major changes in law enforcement

A new study confirms what many people of color have known for years: black drivers are far more likely to be stopped by police in Grand Rapids than white motorists. Now, city officials and community leaders are planning for widespread systemic change to address racism and racial bias in law enforcement.

FTtommy

G-Sync: Words, like “I’m sorry,” still matter in this modern world

In Grand Rapids, a group of mothers whose unarmed sons were stopped at gunpoint by police are seeking an apology, and it is Rapid Growth Publisher Tommy Allen's hope that they get it. Here, Allen explains why he believes an "I'm sorry" is not only possible, but necessary.

Shukri Bana

RapidChat: Shukri Bana on growing up Muslim in post-9/11 America, feminism, empowering youth & more

Post-9/11, growing up Muslim in the United States has posed some unique challenges for Shukri Bana. From a young age, there was an intense pressure to not be seen or read as a threat. Voicelessness was one of her biggest fears, but she has since gone on to learn that there is no such thing—and she's working to make sure others understand the same.

OTG71

Together in faith on Burton Street

How do we begin to change the cultural narrative of hate, anxiety and fear towards people of different faiths? For these three congregations in Grand Rapids, the answer starts with sharing food and creating new friendships together on Burton Street.
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