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RapidChat Features

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.

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.

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.

Ted Velie

RapidChat: Ted Velie on Michigan House at SXSW, supporting our state's growing art scene & more

As Grand Rapids continues to grow and mature, conversations surrounding the arts community within our city are becoming increasingly relevant -- most notably when it comes to talent retention. Creator of Middle West Creative Ted Velie and a handful of his partners around town saw an opportunity to take Michigan and its culture on the road.  From that, Michigan House emerged.

Graci Harkema

RapidChat: Graci Harkema

Days after being born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Graci Harkema was placed for adoption at a local orphanage. After being given only 12 to 24 hours to live, she was adopted by her (now) parents. Following her move to Grand Rapids as a child, Harkema has gone on to become one of the city's most passionate leaders, fighting for everything from LGBTQ rights to racial equality and more.
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