G-Sync: Getting to the heart of community takes conversations

Getting to the heart of community takes dialogue. Rapid Growth's Publisher Tommy Allen's first seven interviews of the year are shared here along with thoughts on why localism still matters ... maybe more than ever.
Last week, the NY Times released a fine and insightful piece on the rise of localism in the face of declining actions at the State and Federal level of governing. 

In the piece by David Brooks, “The Localist Revolution,” he writes, “Localism is thriving — as a philosophy and a way of doing things — because the national government is dysfunctional while many towns are reviving.”

This is not a new topic to those who read Rapid Growth, since they know we are committed to showcasing those voices who are making a difference here in the lives of the citizens who live, work, and play in this region of Michigan.

When we started our journey in 2006, Grand Rapids was a fly-over city. Rapid Growth has, like our Greater Grand Rapids area, evolved into a complex space where residents with an eye on national and state news seek to forge — often against all odds — a new way of seeing ourselves as a region through the solutions we are discovering, often together. 

This recap and revisit of these first seven pieces are listed below and seek to help showcase some of these conversations that are happening all over the community. 

It is our hope that we can encourage other folks to slow down as they invite people back to the public table, whether it be in a neighborhood pub or a city park. Here in these smallish spaces, big ideas can emerge and shifts can occur through meaningful dialogue. It is our hope to continue to a part of this vital community dialogue as we seek to forge a more enriched and informative path for our citizens as we seek to grow together.

We look forward to continuing these rooted-in-community dialogues throughout the rest of the year. 

G-Sync’s Community Conversations: 


Jennifer Jurgens
 — An emerging tech leader shares the path she took to get where she is today. The future is indeed female and Jurgens shows us the human side of her personal journey. This bommerang citizen is making her mark here because of what she learned while out of town. 


DACA residents
 — A look at what it is like to be living as a DACA recipient while making a home in West Michigan. A married couple sits down to share insights and why we should all be paying attention to this matter. You might be surprised at what you hear from these two who live and work among us.

Tommie Wallace — A Heartside artist with a lifetime commitment to bringing an updated vision of blackness via art to our region/nation.


Bruce Barcott
 — The Guggenheim Fellow and Leafly's Deputy Editor comes to Grand Rapids on 420 Day for a community dialogue session around the emerging cannabis industry boom. The timing is important to better educate the public on the eve of the big vote in November as citizens decide whether to legalize cannabis or not.


Marching without fear
- A photo-rich document of Movimiento Cosecha GR’s May Day march as they to seek Michigan driver's licenses for all. Publisher Tommy Allen reflects on following the parade route from the Roosevelt Park neighborhood as the members march to Calder Plaza.


Pat Perry
 — An international emerging artist is about to have a new body of work released to the world from his travels around the country, but before this massive collection of paintings arrives at UICA this fall, we sat down with the former Grand Rapidian to learn more from this gentle giant of art and design. (Also, Perry created the massive building wrapped in a mural project for Madcap on Fulton.)


Lessons from emerging cultures
 — A look at three groups who have advanced counter culture and how it has helped shape cities. This piece in an intergenerational that reaches back in time as well as reflecting our present. As Allen often states in meetings, the counter culture is worth protecting and promoting because from it comes innovative programming that can shape the economics of a region through their contributions. 
 
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