Letter from the editor: Reflecting on 2021 as we begin navigating the new year

As 2022 gets underway, let's take a few moments to reflect on 2021. COVID-19 certainly continued to present us with challenges. Whether one was determining if or how to gather with loved ones, whether or not to get vaccinated or just how to stay plugged in, last year threw us some curveballs.

In addition to the ongoing pandemic, topics including housing, transportation, accessibility, literacy, food justice and education continued to be at the forefront as well. Last year, we had the privilege of connecting with local organizations including The Rapid, the City of Grand Rapids, Kent District Library, Grand Valley State University, Spectrum Health and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation in order to focus on these areas and more.

Despite all of the hurdles 2021 brought, the community was still able to come together and find opportunities to shine.

Throughout the publication, you will find new voices, stories of inspiration and calls-to-action, highlighting how people can step up and get involved.

Take a look back with us at 10 of the most impactful stories of 2021.

Feeding the soul and the mind: How KDL serves lifelong learners in the aging population

The “new” MLK Neighborhood Association – Developing neighborhood block champions

Black, woman engineer addresses STEM at the roots

Economic development in outskirt communities of Kent County and innovative transportation solutions

MLK Freedom School – Empowerment through urban agriculture and food justice

Balm Tattooing: Bodyart can be more than skin-deep

The Home Accessibility Center will help people with disabilities imagine possibilities

How one Grand Rapids community is fighting for equitable health care access

Pedestrian safety concerns and accidents prompt city planning and infrastructure changes

Latino Outdoors encourages Latinx community to get outdoors and reclaim nature

Thank you for allowing us to help you communicate your stories. I am looking forward to what our team will be able to highlight this year. If you have a topic you’d like to share, feel free to reach out to me.

Best regards,
Leandra Nisbet
Managing Editor


About Leandra Nisbet: Leandra Nisbet, Owner of Stingray Advisory Group LLC and Co-Owner of Brightwork Marine LLC, has 15+ years of experience in leadership, sales & marketing, and graphic design. She helps businesses grow and assists with: strategic planning, marketing concept development/implementation, risk management, and financial organization. She is actively involved in the community, sitting on several Boards and committees, and has been recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 Business Leaders in Grand Rapids.

Contact Leandra Nisbet by email at [email protected]!