11:37 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Michigan’s ALPACTs work behind the scenes to prevent Ferguson-style conflict

Last week, two key events in the arena of civil rights took place within days of each other, though one received much more attention than the other. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released a stinging report on the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri police department. Three days before, a presidential task force submitted a report offering recommendations for building trust between communities and the police. Here in Michigan, a sustained effort to create that sense of trust has been quietly underway for years.

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Arts & Culture
11:19 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Artist, activist Harry Belafonte speaks at MSU

Harry Belafonte speaks on the MSU campus today, part of the Slavery to Freedom lecture series.
Credit Courtesy photo

EDITOR'S NOTE: This interview has been edited from its original airing on 90.5 FM and AM 870 WKAR.

He was born in Harlem, but he had a voice that came straight from Haiti. He’s won three of the entertainment industry’s Big Four: three Grammys, an Emmy and a Tony. A star of the stage and the studio, and a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He's the legendary Harry Belafonte. Today, he’ll speak at Michigan State University about his passion for civil rights.

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Arts & Culture
11:39 am
Tue January 27, 2015

"Master Harold" tackles racism and relationships

The three principal actors in "Master Harold and the Boys" rehearse at the Wharton Center. The show runs January 30 and 31. From left: Gavin Lawrence, Shawn Hamilton, and Justin Dietzel.
Credit http://www.whartoncenter.com

The Wharton Center at Michigan State University is preparing to host its next theatrical production this weekend. “Master Harold and the Boys” by Athol Fugard is a story of friendship, racism, and hope. The play will be performed Friday and Saturday at Wharton Center.

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10:25 am
Mon September 15, 2014

NPR's Michele Norris brings Race Card Project to MSU

Michele Norris speaks at MSU tonight.
Credit michele-norris.com - Mary Noble Ours

To longtime NPR listeners, Michele Norris is a familiar voice. She’s the former co-host of All Things Considered, and is the curator of the Race Card Project. Her memoir, “The Grace of Silence,” is one of the offerings in the most recent “One Book, One Community” program.

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Politics & Government
12:51 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Civil Rights icon John Lewis tells students to 'get into good trouble'

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) was one of the original Freedom Riders, directed the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and led the march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on 'Bloody Sunday' in 1965. Lewis was in East Lansing to talk to MSU students and community members. His book, "'March: Book One,' is this year's 'One Book, One Community' selection.
Credit WKAR/Kevin Lavery

It’s back to school week for thousands of students at Michigan State University. In between moving into their dorm rooms and finding their way around campus, freshmen have been reading this year’s “One Book, One Community” selection. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia has written a graphic novel called “March: Book One.”

Lewis was in East Lansing Monday to speak to MSU freshmen and to meet members of the community.  Current State's Kevin Lavery spent a few minutes with the civil rights icon.

Politics & Government
12:10 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Former WKAR producer updates Ferguson aftermath

Former Current State producer Emanuele Berry is covering the Michael Brown story for KWMU in St. Louis.
Credit WKAR

Michael Brown is being laid to rest today in Ferguson, Missouri, 16 days after the young African-American was killed by a white police officer. Unrest that was the rule in the days following the shooting has abated in the St. Louis suburb, but a host of critical questions remain unanswered.

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Politics & Government
12:59 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Trayvon Martin's family attorney on latest 'Stand Your Ground' cases

Crump says that Michael Dunn, like George Zimmerman, was able to escape criminal liability.
Credit parkscrump.com

 Tomorrow is the second anniversary of the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. George Zimmerman shot the unarmed teenager while on a neighborhood watch patrol. Claiming self defense under Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, Zimmerman was ultimately acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges. Attorney Benjamin Crump has represented the interests of Martin’s family. He has a speaking engagement tonight in Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:00 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Housing discrimination pervasive but subtle

Kisch says that testing, such as setting up a fake housing offer, is the only way to uncover illegal housing discrimination in cases of race and national origin.
Credit Flickr - YST

Housing discrimination is often difficult to even notice, much less prove. Landlords who don’t want to rent to someone based on their race, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation many times have what seem like legitimate excuses that are often delivered with a “smile and a handshake.”

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:57 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Current State #197 | November 7, 2013

Today on Current State: Michigan human trafficking report released; destruction from MSU football tailgating; an 'Interrupting Racism' workshop; and Asian-American stereotypes in the media.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:35 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Workshop uses role-play to combat racism

The workshop 'Interrupting Racism' helps provide tools to help address racism as it is happening, like offensive remarks made by relatives during the holidays.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The holidays are approaching, which means sharing food and gifts and catching up with friends and extended family. For some, it also means being subjected to a racist relative’s offensive rants.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:25 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Expert: Media often depict Asians as model minority

Shilpa Davé says that 'The Mindy Project' starring Mindy Kaling is interesting because even though she is Asian American, that is not the central focus of her identity on the show.
Credit http://www.fox.com/

Mass media is often criticized for its lack of diversity and stereotypical portrayals. Shilpa Davé, Assistant Professor in American Studies and Media Studies at the University of Virginia, says those criticisms often stem from a black and white view of race in America, leaving out important parts of the U.S. cultural landscape such as Asian Americans.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:58 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Do car companies perpetuate stereotypes in their ads?

Jalopnik's Aaron Foley singles out this ad for the Toyota Prius as an example of the auto industry's stereotypical marketing to minorities. 

Target marketing is nothing new. From their cleaning products to fast food to pick-up trucks, companies have been directing their advertising at certain segments of the population for ages. But when does target marketing cross the line from just good commerce into perpetuating stereotypes about certain groups in our society?

Aaron Foley, a Detroit-based writer for Jalopnik – Gawker Media’s popular blog on cars – had a post on the subject last Friday in which he wrote,  “As a minority, it’s borderline insulting that automakers are over-thinking this.”  He says that the auto manufacturers are particularly egregious offenders of using stereotypes to market their products to minorities. He joins us to elaborate.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:52 am
Thu May 23, 2013

New book discusses Detroit race relations

Darden's book discussed how the residents of Detroit can improve not only their lives but the town itself.
Credit Flickr

The last few years have brought significant changes to the city of Detroit. A financial emergency was declared, and despite opposition from residents and the city council, a financial manager was appointed. And just this month, Mayor Dave Bing announced he would step down from office at the end of his term—and a crowded field of new candidates announced their intentions.

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6:22 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Appeals Court Strikes Down MI Affirmative Action Ban

Credit Kevin Rosseel / morgueFile

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Michigan’s voter-approved ban on race-based affirmative action in state university admissions and public employment. 

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2:16 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Lansing to host inaugural marathon April 22

Organizers in Lansing are counting down to April, when the city will hold its inaugural marathon.  

The Lansing Marathon will take place April 22 and cover a standard 26.2 mile course.  The race will start outside the Accident Fund Insurance building in downtown Lansing, cross into East Lansing near Michigan State University, turn south to Holt, back into Lansing via Potter Park and end at the Capitol.  Race director Owen Anderson says he's studied marathons in similarly sized communities, and finds they bring strong economic benefits.

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