When I was writing my recent article “Flint’s Water Problems are the Symptom, not the Disease” I ran across this LA Times op-ed piece by Andrew Highsmith, a U-M grad who now teaches history at UC Irvine. I found it interesting because Andrew views the Flint crisis from an objective historical perspective, and cites specific government policies that led to the city’s demise. Andrew has also written a book, “Demolition Means Progress,” which details how the urban renewal campaigns carried out in Flint resulted in a more divided and impoverished city.
See the article summary below, and click on the link to view the entire article on the LA Times web site.
In the fall of 1966, African American activists from the impoverished North End of Flint, Michigan, turned out en masse for a series of hearings on racial inequality sponsored by the state’s Civil Rights Commission. One of those who testified, Ailene Butler, drew links between the segregationist policies that had created the North End and the corporate practices that had immiserated its inhabitants.
Source: Flint’s toxic water crisis was 50 years in the making
Article in Belt Magazine – Dispatches from the Rust Belt
These past few months, the news has been full of stories about the water contamination in Flint, Michigan. As a native of the city with family and friends who still live there, this story has been particularly painful. The reality of the situation, however, is that even if Fiji water flowed from Flint faucets, the residents there would still be suffering from decades of neglect and disinvestment. My recent article, published in Belt (as in “Rust Belt”) Magazine, chronicles Flint’s decline in personal terms, and describes what must be done to reestablish Flint to what it once was – a model city.
To read the article in Belt Magazine, click on the link below.
Source: Flint’s Water Problems are the Symptom, Not the Disease | Belt Magazine | Dispatches From The Rust Belt
To get a PDF file of the original article text, click here.
2015 was a year of anniversaries – some happy, some sad, some bittersweet. As each anniversary came and went this year, I made a mental note, but didn’t otherwise recognize it. Doing so distracted me from the flow of daily events, and besides that, it made me feel old. However, sitting here on the eve of the eve of a new year, I feel like collecting and recognizing these anniversaries. If you were a part of any of them, you know how special they were. Continue reading
This Sunday, July 12, I have the honor of being the Festival Speaker at Christ the King church in Flint, Michigan. Always great to go back home and see so many long-standing friends. Thanks to Father Phil Schmitter for the invitation. I’m still settling on my topic . The problem is that there are so dang many to choose from! If you’re in the Flint area this Sunday, come on over — we’ll have a good time. When? Immediately after 9:45 am service.
It was hard to watch the images coming out of Baltimore last week. Seeing Freddy Gray’s life cut short, a man who was the same age as my own son, was tragic enough. The ensuing protests, the riot, the wall-to-wall media coverage, the talk about urban hopelessness, lack of opportunity, poor education – all of this was unsurprising, if not downright predictable. This is a story that is getting very old, about a situation for which solutions exist, solutions that are not even being attempted. That is precisely why the story is so hard to watch. Continue reading
Yes, Michigan roads are horrible, and they need to be fixed for the sake of public safety and to enhance the state’s competitiveness. However, I intend to vote NO on Prop 1 for two main reasons. Continue reading
Yes, of course I realize that 2015 has arrived, but in many ways i’m just not ready to accept that fact. Perhaps that is why I’m just now getting around to sending out a New Year post on January 8. I happen to be sitting at home in front of my computer, getting ready to head over to Ann Arbor and greet a fresh new class of U-M IOE 422 Entrepreneurship students. I had to first pause and send this missive though, because if I don’t do so today I might not get around to it before May or June. Continue reading
I hope you and your family are experiencing peace, love, joy, and hope this holiday season. I am grateful for many blessings, not least the support of many family members, friends, and colleagues.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
For the past several months, I’ve been leading a talented team working to bring an important event to our area! Finally, this event is just around the corner — it’s the Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium taking place on October 10, 2014. Momentum is building, and we’re hoping you’ll attend and help us spread the word by emailing a personal invitation to your friends and colleagues. We have provided a template below.
Click here to get your own ticket — space is limited! We appreciate your support and hope to see you at the event.
You are cordially invited to attend the 2014 Urban Entrepreneurship Symposium. Join us as representatives from business, education, government, and communities gather to explore ways to apply entrepreneurship to benefit urban communities.
Key topics at the seminar will include:
- Proven methods for engaging urban communities to determine needs, and for translating those needs into products and services
- Vivid examples of sustainable, scalable, and disruptive businesses that are solving important urban problems
- Student-led business ideas that show promise for changing the urban social and economic landscape.
- Strategic, legal, and financial support systems needed to ensure the success of urban entrepreneurs.
The morning keynote speaker is Dr. Jeffrey Robinson from the Rutgers University Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED), a leading figure in the urban entrepreneurship movement. The luncheon will feature a talk by Jill Ford, special assistant to the mayor of Detroit for entrepreneurship initiatives.
The event is free, but space is limited. Visit www.urbanei.net for tickets and see attached flyer for printing.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library
1000 Beal Ave. ▪ Ann Arbor, Michigan ▪ 48109