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WGVU to address racial disparities through community engagement

  • WGVU Public Media

Posted on March 15, 2018

WGVU Public Media will launch "Shaping Narratives," a project aimed at increasing West Michigan's capacity to influence public narratives affecting children and families of color. 

The project is funded by a $538,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.

"Shaping Narratives enables WGVU to strengthen its mission and commitment to inclusion and equity," said Michael Walenta, WGVU general manager. "We are a trusted and neutral convener in West and Southwest Michigan around critical issues."

The first strategy is to produce media that sparks community conversations, including a series of radio reports, social media videos and documentaries that explore matters affecting minorities.

Collaborating with a host of partners, WGVU will also provide workshops in civic engagement, leadership and media production, to community leaders in Grand Rapids. 

"Simply put, people of color don't have enough access to platforms where issues that affect them are decided and the objective of the grant is to change that," said Steve Chappell, WGVU grant writer. 

This effort follows a two-year partnership between WGVU's Mutually Inclusive programming, hosted and produced by journalist Mariano Avila, and the Kellogg Foundation. 

About WGVU

WGVU Public Media's continued mission is to provide educational, informative and entertaining programs and events to the community as a service of Grand Valley State University. WGVU is proud to serve the 28 counties of West and Southwest Michigan providing PBS programming on television, and is the only local NPR radio station affiliate in the area. WGVU offers the opportunity to explore new ideas through television, radio and online. More information about WGVU is available at www.wgvu.org, or follow WGVU on Twitter or like WGVU on Facebook.

About W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States, and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF places priority on Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, on Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.