MLK Jr. Day 2022: Democracy Now posts “MLK Day Special: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in His Own Words”

Please enjoy this video and excerpts from Dr. King’s April 4, 1967 and April 3, 1968 speeches reposted from Democracy Now.

WATCH HERE

Today is the federal holiday that honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was born January 15, 1929. He was assassinated April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just 39 years old. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People’s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy and the Vietnam War. We play his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, which he delivered at New York City’s Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, as well as his last speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” that he gave on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated.

Seasons Greetings from OKT!

May you enjoy every happiness, find hope in any grief, connect with those you love,
and grow justice wherever the new year takes you.

Talk to a Troublemaker: Livestream about Community Solar

Join the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition tomorrow, Tuesday (11/16) for the latest installment of Talk to a Troublemaker with the Work for Me, DTE crew! Michelle Jones, Mama Shu, and Layla Elabed will talk about community solar — and how its benefits, like healthier communities, lower bills, and stopping shutoffs, come directly from community control.

Layla & Michelle will shed light on the latest on DTE’s latest efforts to obstruct community solar,  and evade accountability for massive power outages this summer. Together, MEJC, Soulardarity, and We the People MI traveled to Lansing last month to testify at the House Energy Committee’s hearing on power outages. Chair Bellino — who, among 11 of the committee members, accepted $1000 from a DTE PAC within days of the hearing — denied us the chance to speak.

Bring your questions and perhaps, an end-of-day snack. You can join us via Zoom or tune in on Facebook Live.

PODCAST: Can COVID help us close gaps in Michigan’s food supply chain?

Reposted from Second Wave Michigan

LISTEN HERE

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on food insecurity and food systems. According to an estimate by Northwestern University, the pandemic more than doubled food insecurity in America, affecting nearly a quarter of all U.S. households last year. Here in Michigan, one and a quarter million people have received expanded emergency food assistance benefits during the pandemic. The pandemic opened many Michiganders’ eyes to food supply chain issues they’d never considered before. And while the darkest days of COVID-prompted food insecurity may be behind us, major gaps in Michigan’s food system remain.

Meghan McDermott, director of programs at Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, discusses how we can draw from COVID’s lessons to continue strengthening Michigan’s food system in the long run. Meghan has helped spearhead multiple programs to address food insecurity in Northwest Michigan during the pandemic. We talked about the massive challenges COVID created for Northwest Michigan residents and farmers, and how we all can help to build a stronger, healthier food system in Michigan.

COVID-19 Vaccines Available to Children 5 to 11


The Kent County Health Department (KCHD) is currently taking appointments for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for this age group. In addition, extended clinic hours at all locations will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 and Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021 from 8 a.m. until 11:45 a.m. and from 12:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Appointments can be made for all three KCHD clinic locations during regular business hours by calling (616) 632-7200.

A parent or legal guardian is required to attend the vaccination appointment or send an attestation form with an adult who is at least 18 years old, stating they are legally allowed to sign on behalf of any minor child for the vaccine. This adult should be familiar with the medical history of the child.

“We are tremendously excited to be able to provide this next wave of vaccines to younger children,” says Mary Wisinski, KCHD Immunizations Supervisor. “We have seen an increase in the number of children being infected with COVID-19 since this summer. This vaccine not only protects them, but it will help slow the transmission of the disease in our community. Vaccinating just one child has the potential to save many lives.”

Like the adult version, this vaccine entails two shots of a vaccine, given at least three weeks apart. However, the dose is approximately a third of what adults received. Also, different packaging will be used to guard against mix-ups and smaller needles will likely be used.

Among its findings during clinical testing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found that the Pfizer vaccine was 90.7 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in children 5 to 11. The vaccine safety was studied in approximately 3,100 children aged 5 to 11 with no serious side effects detected in the ongoing study. Currently, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for use in children ages 5 to 11.
El Departamento de Salud del Condado de Kent (Kent County Health Department) ofrecerá la vacuna contra el COVID-19 a niños de 5 a 11 años
El martes, los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) de EE. UU. autorizaron el uso de emergencia para la vacuna contra el COVID-19 desarrollada por Pfizer y su socio BioNTech a partir del viernes para los niños de 5 a 11 años.

Como resultado de este desarrollo, el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Kent (KCHD) actualmente está programando citas para la vacuna contra el COVID-19 de Pfizer BioNTech para este grupo etario. Además, todos los centros tendrán un horario extendido el martes 9 de noviembre y el martes 16 de noviembre de 2021 de 8 a. m. a 11:45 a. m. y de 12:45 p. m. a 6:45 p. m. Las citas pueden programarse para los tres centros del KCHD llamando al (616) 632-7200 durante el horario de atención habitual.

Se requiere que el padre, la madre o el tutor legal asista a la cita de vacunación o que envíe una certificación con un adulto de al menos 18 años de edad que indique que este cuenta con la autorización legal para firmar en nombre del menor para la vacuna. Este adulto debe estar familiarizado con los antecedentes médicos del menor.

“Nos complace enormemente poder ofrecer esta próxima ola de vacunas a los niños más pequeños”, expresó Mary Wisinski, supervisora de vacunación del KCHD. “Detectamos un aumento en la cantidad de niños infectados con COVID-19 desde este verano. Esta vacuna los protege a ellos y también ayudará a disminuir la transmisión de la enfermedad en nuestra comunidad. Vacunar a un solo niño tiene el potencial de salvar muchas vidas”.

Al igual que la versión para adultos, esta vacuna requiere dos dosis, que se administran con una diferencia de al menos tres semanas una de otra. Sin embargo, la dosis es aproximadamente un tercio de la dosis para adultos. Además, se utilizará un empaquetado diferente para evitar confusiones, así como es probable que se usen agujas más pequeñas.

Kent County Food Policy Council interview with Lisa Oliver-King published in The Rapidian.

Lisa Oliver-King, Director of Our Kitchen Table (OKT), shares her food experiences, more about OKT’s work and her vision for a more just, equitable food system in Kent County

Earlier this year, the Kent County Food Policy Council launched to strengthen and grow the food system in Kent County. As we build momentum, discuss, and prioritize issues, we are gathering information and engaging with our community through a project called Everybody Eats: Highlighting Food Experiences in Kent County. Through this project, we are inviting our community to share their experiences with our food system and highlight the good food work that is already happening here. 

Below is an interview with Lisa Oliver-King, Director of Our Kitchen Table (OKT), a grass-roots, nonprofit organization serving greater Grand Rapids. OKT promotes social justice and empowers our neighbors to improve their health and environment through information, community organizing and advocacy. Lisa was a formation team member of the Kent County Food Policy Council. Thank you, Lisa, for your good food work and sharing your thoughts with us!  

Tell me about your relationship with food. 

Lisa: My relationship with food has been built over time. As a child, my mother would prepare different meals for my siblings and I so that we could eat what we really wanted to eat, sometimes she would make each of us a different meal. During the holidays, my family would be up until 3 or 4 in the morning making everything from scratch. My family always really bonded over food. We also had hard times. At one point, the gas in our house was shut off for a week so we had ham in many different forms. Although we got tired of ham, we still ate. 

My family was always involved in every process of food: picking some of our own produce, going to get meat from a butcher, helping with preparation, cooking, and cleaning up before and after meals. These experiences gave me an appreciation for food.  

A big part of my relationship with food is connection. We use food in my family to release tension in difficult conversations. If there is something that my husband or my kids and I need to discuss, we will come to the kitchen table and set out blueberries or other snacks and use that as a buffer or comfort in our conversations. 

Food is so much more than something that we eat…we use it on our skin, we can drink it: it has a greater purpose than solely being consumed. And as I get older, I appreciate the earth more, I appreciate farmers more, I appreciate the importance of food subsidies more. 

In what way does your organization engage in the local food system? 

Lisa: Our Kitchen Table works with people who do not have a good relationship with food. We have to think about why that is and if there is anything that we can do to change that. We look at the whole entity: how food smells, the preparation, harvesting, growing, and cooking food. We try to walk people through every aspect of their relationship with food.  

We work to figure out what experience we can create. One of the ways that we do that is by providing people with a food garden coach and working with them to get past the initial obstacles in their relationship with food — whatever they may be. We help people work with the resources that they have. We ask: what do you have in your household? Is there an obstacle with electricity or gas? If there is, that’s okay because there are so many other options. I have worked with people who use their coffee makers to boil chicken. People who grill due to lack of access to electricity or gas. We work with the resources that they have and come up with creative solutions to educate people on how they can prepare food regardless of limitations. There is no one way, there is no right way. 

I have always thought about food as it relates to power. I have the power of selecting what I want to eat, which items I want to purchase, and how I prepare my food. I get to choose what goes into my body. Ultimately, we teach others about food power. 

If you were to design a food system rooted in equity, justice and sovereignty, where would you focus your attention and why? 

Lisa: I would focus my attention on ensuring that food is available in public spaces and that it is available to all. And looking at the issue of equity when it comes to availability. We need to come together and make sure that food is available for all; but also, some spaces may need more support. In those public spaces, we want things to be set up in a puzzle perspective: with charitable organizations, retail, areas where you can just go, and pick produce for free.

We have to ask: how do we create a diversification in the food space that meets the needs of the community at large? And with the promise of no stigma and no judgment. That when you access food, you make sure that others are accessing it without barriers as well. That would be my dream. 

Interview by: Nicole Kukla

COVID-19 Testing Site for Kent County School Staff & Students

Grand Rapids Public Schools–Kent County Health Department–Artic Medical Laboratories

Ken-O-Sha Park School Door B
1353 Van Auken St SE   
Grand Rapids, MI  49508

Good Afternoon Staff and Families,

Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kent County Health Department and Artic Medical Laboratories are partnering to provide COVID-19 testing for Kent County school staff and studentsat Ken O Sha Park Elementary(1353 Van Auken St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508, Door B).  This testing is available to staff and students ONLY who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 12:00-2:30 pm by appointment beginning October 25, 2021.

 Common symptoms associated with COVID-19 include: 
 Temperature 100.4 degrees F or higher OR feels warm to touch. New cough or change in cough. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell  Sore throat. Body aches. Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Severe headache. Extreme Tiredness. Congestion or runny nose 

Step 1: Schedule your appointment here:  COVID testing site scheduler (you are welcome to sign up at the most convenient location through this scheduler).

Step 2: Complete the registration paperwork for your appointment using this link or QR code: COVID testing registration information.

Upon arrival at Ken O Sha, please pull up under the canopy along the southeast side of the building outside DOOR B (the former preschool) and remain in your vehicle. Arctic Lab staff will bring the testing supplies out to your vehicle.  This is a Saliva PCR test which will be sent to a laboratory to determine if COVID is detected.  To take this test, you cannot eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum for a ½ hour before the test so please refrain from doing so for 30 minutes prior to your appointment.

Test results will be texted or emailed using the information you provide in the registration link.

For more information follow this link: School Laboratory Partnership
For questions about your returned test results, call the Arctic Medical Labs
Customer Support line @ 616.747.0307

Learn More about COVID-19 Youth Vaccinations 

Parent University and the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute have partnered to present GRPS caregivers an opportunity to receive non-bias information about the Covid-19 Youth Vaccination.

If you have any questions, please contact the F.A.C.E. office at 616.819.1977 or parentengagement@grps.org.
 
To attend the morning session, CLICK HERE
To attend the evening session, CLICK HERE