#TheShift Summit seeks to empower Black entrepreneurs & communities

shift#TheShift Summit
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Nov. 16, 2019
GVSU Eberhard Center
301 W. Fulton Grand Rapids 49503

#TheShift Summit, a one-day experience dedicated to Empowering Black Entrepreneurs & Communities, is an annual gathering to connect, engage and inform entrepreneurs, creatives small business owners, professionals and stakeholders about opportunities, resources and programs in the entrepreneurial ecosystem that will foster to economic empowerment and equity.

#TheShift Summit attendees will enjoy a day filled with panel discussions, workshops and networking with entrepreneurs, influencers, doers, creatives and other tri-sector leaders. It is a critically important opportunity for attendees to gain knowledge and build networks that will help them create transformational economic development within their communities.

shiftyFeatured presenter is entrepreneur and investor Kelli M. Coleman. Kelli is multi-hyphenate with a passion for building business and empowering other women along the way.

As a Detroit native raised in an entrepreneurial family, Coleman had to learn the rules before she could refine them. As a marketing and advertising expert, she spent nearly a decade with GlobalHue, once the largest minority-owned full-service marketing, and communications agency in the nation.

While navigating a career shift after GlobalHue with a desire to lean further into her passions, Coleman and business partner Anika Jackson dreamed up the idea for a reputable and scalable brand of modern nail bars—an elevated and customer-centric experience, a place for self-care and connection, while enjoying a routine beauty treatment. The dream became a reality when The TEN Nail Bar opened in the newly redeveloped downtown Detroit in 2016 and recently their second location opened in 2019.

MDDHS Asset Test relaxed

These helpful changes to “Asset Test for Food Assistance, Cash Assistance, and State Emergency Relief” go into effect Dec. 1. If you have questions about SNAP or would like assistance with applying for benefits, call the F.O.R Helpline at 1-888-544-8773.


Community meetings to inform public about Healthy Michigan Plan work requirements  

1527789910722MDHHS holding community meetings to inform public about upcoming work requirements for Healthy Michigan Plan 

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is taking additional steps in its efforts to preserve coverage for Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries by launching regional forums regarding the upcoming work requirements.

The meetings begin Oct. 21 and will be held at locations around the state. The goals of the regional forums are increasing awareness about new work requirements for the Healthy Michigan Plan and preparing beneficiaries to meet the new requirements.

MDHHS is implementing the new work requirements to comply with legislation approved in 2018. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries will be required to report 80 hours of work or other activities, such as job searches, to MDHHS each month.

Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries can be excused from the requirements in some circumstances. Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries who are not excused from the requirements and fail to report may lose their health care coverage.

More than 640,000 Michiganders have coverage under the Healthy Michigan Plan, the state’s expanded Medicaid program that began in 2014.

“While Gov. Whitmer has made it clear that this administration does not support the new law, MDHHS needs to do everything we can to make sure that beneficiaries are aware of these new requirements so they can maintain their health care coverage,” said Kate Massey, senior deputy director for MDHHS’s Medical Services Administration. “The Healthy Michigan Plan has been a great success – providing health care coverage to many more Michiganders, reducing enrollees’ reliance on the emergency room by 58 percent, cutting uncompensated care by nearly 50 percent, and adding $2.3 billion to the state’s economy.”

MDHHS will conduct forums in the following locations and will provide additional updates on locations and times soon:

  • Lansing: October 21, 10-11:30 a.m., Lansing Community College – West Campus, 5708 Cornerstone Drive.
  • Marquette: Oct. 22, 10-11:30 a.m., Upper Peninsula Health Plan, 853 W. Washington St.
  • St. Ignace: Oct. 22, 5-6:30 p.m., St. Ignace Public Library, 110 W. Spruce St.
  • Roscommon: Oct. 23, 10-11:30 a.m., Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center, 104 Conservation Drive.
  • Detroit Meeting No. 1: Oct. 30, 10-11:30 a.m., Cadillac Place, Conference Room L-150, 3044 W. Grand Blvd.
  • Detroit Meeting No. 2: Oct. 30, 1-2:30 p. m. Cadillac Place, Conference Room L-150, 3044 W. Grand Blvd.
  • Flint: Oct. 31, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Genesee County Community Action Resource Department (GCCARD), 601 N. Saginaw St.
  • Saginaw: Details to be announced at a later date.
  • Waterford: Nov. 4, 1:30-3 p.m., Oakland Schools Conference Center, 2111 Pontiac Lake Road.
  • Jackson: Nov. 5, 10-11:30 a.m., Center for Family Health, 505 N. Jackson St.
  • Kalamazoo: Nov. 5, 2-3:30 p.m., Family Health Center, 505 E. Alcott St.
  • Grand Rapids: Nov. 6, 10-11:30 a.m., Eberhard Conference Center, Grand Valley State University, 301 W. Fulton St.
  • Muskegon: Nov. 6, 2-3:30 p.m., Stevenson Room, Muskegon Community College, 211 Quarterline Road.
  • Dearborn: Details to be announced at a later date.

MDHHS is encouraging attendees to register for the forums so the department can ensure that sufficient space and printed materials are available for participants. Register and find more information about the Healthy Michigan Plan and work requirements by visiting and clicking the Changes Coming in 2020 tab.

In addition to informing beneficiaries, the forums will help MDHHS further collaborate with community partners and navigators to better coordinate efforts to preserve health care coverage for Healthy Michigan Plan enrollees.

The department has been conducting outreach to beneficiaries, providers, health plans, and other community organizations over the last year to inform stakeholders about the new requirements. MDHHS is expanding these efforts through the regional forums to prepare beneficiaries to meet the new requirements. Beneficiaries, health care providers, health plans, community organizations and the general public are invited to participate in these forums.

MDHHS also has issued proposed policy to implement the new work requirements for public comment. As part of this proposed policy, MDHHS is updating its policy and operational processes related to the Section 1115 Demonstration Waiver Amendment for Michigan that was approved by the federal government.

The public can submit comments on the proposed policy changes until Nov. 6.

To review the policy and for instructions on how to submit comments, visit the Proposed Medicaid Changes page on the MDHHS website and select the notice for Healthy Michigan Plan Updates 1926-HMP.

Location change: Farmers’ Market at MLK Park Sept. 21

hoursThe Southeast Area Farmers’ Market meets 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MLK Park Saturday Sept. 21. Here are some of the activities we have planned for you!

  • Grand Rapids Public Library will host Storytime at the market on Sept. 14 through Oct. 26.
  • Look for United Healthcare’s table at the market. They will be sharing information on how to access free benefits with Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Longtime vendor Ms. Yvonne Woodard will lead a “Make Your Own Personal Care Items” workshop at the market on Sept. 21.

OKT will present at “Rise Up & Drawdown” statewide conference on climate change solutions

Rise-Up-DrawdownLet’s Rise Up & Drawdown Carbon in Michigan

From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  September 25, the Michigan Community will come together at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids to offer local solutions and opportunities for engagement on the important subject of climate change. The stakes have never been higher and will require action at every scale and across every sector.

Participants will begin the day learning from our state and local government leaders who will confirm the direction of the mitten state followed by a keynote presentation from Paul Hawken, who is shifting the larger global conversation on climate change from “doom and gloom” to a sense of opportunity, possibility, and hope for the future.

Next, the focus will engage in local solutions. Would you like to support policy advancement? Perhaps you’d like to advance clean energy? Or maybe you’d like to learn how we can reduce food waste? Increase mass transit?  Build and operate sustainable buildings? There will be something for everyone.

Finally participants will be encouraged to act locally. The solutions to climate change exist and are economically viable.  Human beings have a history of solving complex problems and we will rise to the challenge.  The cost of inaction is catastrophic and no change is too small. We are in this together and together we will prevail creating a socially just world focused on human health, security and prosperity.

OKT’s Lisa Oliver-King will take part in a panel discussion focusing on our Program for Growth along with colleagues Winona Bynum, Detroit Food Systems Council; Phil Jones, lead chef, Make Food, Not Waste; and Daniel Todd, director, Make Food Not Waste. Carissa Patrone, West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum, will moderate the panel.

Ticket prices vary, with a $25 Advancing Equity ticket available for community members.

September at the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market

Sept. 7, 14, and 21: The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market will meet 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the LINC parking lot on Madison Avenue SE 49507 (just north of Hall Street) .
Sept. 28: The market will take place at MLK Jr. Park, 900 Fuller SE 49506.

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Here are some of the activities we have planned for you!

  • Grand Rapids Public Library will host Storytime at the market on Sept. 14 through Oct. 26.
  • Look for United Healthcare’s table at the market. They will be sharing information on how to access free benefits with Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Longtime vendor Ms. Yvonne Woodard will lead a “Make Your Own Personal Care Items” workshop at the market on Sept. 21.

OKT Publication receives good reviews!

A Guide for Replication vignetteOKT has finished the second phase of its Program for Growth: A Guide for Replicationwhich was presented to the State of Michigan in response to State grant support being provided to the Program. The first phase, Growing Community, Justice, and Food, was developed in 2018 in partnership with The City of Grand Rapids.

This section includes information on soil, seeds, planting, growing and harvesting; food gardening and lead poisoning prevention; herbs; food justice and access; and healthy recipes made with garden fresh ingredients.

This year, we added Growing Healthy Eating Habits, which was developed with input from dietitian Tracy Booth, RDA, who has been hosting group and individual sessions with Program for Growth participants. The section gives advice on eating to prevent lead poisoning, vitamins and minerals, probiotics, healthy fats, salt substitutes, fruits and vegetables, proteins, how to read food labels, and food safety.

We are working on a third phase which will address air and soil quality in Grand Rapids. You can view and download Program for Growth – A Guide for Replication for free at the OKT website.

Farmers’ Market at LINC Saturday

Did you know that the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market meets 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays — alternately at two sites? Let us now what you think about our schedule!

2019 yard sign

The Southeast Area Farmers’ Market provides a wide variety of local produce, cottage kitchen foods, personal care items, crafts and ready-to-eat foods. Our vendors are primarily women of color, home growers and residents of OKT’s targeted neighborhoods. In addition to providing access to healthy food, the market hosts meal preparation activities, workshops and guests from community organizations.

We welcome Bridge Card, SNAP, Double Up Food Bucks, WIC and many other assistance and coupon programs. Click here to learn How the Double Up Food Bucks Program Works.