Time I let everyone in on a little secret. I go around Muskegon County collecting stories and meeting people. We share those stories and then people watch and learn and hopefully those stories go further than any media that's ever been put to work in Muskegon has gone. From there, we hope that our slogan of "We Have a New Story to Tell" takes the image we're shooting for into the eyes and ears of the viewer and our work to change the narrative of all of us in Muskegon County will someday have made a difference. But.....there's also a very big "unspoken" thing that comes with this job. Want to know the secret?
No matter your zip code...we have one remarkably similar thing in Muskegon County. We have a disconnect among all of our "neighborhoods" in the idea that no one is listening to them and that their concerns are so unimportant that they don't even bother anymore. This is what's been whispered to me in the center of the urban community as well as the rural areas who feel they have been forgotten too. I have a remarkably strong theory on this that our lack of media covering things that are going in that is important to our smaller municipalities. We see the "shiny penny" stuff and the stories guaranteed to get clicks and shares, but...the news about what happened at a township meeting somewhere? It's gone. Mark my words. I have a much deeper understanding of how we all feel, and we all feel pretty much the same.
It's in that idea of people finding out that others feel "just like them" that I came across Marria McIntosh. Marria is organizing an event this Saturday called "Rap With Yo Rep" which is designed to give people a chance to meet up with those in the municipal governments around town a chance to connect one on one with those they serve. Marria was speaking at an event called the 100 Day challenge where she and her group THREDZ.org made quite a splash in the idea of raising minority voices for inclusion. She's doing just that this Saturday at the GVSU Innovation Hub.
There will be some food and "get to know you" kind of stuff going on from 2-2:45 and then at 3 "Rap With Yo Rep" begins where people can actually speak one on with with City and County Commissioners, in a face to face setting and find out how things work and share their concerns about topics from gentrification to polarization to lack of trust. It's setting up to be an incredible day of shared learning.
We met up to talk a little further about this event at The Coffee Factory today. Take a listen.
Marria took one step. Nothing more really. She then started seeing more and more around her wondered the same things she was and they started working together, for the greater good and low and behold...up pops an event. Community is building. It's one voice...in any neighborhood that says "what if" and the ball starts rolling. It's on you now to take the next step and head down to the GVSU Innovation Hub Saturday and take part in this event. Ask questions. Make suggestions and when you find something that clicks...participate through till the end. You'll be glad you did. Our thanks to Marria for taking the time out of a busy Monday to share her event. Follow Thredz Muskegon on FACEBOOK