Alyssa Richardson is a journalism major with a specialization in editorial writing at Michigan State University. Her interest include public relations, which she has done professionally while in college. She hopes to become a professional in public relations with her career endeavors.
FLINT, Mich. — A small city about 70 miles northwest of Detroit was thrust into mainstream media when it was revealed that residents water was tainted with lead and other contaminates dating back to 2014, when the city attempted to cut budgets, resulting in changing the water source from Detroit, to the Flint River. The water crisis has changed the lives of all city residents, but others say the crisis was a call to action. From public speaking and advocating to bringing awareness to the daily struggles of living with poisoned water, Flint resident Mari Copeny, 10, has become a social media sensation, making her the face,of her hometown and earning her the nickname, Little Miss Flint. “We have been advocating for all of the residents of Flint, but mostly for the kids.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in 20 American adults live with a serious health condition, but people living with mental illness, believe there is a negative stigma attached to it. Michigan State University student, Jazmine Skala-Wade was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD, when she was 11. “People have this idea that mental illnesses aren’t real, that you need to pray them away, that you are making it up or that you are crazy,” Skala-Wade said. “I have been judged and looked at as crazy. People have made up stories about my mental illness and I’ve been treated like I shouldn’t be smart.”
Skala-Wade said she’s doing things in college that people did not think she was capable of because of her ADHD.
Michigan State University has launched an inclusion campaign to address issues of race, gender and discrimination on campus. “Inclusion is defined as creating a living, learning and work environment where differences are valued, respected and welcomed,” said Paulette Granberry-Russell, senior adviser to the president for diversity and inclusion. “We’ve committed resources to the reducing the graduation gap between white students and black and Hispanic students, and we recognize there is more that we need to do to reduce the gap,” she said. In fall 2015, MSU launched the Office of Institutional Equity to oversee the university’s efforts to address discrimination and harassment based on factors such as race, gender and sex. The office allows students and faculty to file reports of discrimination on its website.
With more than 600 registered student organizations on campus, students at Michigan State University can find a group for just about any interest
The the leaders of Raising Awareness with Students believe they have a mission unlike others. RAWS promotes health issues, with a focus on preventable illnesses. It was created by Kady Cox, an interdisciplinary studies in social science student. The concept of RAWS started with her annual event, “Diabetes is Not Sweet.” “I got the idea for the ‘Diabetes is Not Sweet’ event because mom and my grandmother both have diabetes,” Cox said.
A series of police shootings of African-Americans and acts of terrorism by followers of the Islamic State group thrust racial, ethnic and religious minorities into the media spotlight during the 2016 presidential campaign. And that’s led to an increase in negative stereotypes portrayed in the media, some say. “The media plays a major role in perpetuating stereotypes. Whenever a crime is committed, I start looking to see what race the person is,” said Joe Darden, a professor in Michigan State University’s Department of Geology who researches issues of racial inequality. “Whenever it’s a black person it’s mentioned, but when the media fails to mention race, I know it’s a white person.