On Nov. 5, people from the Greater Lansing community attended the Refugee Appreciation Day event hosted by the Refugee Development Center (RDC) at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing. A reception was held to honor refugee stories from the Center and an art show was presented by the Niagara Foundation’s youth. High school students from the area participated in the art show creating displays based on the theme “Compassion in Action.”
These displays shared the many ways that people can cultivate compassion into their daily lives and the lives of others. Mariah Shafer currently works as the senior school liaison with the Refugee Development Center and volunteers in organization since 2007.
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.
At the MSU vs. Wisconsin football game on Sept. 24, Spartan players Delton Williams, Kenney Lyke and Gabe Sherrod raised their fists during Star-Spangled Banner to protest racism. During the next game six other players joined in protest. Why did Gabe Sherrod feel it was important to speak up?
The University of Georgia, North Carolina, Southern California, Alabama and Auburn: All Division I programs sanctioned by the NCAA because athletes accepted payments and gifts under the table. According to the NCAA rules, student-athletes cannot be paid for their athletic skills. They also cannot advertise, promote or endorse any product. However, their image and name can be used by the institution they attend for a wide variety of purposes. For example, a game program including a team’s roster and stats at a football game is sells for about $10.
Athletes on scholarship have their tuition, room and board, and more paid for. But, what happens with walk-on athletes? Michigan State University redshirt junior linebacker Shane Jones of the Spartan Newsroom, who came to the university on an athletic scholarship, talks with junior linebacker Sean Harrington, who began as a walk-on on the team and earned a scholarship.
Spartan Newsrooms sits down with Jennifer Smith, who helps oversee Michigan State University student-athlete scholarships, providing money to students for housing, board, books and other college expenses. She’s been the university’s compliance director since 1999, helping ensure the university’s athletic operations follow NCAA rules for student-athletes .
More 4,900 refugees have been resettled in Michigan so far in 2016, including 864 in the Lansing area, according to the U.S. State Department’s Refugee Processing Center.
That’s up from 2,714 refugees statewide in 2015, and 611 in the Lansing area.
The growth comes despite criticism of some refugee re-settlement programs. During the campaign, President-elect Donald Trump pledged to shut off immigration from Syria to stop terrorists from slipping into the country.
Yet local refugee services groups say they’re committed to continuing to help people fleeing their homelands.