"My name is Carlos, not Carl," young Carlos Cortés told the teacher at his new school, just before being sent to the principal's office. Seven decades later, Professor Emeritus Cortés emphasizes the importance of embracing one's full background across ethnicity, birthplace, language, and religion. He shares with us the need to honor cultural identity and monitor the influence of media on our children.
Authentically born and raised in Italy, entrepreneur Maddalena Pistillo joins us in the studio to talk about the importance of global travel, trans-Atlantic business, and the thrill of finding your place in a new culture.
Speaker, writer, consultant, and podcast host Ekemini Uwan is a Nigerian American whose parents emigrated from southeastern Nigeria. In this episode, Ms. Uwan shares her thoughts on race in America, her podcast "Truth's Table," and how the biblical concept of reparations is relevant in today's world.
A 5-cent, hour-long phone call from a pay phone convinced a young Dominican immigrant that West Michigan was a place she could live. Fast-forward several decades, Ana Jose is boldly transforming the local business climate for Latino-owned enterprises one conversation, one seminar at a time. Join us to be inspired by this ever-humble, ever-aspiring young woman!
As lifelong educators and parents of biracial children, Melissa Giraud & Andrew Grant-Thomas are uniquely qualified to examine the country's most skittish conversation: race. Together they share personal observations as well as tips for parenting while Embracing Race.
On his return visit to our studio, orphaned refugee Phillip Nguyen expresses gratitude for the country that took him in. With pride, he talks about his company's new charity app, EZsamaritan. With an investment of 45,000 work hours, this app is a free resource to the 1.7 million non-profits across the United States. According to entrepreneur Nguyen, it's all about giving back.
Michigan-born Carla Canales is a child of immigrant parents who uses her multi-cultural and multi-lingual upbringing in her day job as a world-traveling soprano. When she lands long enough in her current hometown of New York, she's busy singing the praises of famous women, from Malala to Michelle Obama. Join us for this fascinating interview!
Fridah Kanini talks about the journey that led her to Michigan from her native Kenya: hardships, tenacity, and the drive to create community. An entrepreneur at heart, she talks about founding the first-ever African Festival coming to Grand Rapids on August 10.
Swithina Mboko is a professor at the Seidman college of business at Grand Valley State University. In this interview, she discusses the culture differences between Zimbabwe and the US, the trials of teaching in a foreign country, and her qualitative research surrounding refugee entrepreneurs.
Vishavjit Singh is a first-generation South Asian-American cartoonist, writer, and performance artist. He joins us to talk about growing up Sikh in North America, living in New York after the 9-11 terrorist attack, and using one's superpowers for good.
Growing up in southwest Grand Rapids, young Israel Ledesma knew both good times and bad. Using his personal experiences from the hard times – including brushes with the law – this local Latino leader fashioned his own view on kids, community, and the importance of mentoring.
Young Saleem Usmani's life was forever changed when his Olympian dad invited him along to Los Angeles in 1984. For the curious youngster from India, it wasn't much of a leap from saying, "Yes, I'll join you there" to "Sure, I could go to college here." With that spirit of adventure, Usmani found friendship, love, work, and belonging in his adopted country...in the unlikeliest of places!
From jobs in hospitality to car sales to organizational leadership, Carlos Sanchez has shown a bent for business. He joins us to tell of his own professional trajectory, including falling in love with an American along the way. Today, he uses his passion for talent development to share his vision for creating Latinx opportunities in his adopted West Michigan home.
From his very roots, Justo Gonzalez II was destined to be an advocate for moral justice. From his devoutly Roman Catholic mother to his community leader father, Justo grew into the mantle of his Spanish name, which means “Justice.” Learn how a Puerto Rican boy from Buffalo, NY, came to be an ordained voice of conscience for the marginalized of the United States.
Frank Wu joins us to discuss growing up Asian American in very-white suburban Detroit. He shares the chilling impact of the 1982 Detroit murder of Vincent Chin on the Asian-American community. Finally, he calls for strengthened coalition building across the diverse Asian populations of the U.S.
TJ Rogers joins us to talk about Freedom House Detroit and the everyday challenges facing asylum seekers in the United States.
In his native Congo, Kyezie Bwanangela found himself running for his life ahead of armed militias. Luckily, the young man found safety and eventual refugee status in the United States. The criminal justice major joins us to talk about corruption, leadership, and what is needed to regain democracy.
Amer Ahmed grew up in the United States in the awkward brown immigrant space between black and white. Hear how one Muslim boy's diverse upbringing influenced a career of bridging differences and teaching others to work more inclusively.
At its best, America is a place of welcome for the oppressed and homeless of the world. A great example of this welcome is the vocational English program for Bhutanese refugees in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Krishna Bista, a Bhutanese volunteer educator, joins Minnie Morey, President of the West Michigan Asian American Association, to share the details.
Mexican-born Alynn Guerra talks about finding her passion and her message through the art of printmaking.