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.
How do we change the notion that certain sports are just for white athletes or male participants? By mentoring females and youth of color in those sports. PGA professional Andre Pillow talks about his work with The First Tee of West Michigan and creating access to golf for all young people.
He was the only boy in the local dance school, and in the Dominican Republic, that can leave you open to teasing. But Ednis Gomez fell in love with the self-expression of movement, practiced hard, and danced himself into a full-time career. After four years in Michigan's only professional dance company, the American Midwest is starting to feel like home.
Abe Carrillo is a proud son of Mexican immigrants and proud employee at Herman Miller where he is Director for Diversity & Global Inclusiveness. He joins us to talk about the hard work of immigrants and the inspiring community work that Herman Miller is engaged in.
Do you play the lottery? Does the money really go to charitable causes? How many billions are at stake, and do various state and national lotteries pay their fair share of taxes? Journalism professor Jeff Kelly Lowenstein talks about investigative reporting and the global lottery industry.
Sarah Wamujje Dieleman has two things nobody else has: 62 siblings and an elementary school in her hometown in Uganda. Our polyglot guest shares with us her personal roots and the notion of grassroots empowerment for children in her native East Africa.
Whether you're from Africa, the Middle East, or Eastern Europe, nothing says "home" more than finding the foods that give you comfort. Enter Jordanian-born Khalid Karadsheh, co-owner of Mediterranean Island grocery in southeast Grand Rapids. For two decades, Khalid has provided thousands of imported foodstuffs to his diverse and growing clientele. He talks with Alan about his love of food, pride in his Arab roots, and affection for his adopted American homeland.
An immigrant child, Ana Ramirez-Saenz was raised in West Michigan by a single mom who worked long hours in a pickle factory. During her days at MBA school and at work in the banking industry, she saw first hand the lack of diversity in leadership and its cost on morale and the bottom line. Today, as President of La Fuente Consulting, she guides companies towards more inclusive practices and more powerful decision making. An exclusive chat with an insightful leader.
With a vision of something better for their children's futures, Elisa Perez-Arellano's parents did what countless others have done before: immigrated to the United States, a land of opportunity. They stressed traditional Mexican values: hard work, family, and staying in school. Those values paid off. Today, Perez-Arellano is a college graduate--with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Social Work--working tirelessly to support those she preceded on the journey: immigrants without insurance, without a knowledge of the system, and those without hope. Her after-hours advocacy extends to supporting the Latino LGBT community as it looks to overcome stigmas and stereotypes. An inspirational woman with the wellbeing of her adopted community in her heart!
David Alvarez grew up on the thin slice of rock between earth, sky, and sea called Gibraltar. With a view of the dying vestiges of British colonialism in his own life, he launched on a career of researching and telling about that provocative legacy in other lands. He chats with us about S. Africa, Palestine, and Healing Children of Conflict.
Terence Reuben discusses discrimination and racial segregation growing up in Durban, South Africa. Rising above his Apartheid roots, he earned a physical therapy degree and landed a career an ocean away. At Metro Health Hospital, therapist Reuben helps patients recover from injuries. On weekends, triathlete Reuben pushes wheelchair "captains" over marathon courses and across finish lines.
Americans have said it so long, it approaches cliché: "The U.S. is the land of opportunity." However, this still rings true for thousands of newcomers every year, including Guatemalan-born Natanael Krische. Listen to the story of 18-year-old "Nate" who entered illegally and worked hard to became a citizen, small business owner, and pillar in his West Michigan community.
Jorge Gonzalez is a community connector. Born in Michigan to immigrant parents, he spent part of his youth in Mexico and part in the Grand Rapids Public Schools. With a background in banking and community development, he is the perfect choice to lead the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce into its next phase of growth. Join us as he talks about the power of education and the need for all citizens to be culturally competent in today's marketplace.
“How do I buck the expectations of my parents and a billion people back home?” Chinese students in the U.S. ask this question this every day. “Do I listen to the counsel of my family, as tradition dictates? Or do I follow the passions of my heart?” Creative business strategist Ning Liu talks about her life journey in the context of this cultural conundrum.
A timid teenager when he came to the U.S., Raymond Trujillo sought solace in his lifelong refuge of drawing and painting. With the mentoring of a teacher, he honed his skills and grew in confidence. Today, this intrepid immigrant from Mexico works as an artist, floral designer, party planner, clown, graphic designer, dance instructor, and emcee. Don't miss our chat with jack-of-all-trades, Raymond Trujillo.
What would you do if you became ill in a country where you didn't speak the language? Fortunately for thousands of patients in the U.S., this is the very issue that Carlos Pava concerns himself with. As Vice President for Voices for Health, Carlos supplies interpreters to hospitals so that patients can receive care in their first language when it matters the most--in a medical crisis. Join us as we explore the medical side of language and culture!
Joining Alan in the studio is cancer researcher Anthony Chang. Curious since his elementary school days, Anthony tells of his love for learning: from plumbing systems to martial arts. What makes this medical physicist passionate about his life in the U.S.? Creating micron-scale views of cancer tissue and sharing this pursuit of knowledge with his American students.
Three international students tell of their lives, their dreams, and a few stereotypes they'd like to debunk. Join Alan as he talks with Danilo (Cameroon), Paola (Italy), and Nargilya (Turkmenistan), in town for the annual international student conference.
In his coming to the U.S. to study international development, a Singaporean begins to examine the deep personal issues of race, identity, and belonging. Listen as Kyle Lim discusses his own biracial background in the context of race and place in the United States.
Mach Makuei, former Lost Boy of Sudan, talks of his childhood days in a refugee camp in Kenya and coming of age in the home of a generous foster parent in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Now a graduate of Albion College, he dreams of taking his entrepreneur visions into the U.S. marketplace.