Every Voice Matters

Every voice matters. That’s the philosophy of StoryCorps, the independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of their lives.

“Like StoryCorps, we believe everyone has a story to tell, so we brought StoryCorps to Kalamazoo as part of our Love Where You Live campaign,” says Jeanne Grubb, a donor relations officer at the Community Foundation. “We wanted to create an ‘anthology’ of the stories of people from around Kalamazoo County to highlight our shared history, strong partnerships and rich community assets.”

The conversations —  recorded in May —  will be shared with the community in a variety of ways. A complete set of the conversations was also given to the Kalamazoo Valley Museum for its oralhistory collection.

The collection of stories includes: Michael Williams, first executive director of the Douglass Community Association, speaking with Buddy Hannah about the changes he has seen growing up, going to school, pursuing a career and the choices he has seen for African Americans living in Kalamazoo; Lois Richmond and Shirley Shane telling Sharon Carlson about the history of the Ladies’ Library Association; KVCC’s Marilyn Schlack answering Tom Thinnes’ questions about how the college has made an impact on the Kalamazoo community; and Jasmine Granville talking about her perspective on life before and after becoming a Kalamazoo Promise recipient.

Other stories are Krista Johnson, a past recipient of the Community Foundation’s Clarence L. Remynse Scholarship, talking with local attorney Dan DeMent about moving back to Kalamazoo after college to work as a nurse; Nate Fuller and Sister Ginnie Jones discussing the Bow in the Clouds conservation project; Judy Sarkozy telling Dhera Strauss about how two PhDs learned to make bread and how Kalamazoo helped build and restore her bakery; and Warren Lawrence telling Christina Aubrey about his love for Vicksburg.

Also, Rachel Eagly talks to Sandra Glista about living with Aphasia; Elizabeth Upjohn Mason and Joel Orosz discuss philanthropy; Jim Van Zandt and Mark Riley talk about USTA Boys’ National Tennis Championships; Donald Parfet and Sydney Waldorf speak with Martha Parfet about Upjohn history; and Richard Hughey and Carol Snapp talk arts.

Jerry Albertson and Toni Thompson discuss trail ways; Deborah Droppers and Von Washington discuss area events; Chris Broadbent and Matt Lechel cover local food; Madelyn Pinder and Robert Gadwood talk science education; and Rev. Kenneth Schmidt and our own Carrie Pickett-Erway discuss diversity.

The Community Foundation looks forward to sharing these unique stories that show why we love where we live.

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