To Mrs. Cooper, With Love

To Mrs. Cooper, With Love

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By Tash Moore To Mrs. Cooper, With Love Many will have heard of The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B DuBois. I enjoyed it immensely as an undergrad at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. It's a beautiful book written right between the end of the Gilded Age and the beginning of World War I. It is not without its criticisms, chiefly an understandable (within the context of the era) desire for white appeasement and a strong urge to try to convince the then-majority that Black people were beautiful. Before cries of Black Power and raised fists, we were melodious, captured in long, flowing skirts and wide-brimmed hats. We appeared in now-ancient photographs in European exhibitions watching our children frolic in fields like any other people. But even before DuBois, there was another…
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Taking Charge of Your Health Through Mind-Body Connection

Taking Charge of Your Health Through Mind-Body Connection

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Denise Ervin RN, BSN, NC-BC Have you ever considered that your health is more than a physical condition? Have you ever had a headache and wondered what caused it? Are you a diabetic and ever had a hard time controlling your blood sugar during a stressful time in your life, even while making all the recommended food choices? Have you ever felt “hangry,” or irritable/bad-tempered/upset as a result of being hungry? Most of you will have answered yes to one or more of these questions. All of these physical conditions might be caused by stress, anxiety, tension in a personal or professional relationship, worry, or not feeling like you are good enough. These are all examples of the mind-body connection, a meaningful concept that has an impact on your physical…
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On Faith and Housing Justice

On Faith and Housing Justice

Homelessness, Inequity, Life & Community, Poverty
By Sara Constantakis, Thrive Detroit Copyeditor I would like to believe that I am a person who has always been concerned with justice. Throughout most of my adult life, I have volunteered for organizations that help people -- teaching reading to children and adults, or raising money for organizations that fight diseases -- but I don’t know if, at the time, I ever thought of those activities as justice work. This past November, I was asked to give a reflection at my church on the role of justice in my life. As I was putting together my reflection, I realized that it has been through my experience with Unitarian Universalism that I have learned the most about what justice means, the different types of justice, and how justice plays out…
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Next Time, Let’s Get Lunch on Me

Next Time, Let’s Get Lunch on Me

Business, Enterprise, Homelessness, Poverty, Stories
Writer, Tash Moore Westlake is a long way from Oak Park, Michigan. It's a neighborhood that skirts downtown Los Angeles and has become home to La Bodega. The concept is the brick-and-mortar home base of LaRayia Gaston's vegan cafe and shop, as well as Lunch on Me. Gaston, originally from New York, founded Lunch on Me, a pop-up that serves the homeless throughout Skid Row, Watts, Venice, Compton, and lately MacArthur Park. Through partnerships and sponsorships with big names like Whole Foods and BuzzFeed, LaRayia--alongside President, Venus--has been able to provide healthy, affordable meals to locals of all stripes. I was introduced to Lunch on Me through a pop-up in Detroit last winter, right before the polar vortex froze SE Michigan to a virtual standstill. I met Venus, ever enthusiastic,…
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I, Thou, and Homelessness

I, Thou, and Homelessness

Editorials, Homelessness, Inequity, Poverty
Delphia Simmons, Editor This Summer I was invited to give a Fall lecture about homelessness. I would be lecturing a group of about 30 active retirees somewhere in Oakland County. I sat with the invitation while gazing out the window from behind my desk with pen in hand. Requests such as these come from a desire for people to know more and to do more.  I’ve come to know that even compassionate, well-intentioned people need, and sometimes want, to challenge what they think they know about people who are living without shelter or housing.  The words “homeless and homelessness” evoke images, snapshots that prompt thoughts and confirm held beliefs.  Although we all want to help, I can never take for granted that we are on the page or that our words have the same meaning.…
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Being the Change

Being the Change

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This 23 year-old student, entrepreneur, and community organizer didn’t just overcome homelessness — he is on a mission to end it. Byron Brooks was without family support when he chose higher education over factory work and became homeless for his first 1 ½ years of college. The difficulty of attending school and just surviving without food, shelter, or support weighed heavily on him, especially because he carried this burden hidden from plain view. He recalled some painful memories: “I had several instances where I had to defend myself and I have scars from a few of those instances that will forever be with me.” It wasn’t just the lack of security and resources for basic needs, but “dealing with the mental, physical, and emotional stress” that was the most difficult…
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