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Stateside: Ballot proposal on LGBTQ protections; public mental health system; is homework useful?

Hand holding rainbow LGBTQ flag
Stavrialena Gontzou
A potential 2020 ballot measure would add protections for LGBTQ people to the state's existing civil rights law.

Today on Stateside, a new campaign wants to add protections for LGBTQ people to the state's existing civil rights law. Plus, a conversation with a Detroit-born author and Instagram influencer who wants to challenge stereotypes about fat, black, and Muslim women. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Initiative would add LGBTQ protections to civil rights law

Stateside's conversation with Selma Tucker and Joe Schwarz

  • Michigan’s 2020 ballot could include a new proposal to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. Two leading members of the Fair and Equal Michigan campaign joined us to discuss what it would take to make that happen. Selma Tucker is a vice president at Public Sector Consultants in Lansing,  and Joe Schwarz is a former Republican Congressman from Battle Creek. 

DHHS director commits to keeping mental health system public, seeks community input

Stateside’s conversation with Robert Gordon

  • State officials, mental health advocates, insurance companies, and providers have all been in a several years-long discussion about how to improve the state's public mental health system. Now, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is hoping to hear from the public. We talked to the department's director, Robert Gordon, about the challenges facing the state's mental health system and how public input may help shape its future. 
  • MDHHS is hosting a series of public forums on the state's mental health system starting January 8. You can find details on those forumshere.

Ragatz: It’s time to get rid of homework as we know it

Stateside’s conversation with Matinga Ragatz

  • Homework has long been a staple in American schools, but some teachers are giving it a failing grade. Michigan Radio’s education commentator Matinga Ragatz talked to us about why some teachers are rethinking homework's usefulness, and what they're doing instead. 

Detroit native writes about life as a model, Instagram star, and “fat, black Muslim” in new memoir

Stateside’s conversation with Leah Vernon

  • As a young, black Muslim woman growing up in Detroit, model and style blogger Leah Vernon rarely saw her own experiences reflected in media. But several years ago, she set out to change that as she built a career as an Instagram influencer. We spoke with Vernon about her memoir Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim and her push to make the fashion and beauty industries more inclusive. 

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