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Year in Review 2020: The best of Stateside

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2020 has been a roller coaster like no other. For Stateside, the year kicked off on a high note when the incomparable April Baer officially started as host. Everything was running smoothly until March, when the team suddenly had to figure out how to produce an hour-long daily show remotely.

Despite the challenges, Stateside has been there for you everyday with timely, in-depth conversations. The team covered the early days of the pandemic, an election like no other, the racial justice movement, environmental news, state politics, national news, and so much more. Oh, and on top of that, they launched a podcast. Casual.

Here are some of Stateside’s best stories of 2020:

Father who spoke at Saline meeting on racism discusses pain of raising kids in mostly white schools

Normally, a video of a school board meeting would not be viral content. But a short exchange from a meeting in Saline this week has captured the world’s attention and sparked a conversation about the racism students of colors face in school. “This has touched a nerve in the nation,” said Saline resident, Adrian Iraola.

What does “flatten the curve” mean? We asked the UM medical historian who helped coin the term.

The term was actually coined by University of Michigan medical historian Dr. Howard Markel. We talked to him about how he came up with the phrase that’s now being used by people all over the world. Markel said that it all began while conducting research with the CDC regarding flu outbreaks in 2005.

COVID-19 has upended K-12 education. Some teachers say now is the time to build something better.

When schools closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the way students were taught had to shift on a dime. Online platforms like Zoom became the new classrooms. These sudden changes have also highlighted the shortcomings and inequities of our current school system. That has some educators thinking about whether this crisis could be an opportunity to reinvent what school looks like this fall and beyond.

From doctor to COVID-19 patient: Anesthesiologist shares his story of recovery

In mid-March, Eugene Vovchuk was going about his work as an anesthesiologist at Detroit Medical Center’s Harper University Hospital. He had heard about COVID-19, of course, but he hadn’t treated any patients with the disease yet. And the 38-year-old doctor was not prepared for his own ordeal with the virus, which would land him in the hospital for nearly a month.

Pride began as a riot: How the LGBTQ community is reflecting on a new civil rights movement

Like most things during this pandemic, Pride Month is looking a little different this year. Many of the normal gatherings and celebrations have been cancelled. Meanwhile, protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd continue to spread across the nation. Amid the unrest and uncertainty, some activists see this Pride Month as particularly poignant.

Grand Rapids poet laureate asks “what are we willing to do” for justice and peace?

“I think there are levels to allyship. There are people who say, ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and there are people who mean it. When some people say Black Lives Matter, what they mean is ‘The Black lives behaving the way I want them to behave matter.’ When some people say Black Lives Matter, what they mean is ‘The Black lives that haven’t done things I disagree with matter.’”

The issues Arab American voters care about are as diverse as the community itself

Four years ago, around 26% of Arab Americans in the U.S. said that they were leaning toward voting for Donald Trump for president ahead of the election. Since then, Trump has banned travel to and from numerous countries with majority Muslim populations, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought economic and health hardships to every community—including Arab American ones. But there are still many people in these communities who prefer Trump’s conservative, social, or fiscal approaches to leadership.

Republicans criticized Whitmer for use of “86.” What does it actually mean?

Some Republicans wondered if Whitmer was sending a nefarious, or even violent, message, going so far as to say that Whitmer was calling for an assassination of Donald Trump. With all the controversy swirling around the humble two digits, we called on a language expert to help explain the origins of "86."

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Emma is a communications specialist with the digital team at Michigan Radio. She works across all departments at Michigan Radio, with a hand in everything from digital marketing and fundraising to graphic design and website maintenance. She also produces the station's daily newsletter, The Michigan Radio Beat.
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