Identity, difference, and the stories that shape our lives
The Stronger Together Series is built on a simple truth: we all have a story. For some in our community, the story is one of belonging. For others, it’s more complicated. Through these events, we want to create a safe place for honest conversations about identity, difference, and belonging in Newaygo County.
With each event, we have four main goals:
- Create a safe space for individuals to share their stories
- Amplify marginalized or overlooked voices
- Encourage listeners to consider perspectives other than their own and increase cultural understanding
- Explore the ways our differences enhance our community and ultimately make it stronger
We invite you to watch this brief video for an overview of the topics we’ve covered so far. Then, explore the topics in more depth with replays, study guides, and more below.
Beautifully Different | November 5, 2020
During our first virtual event, we were joined by authors and former Newaygo County residents Razel Jones and Daniel Abbott. Razel and Daniel—who are also brothers-in-law—shared excerpts from their collaborative memoir Wounds and spoke about race, growing up in Newaygo County, learning to navigate difficult conversations, and appreciating differences.
A Community For All Ages | February 25, 2021
In February, we welcomed an intergenerational panel of local residents to talk about the challenges younger and older people face in our community and how age can impact our sense of belonging. Panelists shared their experiences with ageism and stereotypes, the importance of intergenerational programs, and what gives them hope for a more age-inclusive society.
Life in the Margins | April 22, 2021
Our third event explored the realities of poverty in Newaygo County. We heard data and updates on work at the state level to address poverty from State Representative Scott VanSingel. Then, a panel of local residents spoke candidly about their own experiences and misconceptions and stigmas they have faced.
Unpacking Hispanic/Latinx Culture | September 30, 2021
The fourth event in our Stronger Together Series explored what it means to be Hispanic/Latinx in Newaygo County. Led by moderator Carlos Sanchez, local panelists shared their experiences, misconceptions they’ve encountered, and the importance of listening and empathy.