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, our goals are to amplify marginalized or overlooked voices, encourage listeners to consider different perspectives, and to explore the ways our differences enhance our community and make it stronger. Take time to explore the topics we’ve covered so far by watching replays and reading more below.

Beautifully Different | November 5

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, gIn rowing up in Newaygo County, learning to navigate difficult conversations, and appreciating differences.

Read recap
Watch replay

A Community For All Ages | February 25

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.

Read a recap of the event Read
Watch a recording of the event Watch

Life in the Margins | April 22

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.

Read a recap of the event
Watch a recording