On episode 8 of Taking the Middle Seat, I talk to Julius Hight, founder of Reset GR. He is a father, vocalist, and community activist. He loves his city of Grand Rapids, MI but he also recognizes the change that needs to happen here. He has walked through the criminal justice system and knows the disparity and injustice that exists there first hand. I know you'll hear his passion and I hope you listen intently to his truth and his perspective.
Follow Rest GR on Facebook.
Reset GR needs our support! You can give financially to the organization at their GoFundMe campaign. Reset GR is currently working on getting their 501c3 status which costs money so any little donation helps. Julius also said that they would love donations of computers or iPads or cell phones. He does all of the coordination for Reset GR on his phone and he could use a computer. So, if you have one to donate, email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julius encouraged us all to learn, learn, learn and I love that! A great place to start is the documentary film, The 13th. You need to watch this film. You can see the trailer here. If you don't have Netflix, find someone who does and watch it together. It is an experience we all need to have.
Julius mentions GRABB which is Grand Rapids Area Black Businesses. They have a great directory of African American owned businesses.
He also mentions a bunch of news stories, local and national. If you're like me, you might not be informed about those so I've gathered some links to get you up to speed. You can learn about rapper Meek Mill's story here.
You can learn more about NFL footbal player and activist, Colin Kaepernick at his website.
We talked about several local Grand Rapids stories involving racism and racial injustice. The story Julius mentions that happened in Forest Hills Schools is written about here.
Grab a copy of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. This one is high on my list and I need to jump into it. I hope Julius and Reset GR start that book club!
Oh, and I mention Citizen, the cool parrot glass restaurant that my husband I went to recently for our "C" alpha date. If you're local, you should go!
I'll be back soon with another episode but until then, keep taking the middle seat.