Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo

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An initiative designed to increase prosperity in Kalamazoo returns for the second year. The Kalamazoo Black Business Expo will be held Aug. 24. It will showcase 60 African-American entrepreneurs, up from 40 last year.  The city of Kalamazoo once again is a lead sponsor and four others have signed on, including the Kalamazoo Community Foundation and two banks.


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Kalamazoo Vice-Mayor Don Cooney says there is reason to be concerned about hiring or providing housing to someone with a criminal record. But he says “if we don’t give people a chance, what are their options, except to go back?” 


WMUK

The Director of Western Michigan University's Lewis Walker Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations says the Kalamazoo Promise is making a difference. But Tim Ready says addressing poverty and inequality means also addressing factors outside of school. 


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Tonight wraps up the "Unequal Justice" series of forums sponsored by Western Michigan University's Institute for the Study for Race and Ethnic Relations. For the last two months, the series has sought to raise awareness and generate solutions to America's high incarceration rate, particularly of people of color. The forum at 7 p.m. today, the fourth and final installment, is titled "Re-Imagining Kalamazoo With Justice for All." Officials will present several proposals for input.

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A year of behind-the-scenes work is culminating today in the City of Kalamazoo's first event as part of its new Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo initiative aimed at reducing poverty, especially among children. At 7 o'clock tonight, officials invite the public to hear a message of hope and strategy from Richard V. Reeves, a senior fellow in economic studies at The Brookings Institution. He speaks at the Fetzer Center on the Western Michigan University campus.