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Courtesy photo | Shannon LaNier

Note: We're reposting WMUK's interview with Shannon Lanier to coincide with his appearance today on NPR. It originally published on Feb. 19, 2018.

When Shannon LaNier was a boy, he told his classmates that President Thomas Jefferson was his great grandfather. His teacher didn't see how that was possible. LaNier looks black. She instructed him to stop lying. Now, he says, DNA and other evidence supports the story that had been passed down in his family of its connection to Jefferson and enslaved woman Sally Hemings. LaNier speaks in Kalamazoo on Feb. 27.


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West Michigan Congressman Fred Upton says a “red flag law” probably would have prevented the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018. The St. Joseph Republican says other states have used red flag laws, and it should be implemented nationwide. 


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College campuses may be increasingly diverse, but incoming students are still often from segregated neighborhoods, meaning they "don't have much practice connecting across lines of difference," says race relations expert Beverly Tatum. So how will things ever improve in America?


This has been a busy summer for climate activists in Kalamazoo. They’re eager to mobilize amid warnings that the world faces catastrophe if it doesn’t drastically cut carbon emissions, and soon. For Kalamazoo Central High School teacher Josh Gottlieb, and rising senior Chloe Carlson, that means bringing the movement to school. 


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A longtime effort to bring a public defender's office to Kalamazoo County has succeeded. The nonprofit entity called Kalamazoo Defender opened for business on July 1 to work with income-challenged defendants. The Sixth Amendment guarantees Americans legal representation in criminal cases.


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