Southfield (CW50) – Due to the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, CW50 is currently not producing any new episodes of Community Connect. While the station is currently running reruns, we’re going to take a look back at the 13 episodes of Community Connect that have aired since the show premiered back in December.

CW50’s Community Affairs show, Street Beat, served the community for 16 years. We decided to give the show a refresh and an upgrade to better reflect the new and exciting things happening in Metro Detroit. Community Connect first aired on December 7th of 2019 and has highlighted many organizations and individuals that are doing great things for the people of Michigan. We started the show’s first episode with a focus on Metro Detroit’s food culture.

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Detroit Stew: A Cultural Melting Pot

On the debut of COMMUNITY CONNECT, Lisa Germani hits the ground running as she explores four cultural iconic areas that help to make Detroit a true melting pot.

Golden Fleece:

First, learn how Greek culture is going through a thriving renaissance in Greektown as she sits with Spero Dionysopoulos, co-owner of the longest standing Detroit Greek restaurant, the Golden Fleece.

Srodek’s Campau Quality Sausage Co.:

Then, she travels to Hamtramck to talk with Rachel Srodek about how Srodek’s Campau Quality Sausage, Co. is helping to keep Polish traditions alive for current and future generations.

Mexicantown:

Next, hear from Jorge Chinea, Professor and Academic Director, for the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies at Wayne State University on the diverse cultural groups that helped to make Mexicantown what it is today.

Shatila Bakery:

And Lastly, she joins Tania Shatila, co-owner of Shatila Bakery, as she explains how her family carries on the same traditions that her father, Riad Shatila, put forth when he opened the Dearborn bakery 40 years ago.

 

Holiday Giving

On this episode of Community Connect, we help to bring awareness to a couple organizations that are warming our hearts by giving back to the people of Detroit.

Capuchin Soup Kitchen:

Capuchins came to North America around the 1850s, establishing themselves in Detroit during the late 1800s. In 1929 during the depression, the Capuchins would help serve the community after they opened up their own soup kitchen. Lisa Germani sits down with Brother Jerry Johnson of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen to discuss the history of the Capuchins in Detroit and what they do for the city today.

Motown Soup:

Motown Soup is a group of all volunteers formed 4 years ago. The organization is based out of Trinity Lutheran Church in Utica. They create and package dry soups and sell them at fairs and on the internet. Motown Soup’s profits are donated to different charities that are focused on serving the homeless and the hungry. Lisa Germani sits down with Dan Kennedy from Motown Soup to talk about how the organization has helped raise over $1,082,000 for the community.

Old Newsboy Goodfellow Fund Of Detroit:

104 years ago, the Goodfellows vowed that no child would go without a Christmas present. Now, The Old Newsboys Goodfellow Fund of Detroit distributes 30,000 Christmas packages a year. Lisa Germani brings Marshall Hunt and Saran Carey onto the show to talk about how the Goodfellows continue to serve the community.

Camp MAK-A-Dream:

Camp MAK-A-Dream’s founders used the money from owning McDonald’s franchises to buy a ranch and have sick kids come work it during the summer. The plan changed and the founders cut out 87-acres of land to form Camp MAK-A-Dream, a camp for children, teens, young adults, and adults who are touched by cancer. Lisa Germani talks with Pete Grimes Executive Director of Camp MAK-A-Dream about how the camp continues to help people with cancer today.

 

Holiday Sights

On this episode of Community Connect, we highlight 2019 and unlock a couple of Downtown hot spots for your Holiday Season.

Detroit Police Department:

Todd Bettison serves as the Deputy Chief overseeing as the Neighborhood Liaison. The Chief of Police for the Detroit Police Department elevated the Commander position to Deputy Chief in order to put the community outreach at the forefront of the department, making it just as important as patrols and safety. Lisa Germani sits downs with Deputy Chief Bettison to talk about what the Detroit Police are doing for the holiday season.

Campus Martius:

Campus Martius is the hub of Downtown Detroit. The Downtown Detroit Partnership is an organization that is behind the transformation of Campus Martius and other public spaces in Detroit. David Cowan, Director of Public Spaces for Downtown Detroit Partnership, joined Lisa Germani on set to talk about what’s happening in Downtown Detroit during the holiday season.

Cadillac Lodge:

Cadillac Lodge is transformed during the wintertime into a cozy cottage with food, beverages, and plenty of other things to do. Michelle Gaglio, Director of Operations for The Elia Group, sat down with Lisa Germani to go over what Cadillac Lodge has to offer to people walking around Detroit during the holidays.

Eastern Market:

Eastern Market is the largest historic public market in the country, and has been a place in Detroit where you can find just about anything. With the holiday season going on, Eastern Market has even more to do this time of year. Lonni Thomas, Eastern Market Manager, sits down with Lisa Germani to talk about what Eastern Market is doing during the holiday season.

 

New Year, New You 2020

A New Year and a new you. Community Connect gives you tips and tricks to keeping your New Year’s resolutions for 2020.

Holy Yoga Detroit:

Holy Yoga Detroit is different from your average yoga class. The difference is in the name “Holy” Yoga. Each class incorporates scripture into the daily program in order to further the spirituality part of yoga. Lisa Germani sat down with Myreya Amezcua to talk about what programs Holy Yoga Detroit offers.

Avengers Mentoring Youth Organization:

The Avengers Mentoring Youth Organization started 9 years ago when Edward Dean, CEO of the program, was the Parent President of his daughter’s schools and worked in an after school program with students. One of the kid’s asked Dean if there was a way they could do more outside of school to help themselves. Lisa Germani talks to Edward Dean about the Avengers Mentoring Youth Organization and how it grew from a question by a student.

Fort Street Presbyterian Church – Open Door:

The Open Door Ministry at Fort Street Presbyterian Church has been serving the community for almost 53 years. The ministry was started in order to open door to people who needed food, clothes, resources, and somewhere to go to be with other people. Trish Hubbel, Director of the Open Door Ministry joined Lisa Germani to discuss what the ministry is doing to continue serving the community.

Gleaners Community Food Bank – Cooking Matters:

Cooking Matters is a national cooking/nutrition education program. Gleaners Community Food Bank is a partner for Cooking Matters in Michigan and offer Cooking Matters classes in all five counties that they serve (Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, and Livingston). Rachel Binder, Program Supervisor for Cooking Matters – Gleaners Community Food Bank joins Lisa Germani to talk about what the program has to offer for the people of several Michigan counties.

 

In Good Co. Detroit

On this episode of Community Connect, we hear about In Good Co. Detroit, a living platform from the New Economy Initiative that is helping to share the stories of our local Detroit entrepreneurs.

New Economy Initiative:

Pam Lewis, Director of New Economy Initiative, joined Lisa Germani on set to discuss the organizations new storytelling campaign, In Good Co. Detroit. In Good Co. Detroit will feature videos, podcasts, photography and written features, created by a team at NEI with support from the Knight Foundation.

In Good Co. Detroit – Storyteller:

Shannon Cason, Storyteller for In Good Co. Detroit, hosts a podcast that shares the stories of local entrepreneurs. Cason joins Lisa Germani on Saturday morning to discuss why he got involved and what lead him to help share the stories. You can find Cason’s podcast, In Good Co. Detroit, at ShannonCason.com or at InGoodCoDetroit.com

Nieves Longordo – Diseños Ornamental Iron:

Nieves Longordo, President of Diseños Ornamental Iron, was the first entrepreneur to be featured for In Good Co. Detroit, a storytelling initiative that contains feature videos, podcasts, photography and written features on Detroit entrepreneurs. Longordo joins Lisa Germani, to discuss her career in Ironwork and what it was like being featured on In Good Co. Detroit.

Clement “FAME” Brown – Three Thirteen:

Clement “FAME” Brown is the founder of Three Thirteen, a boutique in Detroit’s Avenue of Fashion that is a laboratory for Detroit’s future fashion designers. Brown joined Lisa Germani to talk about how he got started as an entrepreneur and what he hopes to bring to Detroit fashion.

 

Paying It Forward

On this episode of Community Connect, we hear four stories full of heart on people passionate about paying it forward to the community of Detroit. 

The Lion Heart Experience:

Lion Heart is an organization designed to travel the Mid-West and inspire kids in schools to form an identity and vision for their life. Joe Vercellino and Tazeon Bradely join Lisa Germani to talk about the experience he gives to not only the kids at the schools he visits, but the young men who are a part of his Lion Heart Crew.

Dominic’s Christmas Wish:

Dominic Miller wants to do something for our community….He would like to collect new warm pajamas and books for children for Christmas. He does this through Dominic’s Christmas Wish. Dominic and his Grandmother joined Lisa Germani to talk about his goals this year.

Black and GOAL’D:

Black & GOAL’D is an apparel company started Erin Winters and Cameron White. The goal is to give a percentage of their profits back to the community through scholarships, black business partnerships, and services. Erin and Cameron, Founders of Black & GOAL’D, joined Lisa Germani to talk about what they’ve done for the community and what the future of their business looks like.

Church Of The Messiah:

Pastor Barry Randolph was a business man who never saw himself running a church. He joined the church after a self-described “burning bush moment” got him to that point in his life. He wanted to make the church more than just a religious space. Pastor Barry joined Lisa Germani to talk about what the Church of the Messiah offers to its members. These opportunities include a business incubator, youth groups, social services, a doctor, video production studio, an internet service provider, and much more.

 

Coming To You

With our neighborhoods constantly evolving, “Community Connect” examines how local services are adapting to meet our changing needs.

My Neighborhood Mobile Grocery:

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My Neighborhood Mobile Grocery (MNMG) is a weekly pop-up market that provides veterans and senior citizens who have low access to affordable, healthy foods with an innovative shopping option within their communities. Erika Campbell joined Lisa Germani to talk about MNMG’s commitment to the community and how the mobility helps reach people in need.

Detroit Public Library – Mobile Library:

The Detroit Public Library is traveling in a high tech bus in 2020. The Library on Wheels (LOW) is a mobile library with not only books, but WiFi too. The mobile bus brings books and audio books to senior citizens and schools. Margaret Bruni, Director of Public Services for the Detroit Public Library, and Regina Smith, Coordinator at Douglas Branch for Specialized Services, joined Lisa Germani to talk about the libraries newly improved Library on Wheels.

WAVE Project:

The WAVE Project is a service that brings mobile showers to people in the community that don’t have access to daily showers in their life. Dale Pittman, Co-Founder of WAVE Project, joined Lisa Germani to talk about how the project started and what the future looks like for WAVE Project.

Empowerment Plan:

While Veronika Scott was in college, she set out to make an impact on homelessness through inventing a coat that turned into a sleeping bag. She designed the coat with the help of people who were experiencing homelessness. After that, the project grew after an encounter with a homeless woman. Veronika Scott, Founder of Empowerment Plan, joined Lisa Germani to show off the coat and talked about how it inspired the Empowerment Plan, which gives employment opportunities to those who are homeless.

 

Youth And The Arts + Cooking

On this episode of Community Connect, we meet organizations that are helping to keep artistic inspiration flowing and our creative community thriving. 

ArtLab J:

Founded in 2012, ArtLab J is a nonprofit which provides programs in three core branches: Dance, Lab, and Education. The programs help people of any age, race, sex, gender, religion, and experience, use the art of dance to learn and grow as a person.Mikaela Dear, Development Officer for ArtLab J, and Joori Jung, Founder and Artistic Director of ArtLab J, join Lisa Germani to talk about the different programs ArtLab J offers and what they do to help people learn and grow.

Art Road Nonprofit:

Art Road Nonprofit was founded in 2004 by Carol Hofgartner after she was presenting at a school and talking about her experiences in art class as a kid, when a student stood up and explained that their school doesn’t have art class. Carol Hofgartner joined Lisa Germani to talk about how Art Road has brought art class back into five schools, while serving 14,000 students over 15 years.

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit:

The Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit has many programs that help kids of all ages prepare for any career path in theatre or entertainment. Whether it’s behind the scenes or center stage, Mosaic has programs for it all. DeLashea Strawder, President & Artistic Director for Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, joined Lisa Germani to talk about what training the theatre offers and how students apply these skills to everyday life.

Ruckus Taco Co.:

Community Connect debuted its new cooking segment on the show. Jeremy Kalmus, Owner of Ruckus Taco Co., joined Lisa Germani to make easy pico de gallo, queso, and guacamole recipes to have at your party for the big game.

 

Women’s Empowerment

On this episode of Community Connect, we focus on Womens Empowerment as we hear how local nonprofits are helping to support and encourage women of all ages around the Metro Detroit community. 

Alternatives For Girls:

In 1987, Alternatives For Girls was founded to serve homeless and at-risk girls and young women through shelter, prevention, and outreach programs. The programs provide help to women ages 7-22, as well as their children when it comes to shelter. Amy Good, CEO of Alternatives For Girls, joined Lisa Germani  to detail the organization’s programs and talk about the impact it’s had on the community.

Girl Develop It!:

Mend on the Move is a non-profit which employs survivors of abuse in Metro Detroit to create jewelry from salvaged auto parts and car seat leather. The parts are symbolic of Mend on the Move’s commitment to serve women of the motor city. Employing these when provides them with an income while in recovery. Joanne Ewald, Founder of Mend on the Move, joined Lisa Germani to talk about the impact of helping survivors of abuse and what Mend on the Move has planned for the future.

Refuge For Nations:

Refuge for Nations provides support to refugee and immigrant women. The support given helps these women thrive in their new life in the United States. They help breakdown language barriers through English course, and help women prepare for eventual employment with skilled trade courses. Cynthia Khan, Founder of Refuge for Nations, joined Lisa Germani to discuss how the organization helps refugees and immigrants settle comfortably in the United States, providing avenues for employment.

Mend On The Move:

Mend on the Move is a non-profit which employs survivors of abuse in Metro Detroit to create jewelry from salvaged auto parts and car seat leather. The parts are symbolic of Mend on the Move’s commitment to serve women of the motor city. Employing these when provides them with an income while in recovery. Joanne Ewald, Founder of Mend on the Move, joined Lisa Germani to talk about the impact of helping survivors of abuse and what Mend on the Move has planned for the future.

 

Meaningful Work

On this episode of Community Connect, we hear about the special bonds being created through meaningful work that are paving the way for individuals with disabilities and special needs so they can successfully live, learn, and work. 

Easterseals:

Easterseals has been serving the special needs and disabilities community for nearly 100 years. Easterseals Michigan provides programs to these individuals and their families to help with behavioral health, rehabilitation, child development, and job training. Craig Sharum, Director of Communications & Outreach, and Ruth Louwsma, Program Director for Easterseals Michigan, joined Lisa Germani to talk about how Easterseals continues to serve Michigan after nearly 100 years.

Royal Services of Michigan:

Royal Services specializes in cleaning, professional floor care and supports the green clean movement. Royal Services helps employ clients from Easterseals. Jay McMillan, Founder & President of Royal Services, joined Lisa Germani to talk about their partnership with Easterseals to help Royal Services employ clients with disabilities and special needs.

Easterseals:

Fernanda Crudo was helped by Easterseals earlier in her life when she was seeking employment. Crudo now works at Easterseals helping others find employment. Fernanda Crudo joined Lisa Germani. They discuss Fernanda’s relationship with Easterseals early in her life and how working for them now has impacted her life.

Detroit Taco Co.:

Detroit Taco Company has work with Easterseals Michigan before to help employ people who come through Easterseals to find employment. Detroit Taco Company now employs several individuals with disabilities or special needs. Jeffrey Omtvedt, Owner of Detroit Taco Company, and his employee through Easterseals, Bridgette Lewis, joined Lisa Germani to talk about their partnership with Easterseals.

 

Healthy Living

Life is not merely being alive, but it’s living well. On Community Connect, we explore a variety of guidelines that will help us to live our healthiest lives to the fullest.

Go Red For Women:

Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association‘s national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women. Dr. Pamela Marcovitz, Founder of Go Red For Women, joined Lisa Germani to discuss this year’s Go Red For Women movement and how the American Heart Association is fighting to end heart disease in women.

Area Agency On Aging 1-B:

Area Agency on Aging 1-B provides opportunities and programs to seniors to stay active in their community, both physically and mentally. The goal is to ensure that seniors recognize that they are an essential part of the community. Jenny Jarvis Chief Communications & Strategy Officer Area Agency on Aging 1-B, sat down with Lisa Germani to talk about how it is important to keep seniors physically and mentally active within the community.

Detroit PAL:

Over 14,000 youth in Detroit have had their lives transformed because of the work performed by Detroit PAL. This group works to keep kids active and safe during this technology-driven time period. They provide athletic opportunities for children and create positive interactions with law enforcement and many of Detroit’s key athletes. Robert Jamerson, the CEO of Detroit PAL as well as Officer Michael Richardson, a PAL Team Program Officer, and Detroit Police Officer joined Lisa Germani to talk about how physical exercise not only helps kids physically but in a multitude of areas in their lives.

I Heart Dogs Animal Rescue and Haven:

Pets brighten our day, lift our spirits when times get tough and help us to get out the door and get active in all stages of life. I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Haven works to bring happiness and love into people and dog’s lives. They seek to lead the no-kill movement by rescuing, rehabilitating, and re-homing homeless dogs. Britney Donnelly an employee at I Heart Dogs Rescue and Animal Haven and special guest Barry, a Great Dane mix, join host Lisa Germani to talk about their rescue and the impact pets can have on a person’s physical and mental health.

 

Black History Month

Detroit is an epicenter for African American culture. From TV to Techno, we hear from the people who laid the foundation for the African American community.

WGPR-TV:

WGPR-TV was an important part of the television industry – giving local African Americans the opportunity to find producing, directing, and other “behind the camera” jobs in the industry. Lisa Germani went over to the William V. Banks Broadcast Museum to talk with four former employees of WGPR-TV about their experiences at the station and what it meant to them to find work at the first African America owned and operated television station in the United States.

Underground Resistance – Techno:

When you think of Detroit, you usually think of Motown, but not many people realize that Detroit is also the birthplace of Techno. The creation of this style of music is credited to a group called the Belleville Three. Techno has opened doors for the African American community in Detroit as well as throughout the globe. John Collins, from Underground Resistance, sat down with Host Lisa Germani to talk about the Belleville Three and the musical style known as Techno that originated in Detroit. He explains how Detroit Techno has helped provide opportunities for the African American community.

Sweet Magnolia’s:

Food plays a significant role in many cultural traditions and Sweet Magnolia’s does their part in bringing traditional southern dishes to southeastern Michigan. Sweet Magnolia’s is a restaurant in Southfield, named after Carolyn Cannon’s mother Magnolia with a menu full of personal recipes that have been passed down through generations. Johnny Cannon, the owner of Sweet Magnolia’s and Jathan Cannon, Manager of Sweet Magnolia’s, joined Host Lisa Germani in the kitchen to show how to prepare one of their famous side dishes while explaining some of the history behind the dish.

 

Creating Future Leaders

On this week’s Community Connect, hear about how local nonprofits are creating strong foundations within our community so all youth can blossom and flourish in Metro Detroit.

Teach 313:

Teach 313 is an organization that focuses on the recruitment, quality of life, and retention of teachers in Detroit. They do this through various discount and initiative programs for teachers, as well as networking events and social gatherings for teachers.Chanel Hampton, Founder and CEO of Strategic Community Partners – Teach 313, and Quan Neloms, Founder of In Demand and Teach 313 Educator-in-Residence, joined Lisa Germani to talk about Detroit’s need for educators and how their fellowship program is helping to fix that need.

Lyricist Society:

Lyricist Society started in 2009 at Fredrick Douglass Academy for Young Men as an after school program. The program uses hip hop to increase student involvement in creative arts while also promoting cultural awareness, achievement, and literacy. Lisa Germani sat down with Quan Neloms, founder of Lyricist Society, to talk about how he is transforming student’s school lives through the creative use of hip hop in the classroom.

Covenant House:

Covenant House Michigan is more than a shelter. They provide both sanctuary and support to homeless and trafficked youth of Michigan. The kids who come to Covenant House have been abused and neglected. The kids have been abandoned by those who are supposed to care for them and they come to Covenant House to be a part of a family. Gerry Piro, Executive Director of Covenant House Michigan, joined Lisa Germani to talk about how Covenant House is able to offer housing and support services to young people in need that currently is reaching 74,000 youth every year.

Brilliant Detroit:

Brilliant Detroit was founded in 2015 to provide a new approach to early childhood development. This was done through by using underutilized housing stock to create early child and family centers in neighborhoods. Cindy Eggleton, Co-Founder & CEO of Brilliant Detroit, joined Lisa Germani to talk about how Brilliant Detroit’s Kid Success Neighborhoods provide school readiness programs to kids and support systems for families.

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