Women Organize Michigan Summit-Kalamazoo

Please join us for the Women Organize Michigan Summit in Kalamazoo, MI! We will be having speakers and organizations who are working on moving Michigan forward, and fighting against the forces that would drag us backwards and into oblivion.
As always, there will be child care provided, please indicate the number of children who will need care. (If you have an infant in arms, you don’t need to register them.)
As always, there is no cost to attend, but we strongly encourage a $10 contribution to help cover costs. We also STRONGLY encourage giving more than $10 to help cover those who cannot give financially.
We will announce our line up of speakers as the event draws closer.


Lansing, MI – Community organizing, social justice and labor groups have formed Lets Get Moneya committee to explore a ballot campaign to raise the minimum wage in Michigan. The minimum wage in Michigan –currently $7.40 an hour – hasn’t been raised since 2008, leaving many families living on wages that have not kept up with the price of goods and services.  Tipped workers, like waiters and waitresses, have not received an increase in their minimum wage for over 22 years and currently earn only $2.65 an hour.

Shannon Bryson, 33, of Muskegon is a single mom with two kids, who works part time at a fast food chain and earns minimum wage. “By the time I pay for gas to get to and from work, there’s not much left of my pay check.  Raising the minimum wage could do a lot for mothers like me.  I see people evicted from their homes because they don’t earn enough to pay their rent, and during this cold, cold winter, I see children whose parents can’t afford to dress them warmly enough.”

Research continues to show strong support for raising the minimum wage both in Michigan and nationally including a majority of Democrats, Independents and Republicans (Hart research, July 2013).

Over the last year State Representatives Jon Switalski, of Warren, and Rashida Tlaib, of Detroit, and State Senator Bert Johnson, have introduced various bills to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over three years while also raising the minimum wage for tipped employees and indexing the wage to inflation.  Governor Snyder and various legislative leaders have indicated that they will not take up the bills this year. Last fall, Governor Snyder stated that raising the minimum wage was not a “significant issue” for his administration

“People who work hard, shouldn’t have to wait for out of touch politicians to act and do the right thing – and raise the minimum wage,” said Rebecca Hatley-Watkins, 23, of Kalamazoo, who is married, the mother of one and a Michigan United member. “If you work full-time you shouldn’t live in poverty.”

“It is impossible to raise a child on a job that pays minimum wage. I worked full time and still only brought home one third of the amount I needed to get a decent apartment. Not to mention childcare costs. Sometimes it feels like I am just working to pay someone else to raise my child,” said Cori Johnson, a 24 year-old mother of one in Detroit who is a member of Mothering Justice.

Members of the coalition will make a formal decision on moving forward with a ballot campaign in the next few weeks.

The coalition includes a diverse set of non-profit organizations including: the Center for Progressive Leadership, Michigan United, MOSES, the Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC) Michigan, Mothering Justice and Building Movement Project/ People’s Platform.

The coalition believes that if Lansing won’t act, voters across Michigan will.

Twelve states increased their minimum wage January 1st, 2014.

Eat to Win Joins Forces With Healthy Hip Hop to Fight Childhood Obesity

Eat to Win LLC, makers of FunNutritional games and products are joining forces with the Lend A Hand Family and Healthy Hip Hop to showcase the benefits their games and products have for children struggling with weight and all those other children who can just benefit from healthier eating habits.

Through their collaboration, Eat to Win produced their first ever commercial, featuring Healthy Hip Hop. The final video can be seen on H3’s YouTube page.

Roy Scott, Founder and President of Lend A Hand Family, the Producer of Healthy Hip Hop, praised the games and products saying, “Eat to Win is a fun and innovative way to get kids active and teach them about making healthy lifestyle decisions.”

The Lend A Hand Family regularly conducts live performances at schools and other organizations designed to motivate youth to seek better health and educational success.

“We use the Eat to Win Flash Cards and Board Games at our kids’ events and performances,” says Scott, also known as Rappin’ Roy, “and the response has been outstanding. This summer we will start the filming of our kids’ TV show titled ‘H3TV,’ and we will have an ‘Eat to Win’ segment in each show to engage and enlighten our youth!”

Jammi Roscoe, Chief Executive Director of Fun for Eat to Win, says, “We are pleased that Healthy Hip Hop will be showcasing our approach in their new show. Rappin’ Roy can have a big impact in changing the lives of young people.”

For more information, please visit http://www.eattowingame.com

Sound-Based Therapy Helping Children With Developmental Disabilities

When a child has difficulty processing sensory information it can present challenges to the child and family. Early intervention for children with developmental delays helps them reach their full potential.

Milestone for Kids’ Success based in Illnois promotes sound-based intervention. Sound-based therapy uses modified music to exercise the muscles in the middle ear, which enhances transmission of sounds to various parts of the brain. More information about sound therapy.

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