Community Reception with Jacqueline Patterson


Come and meet Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program at a community reception.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
ICCF Assembly Hall
920 Cherry St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Presented by: West Michigan Environmental Action Council, Grand Rapids NAACP and the Progressive Women’s Alliance

Space is limited so please RVSP if you plan to attend

Community Reception with Jacqueline Patterson


The Motet

Founders Brewing Company is pleased to present The Motet (Jam, Dance & Progressive Funk from Denver, CO)appearing with special guests The Heard (Horn-driven Funk from Chicago, IL)
Started ten years ago by seasoned drummer Dave Watts as a rotating cast of musical friends, today progressive funk band The Motet has refined their sound and vision into a dynamic and expressive force. The Motet features an astonishingly talented cast of musicians who enjoy a palpable rapport when put together – Dave Watts (drums, musical director), Garrett Sayers (bass), Joey Porter (keyboards), Ryan Jalbert (guitar), Jans Ingber (vocals) and horn players Gabe Mervine (trumpet) and Matt Pitts (sax).
Today, The Motet is touring nationwide. Recent months have found the band’s audiences growing exponentially – with sellout shows from coast to coast including Red Rock’s Amphitheatre, Brooklyn Bowl, and many more, and huge festival plays such as Electric Forest, Summer Camp, All Good Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Camp Bisco, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and Arise Music Festival, among others
Sunday, February 28th
8:00 p.m. Free
Founders BREWERY
235 Grandville Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Women of Color in the Workplace: Building a Career

Women of Color in the Workplace: Building a Career

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

This interactive panel discussion will feature women of color from our community, with a range of experiences and voices. Building on our previous panel last August, these women will share their stories and talk about what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace. What steps can you take to build a strong foundation for your career? How do you find and work with a mentor? Is there anything special to consider when interviewing for positions? How do you face barriers or overcome biases? How can our community support women of color? What does it take to lead fearlessly? This open and honest discussion will foster dialogue and bring women (and men) together.

Panalists include:

  • Sonia Dalmia, Economics Professor, GVSU
  •  Mary Hartfield, Program Manager, GROW
  •   Mindy Ysasi, Executive Director, The SOURCE
  •   Jeanessa Fenderson, Branch Manager, Grand Rapids Public Library (moderator)


Main Library

111 Library Street NE | 49503


Before the Blues: A Musical Workshop with Reverend Robert Jones

Before the Blues: A Musical Workshop with Reverend Robert Jones

February 16 @ 6:30 pm8:00 pm

It would probably be fair say that blues music was the dominant popular music style of the 20th Century, but what came before the blues? Even though the quilt of early authentic African American music is largely gone, there are still threads that can give us insight to the music that existed during American slavery and that gave rise to the popular music of the day. In this workshop we will explore such subjects as the “field holler”, work songs, lullabies, traditional banjo, fiddle, quills and guitar music, spirituals and dance music. Detroit native Reverend Robert Jones, Sr. is a singer, storyteller and self taught multi-instrumentalist. He uses folk, blues, spirituals and other American Roots music to champion the beauty and power of our shared culture. He has more than twenty-five years of experience as a performer, musician, storyteller, radio producer/host and music educator.



Main Library, 111 Library St NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503 United States

“Design Thinking in a Nonprofit Organization, a Culture Challenge”

A GVSU Design Thinking Initiative Talk

“Developing an Orientation of Innovation through Design Thinking”

With Deborah Parizek
Executive Director, Henry Ford Learning Institute of Dearborn, Michigan

Henry Ford Learning Institute is an internationally recognized organization focused on redesigning how we learn.  Their approach equips learners of all ages with the skills to envision and implement new ways of learning and work, contributing to their capacity as innovative thinkers and creative problem solvers.  Deborah’s talk will share HFLI’s process and experiences implementing design thinking in schools, communities and businesses around the world; her work with leading design thinkers and other progressive learning organizations to refine the design thinking process to explicitly develop young innovators and resourceful lifelong learners; and, key lessons learned along the way.

Wednesday, February 10, 2015

Talk – 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Q&A immediately following

Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Building

GVSU – Pew Campus

401 Fulton St W

Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Parking is available in the Fulton Lot. No permit is necessary.

No Registration Required

Taste of Soul Sunday


 February 21, 2016, 1:00 – 4:30 pm

Join us as we celebrate African American history and culture at Taste of Soul Sunday. Listen, learn, play and eat.

This popular event is free and open to the public thanks to the support of the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. Consider a gift today.

Parking is always free on Sunday in the library lot.  Metered spots on the street are free on Sunday as well.

Main Library
111 Library Street NE | 49503

Schedule of events:

1:00 pm Sweet Willie Singleton, trumpeter Level 1
1:30 pm Nola Adé, vocalist Ryerson Auditorium, Level 3
1:30 pm Inside a 1950s Black Barbershop with Daniel Groce, Jr. Adult Computer Training Center, Lower Level
2:15 pm Fable the Poet and Guests Quiet Study Room, Lower Level
2:30 pm In the Tradition, jazz musicians Ryerson Auditorium, Level 3
3:00 pm Inside a 1950s Black Barbershop with Daniel Groce, Jr. Youth Computer Training Center, Level 2
3:30 pm Asamu Johnson, blues musician Ryerson Auditorium, Level 3
3:45 pm Fable the Poet and Guests Quiet Study Room, Lower Level
All day Kid’s Activities Children’s Area, Level 2

Grand Rapids Symphony presents Symphony with Soul

Saturday, February 27th…

Save the date for the  15th annual celebration of African-American musical expression, bridging cultures through the shared language of music. Pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio will join your Grand Rapids Symphony for this performance.

Romance, Swing, and the Blues

Pianist Marcus Roberts rose to prominence as a gifted performer — first with the Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center bands for years, then with his own trio and as a classical soloist. Roberts is perhaps best known for the development of an entirely new approach to jazz trio performance. Along the way, he’s become a mentor to many younger musicians, training many on the bandstand and from his professorship at Florida State University.

Every year, Symphony with Soul is preceded by the Celebration of Soul dinner and Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Awards, a special event celebrating diversity and inclusion initiatives in West Michigan. For more information about the Celebration of Soul package, go here.

Tickets for the concert are on sale now at the DeVos Place® and Van Andel Arena® box offices, Ticketmaster ticket centers, online at, or charge by phone at 1-800-982-2787.

 DeVos Performance Hall

303 Monroe Avenue NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49503