Earlene McMichael

Morning Edition Host

  Earlene McMichael became WMUK's local host of NPR's Morning Edition in August 2012. A former, long-time Kalamazoo Gazette editor, reporter, and columnist, she was a news anchor at WHCU-FM when it was owned by Cornell University, her alma mater.

Manuel Balce Ceneta | Associated Press

Sybrina Fulton says she was catapulted from her quiet life as a civil service worker into high-profile anti-violence activism when her son Trayvon Martin was slain five years ago by a neighborhood watch volunteer. While it helped lead to the Black Lives Matter movement that draws attention to senseless deaths of African-Americans, Fulton says more is needed, like changes in laws. So she says she's contemplating running for office and will decide within the next few months. She speaks March 29 in Kalamazoo.


Earlene McMichael | WMUK

When it was time for Kalamazoo College senior Kaylah "Kami" Simmons to choose a capstone project to do this year, she thought of a famous man she met in high school -- Hal Jackson. He's an African-American who broke the color barrier in radio in the '30s and is in several Halls of Fame. She didn't know his significance back then. Now a theater arts major with a media studies concentration who's contemplating a journalism career, Simmons wants more people to know about Jackson and this Saturday presents a reader's theater play inspired by his life. He died in 2012 at 96.


Kalamazoo Public Library

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA's all-time leading scorer, is well-known for his feats on the court. But did you know that, as a high-school reporter, he covered the late Martin Luther King Jr. at a press conference? And he's been writing ever since. Abdul-Jabbar shares this story and more in his new book, "Writings on the Wall: Searching for A New Equality Beyond Black and White," which is the Kalamazoo Public Library's Reading Together selection this year.

Earlene McMichael | WMUK

At a time when some community read programs have shut down, Kalamazoo Public Library Director Ann Rohrbaugh says her institution's Reading Together will be reaching its 15th milestone anniversary in March. She says picking books with potential for lively discussions, often around social issues, is its winning formula. This year's selection is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's "Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White," a book of essays about race relations. He'll speak in Kalamazoo on March 14.


Earlene McMichael | WMUK

Did you know that most foster youth are released from their state's care at age 18? Research shows they become vulnerable to homelessness, and few pursue college. Western Michigan University is changing that. Nearly 10 years ago, it founded the award-winning Seita Scholars Program that's led to 99 students who aged out of the system earning their degrees. This spring, officials say, their 100th participant is expected to graduate. 


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