Join us every week for What’s the Word Wednesday — United Way’s live virtual town halls. Every week, experts will share updates on important topics like unemployment, utility assistance, child care, education and more, and answer your questions live.
This series also includes live town halls on equity issues, including equity in child care, business, criminal justice and updates from government and nonprofit equity organizations and task forces.
Watch live via Zoom or Facebook every Wednesday at 10 a.m.SIGN UP FOR UPDATES
In May and June 2023, join us for a special series of What’s the Word Wednesday town halls all focused on topics around diversity, equity and inclusion in coordination with United Way’s third annual 21-Day Equity Challenge.
Sign up for the Equity Challenge
June 7: PRIDE MONTH: Supporting and Serving the LGBTQ+ Community
Join us in recognition of Pride Month for a town hall with United Way partners Affirmations, PRISM Detroit, Ruth Ellis Center, Transgender Michigan and MiGen Network to talk about what it means to serve the LGBTQ+ community today. This event is part of a series of town halls focused on diversity and equity issues in collaboration with the 21-Day Equity Challenge
Join via Zoom
Join via Facebook Live
Have a question or want to suggest a topic? Email LiveUnited@UnitedWaySEM.org.
Watch recordings and find resource lists from past virtual town halls.
May 31: Elder Law, Estate Planning and Legal Services
Lakeshore Legal Aid will join us to talk about the importance of creating equitable access to legal services for seniors and other vulnerable populations.
May 24: What does it mean to be a Jewish service agency?
Join us for a panel discussion with Friendship Circle of Michigan, Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit and other organizations in recognition of Jewish Heritage Month and celebration of the contributions of the Jewish community to our region.
May 10: Equity in Outdoor Access with Black to the Land
Black to the Land Coalition joins us for a conversation on how to expand access to outdoor spaces for BIPOC communities.
March 15: Get Help With Residential Water Assistance
Struggling to pay your water bills? Learn about water assistance programs available through United Way and our partners Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, Macomb Community Action Agency and Oakland Livingston Human Services Agency.
March 8: Women in Nonprofit Leadership
An International Women’s Day discussion on gender equity and intersectionality with Detroit Disability Power, Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association and the Pure Heart Foundation for this panel discussion.
March 1: The State of Urban Education: A Conversation with the Divine 9
Join us for a panel discussion with representatives from four of the nine Black Greek Letter organizations represented in the National Pan-Hellenic Council. We’ll discuss their thoughts on urban education and share ongoing scholarship opportunities for youth.
Feb. 15: A Black History Month talk with Ken Coleman
Celebrate Black History Month with United Way as we welcome journalist, author and historian Ken Coleman. Ken will share stories from his work, as well as the rich history of Detroit’s Black neighborhoods, businesses and culture.
Feb. 8: Learn About the 2-1-1 Resource Directory
Tasha Ball, Director, 2-1-1 Operations and Nyesha Motley, Manager, Resource Directory joined us to discuss how United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline is powered by a comprehensive directory of tens of thousands of resources. Learn about how you can use our directory and why 2-1-1 is the best way to find accurate, current resources like food and shelter.
Jan. 25: What to Expect in 2023 Michigan Legislation: A Conversation with United Way and Michigan League for Public Policy CEOs
With the start of a new year comes new legislators and new policy priorities at the state and federal levels. As Michigan’s new legislature begins its work for 2023, Monique Stanton, President and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy, will join United Way for Southeastern Michigan President and CEO Dr. Darienne Hudson to share what we can expect to see in the year ahead in Michigan’s legislation.
Dec. 14: Mental Health and Substance Use: A Panel Discussion
Speakers: Erinn Alderman Rowland, CARE of Southeastern Michigan; Dunya Barash, Families Against Narcotics; Amy Hostinski, Oakland Family Services
Several organizations that work on mental health and substance use in southeastern Michigan will join us for this town hall tackling the issues of substance use and abuse and how it relates to mental health.
Nov. 16: Building School Readiness with LENA Start
Speaker: Dr. Teresa Holtrop, pediatrician and co-founder of the Wayne Children’s Healthcare Access Program
Nov. 9: Holiday Food Access: Where to Find It and How to Help
Kelli Kaschimer, Director, Volunteer and Client Services; and Krista Poole, Manager, Client Services from Forgotten Harvest joins us. They will discuss food services available for families in need this holiday season, as well as how members of the community can help support families during the holidays.
Oct. 19: Promote the Vote: Voter Access and Rights
United Way and Promote the Vote coalition to talk about voter access and rights, plus efforts to expand voter access through the Promote the Vote ballot initiative.
Oct. 12: Utility Assistance: What You Need to Know for 2022-23
Sean Scane, director of utility initiatives at United Way for Southeastern Michigan, joins us for our annual update on the MEAP program and other utility assistance programs and answer questions from attendees.
Sept. 28: Diaper Need Awareness Week: Keeping Babies Clean, Healthy and Dry
Veronica Claybrone from the Detroit Diaper Bank and Shadora Ford from Destined for Greatness join us in recognition of Diaper Need Awareness Week to talk about barriers and supports for families in need of diapers, formula and other crucial baby supplies.
Sept. 14: How to Get Engaged With Connect 313 This Digital Inclusion Week
Connect 313 joins us once again to preview the events of Digital Inclusion Week, held Oct. 3-7, and talk about how youth, families and organizations can be involved.
Sept. 7: Fostering Access, Rights and Equity for Working Women
Shannon Garrett of the Michigan Women’s Commission joins us for a Labor Day week town hall to discuss the Fostering Access, Rights and Equity grant and its impact on women workers who are marginalized or earn low wages.
Aug. 24: COVID-19 and Kids: Your Questions Answered
As families prepare for back-to-school, Dr. Scott Grant, MD. Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, joins us to share updates on what parents should know about COVID-19, the flu and vaccinations, as well as answer attendee questions about COVID-19 and vaccinations.
Aug. 17: Education & Equity: A Back-to-School Town Hall
Speaker: Silver Moore, Educator, Founder of Classroom Clapback, and Program Director at SDM2: Project Education
Aug. 3: Behavioral Health Services for Children and Families
Speaker: Donna Chavous, Community Engagement Team Lead for Development Center’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic
June 8: Disability Rights and Justice with Detroit Disability Power
May 18: Equity in Maternal Health
Birth Detroit and Mothering Justice will hold a panel discussion about maternal health and the issues facing expecting parents and families in accessing quality care.
May 11: Connect 313 updates
Join City of Detroit Digital Inclusion Director Joshua Edmonds to learn about the Affordable Connectivity Plan and Detroit’s Fiber Infrastructure Internet Plan.
April 20: Learn About Foster Care with the Ennis Center
April 13: Finding the Best Summer Programs for Your Kids:
March 23: Learn about the new Michigan Homeowners Assistance Fund
March 16: Reading Month: Advancing Literacy in Our Homes and Neighborhoods
Feb. 16: Tax season: How to get free, professional tax help through the VITA program
Feb. 9: Celebrate 2-1-1 Awareness month: Finding resources and support through United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline
Jan. 19: Honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy with the Detroit Alphas
Jan. 12: What’s Coming Up in 2022 Legislation
Julie Cassidy and Alex Rossman from the Michigan League for Public Policy join us to discuss anticipated state and federal policies for the year ahead.
Dec. 15: Mental Health: Seasonal Depression and Coping with Holidays
Dec. 8: Youth Mental Health
Detroit-based organization Caleb’s Kids joins us to talk about how we can support the youth in our lives who may be dealing with mental illness.
Dec. 1: Housing resources for homeowners
Wayne Metro Community Action Agency joins us to talk about resources available to homeowners who may be struggling to afford their bills or at risk of foreclosure.
Nov. 17: Celebrating Trans Awareness Week: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth
Mark Erwin and Lilianna Reyes from the Ruth Ellis Center join us to talk about their work supporting LGBTQ+ youth and young adults, and how you can support them.
Nov. 10: Resources for Veterans
In recognition of Veterans Day, Ryan Engle from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency joins us to share resources for veterans and updates on programs.
Nov. 3: Holiday Volunteerism
Learn how to find volunteer opportunities that fit your needs and schedule through our Volunteer Portal, and hear from Focus: HOPE about ways you can give back as a volunteer this winter.
Oct. 27: Michigan Works! Updates
Jennifer Llewellyn, director of Oakland County Michigan Works! and the Manager of Workforce Development at Oakland County, will join us to share updates on workforce programs available to job-seekers.
Oct. 20: Resources and Programs for Disabled Individuals
Lori Hill-Sanders, executive director of the Disability Network of Wayne County – Detroit, will join us to talk about resources available to people with disabilities and highlight their work in this area.
Oct. 13: Supporting Afghan Refugees with Samaritas
Samaritas will join us to share information and resources on how we can support Afghan refugees.
Oct. 6: Mental Health and Wellness: Prioritizing Self-Care During COVID-19
Dr. Krystle Woods will join us to talk about mental health awareness, resources and more.
Sept. 29: Updates on the MEAP program
Sean Scane, MEAP project manager at United Way, will join us to share updates on our utility assistance program before enrollment opens this fall.
Sept. 22: Latine Equity in the Labor Movement
The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement will join us for this Latin and Hispanic Heritage Month town hall.
Sept. 15: Centering Community Voice: Why Your Story is Important to Grant-making
Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team will join us to talk about our partnerships with equity-focused organizations, and Detroit Future City will share why your story is important in grant-making.
Sept. 8: Emergency Rental Assistance: Updates on the CERA Program
Michael Centi, department director of integration at Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, joins us to talk about the latest information renters need to know when facing eviction.
Download the PowerPoint presentation
Aug. 25: Run United Virtual Marathon
Join United Way to learn about getting involved in our upcoming virtual marathon Sept. 15-Oct. 17, and how you can turn your miles into support for students in our community!
Aug. 18: Back-to-School Health and Safety – What Parents Need to Know
A conversation about COVID-19 safety and new recommendations from the Detroit Health Department.
Aug. 11: Learn about redistricting and your important role in it with the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Click here to view and download the presentation slides.
Aug. 4: FEMA Flood Recovery Resources
A speaker from FEMA joins us to walk through how individuals affected by flooding in Wayne and Washtenaw counties can apply for assistance.
July 28: Connect313 Updates: Accessing the Emergency Broadband Benefit
Joshua Edmonds, Director of Digital Inclusion for the City of Detroit, joins us to share news about the Connect313 coalition, and how families can access discounted internet and devices through the Emergency Broadband Benefit.
July 21: How to Combat Ableism and Be a Disability Rights Ally
Dessa Cosma, executive director of Detroit Disability Power, joins us as we recognize the anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act to talk about how to recognize and combat ableism.
July 14: Voter Rights Updates: What to Know Before You Vote
Merissa Kovach, policy analyst for the ACLU of Michigan, joins us to share updates on voter rights, including recent and proposed legislative changes.
June 23: Exploring the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre
Journalist Phil Lewis joins us to share his research and learnings about the Tulsa Massacre.
June 16: Child Tax Credit: What It Is and How to Get It
Matt Heatherwick, director of individual tax programs at Accounting Aid Society, joins us to talk about how families can make sure they receive the new Child Tax Credit starting in July. Click here to view and download the presentation. slides.
June 9: Meet up and Eat Up Summer 2021 Updates
Gleaners and the City of Detroit Parks and Recreation Department join us to give updates and answer questions about how families can access free summer meals for youth.
June 2: Equity in the LGBTQIA+ Community: As we begin celebrating Pride Month, Affirmations joins us to talk about their work in the LGBTQA+ community and how you can get involved.
May 26: COVID-19 vaccination updates: MSU Associate Dean for Public Health Integration and Director of the Flint Center for Health Equity Solutions Debra Furr-Holden, Ph.D. joins us to give updates on the COVID-19 vaccine efficacy and safety and talk about dispelling vaccine myths.
May 19: The 21-Day Equity Challenge: United Way’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Team shares updates on our upcoming Equity Challenge, kicking off May 21.
May 12: Finding Summer Programs for Youth: Sara Plachta Elliott of Detroit’s Youth Development Resource Center joins us with updates on Discover Your Spark, a program for finding after-school and summer enrichment programs for kids.
May 5, 10 a.m.: Eviction Protection and the COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (CERA) Program: Michael Centi from Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency and Kelli Rose from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services join us to share details about new programs to protect renters.
April 28, 10 a.m.: Workplace Safety During COVID-19: Sean Egan, director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety at Michigan LEO, joins us on Workers Memorial Day to talk about workplace safety measures.
April 21: Equity in the Arab American Community: Rana Abbas-Taylor, director of communications and marketing at ACCESS, joins us to talk about the organization’s work to drive progress in racial equity and social justice in and for the Arab American community.
April 14: Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Resources for Survivors: Shelby Nardone, prevention education specialist and Survivor Speakers Bureau coordinator at HAVEN, joins us to share resources for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, plus information about consent.
April 7: Communities of Interest: Why and How to Get Involved With Redistricting: Rebeka Islam, executive director at APIAVote, joins us to talk about the work APIAVote is doing around the issue of political redistricting.
March 31: Mi Reconnect: Get Your Degree Tuition-Free: Kerry Ebersole, senior advisor and director of the Sixty by 30 Office in Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, joined us to talk about how you can apply for tuition-free college through Michigan Reconnect.
March 24: Early Literacy: Why It’s Important to Bring Diverse Stories to Your Children and How to Talk About Them: United Way Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance Specialist Ashley Hart joined us for a March is Reading Month conversation on teaching kids about diversity through books.
March 10: Filing Your Taxes: Everything You Need to Know: Accounting Aid Society and Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency share information about free tax preparation help available to Metro Detroiters, as well as what you need to know about available tax credits.
March 3: Adult Literacy: Making Reading Accessible for All: Lisa Machesky, executive director of the Oakland County Literacy Council, joins us to discuss how the literacy council and other partners are working to help increase adult literacy.
Feb. 24, 10 a.m.: Returning to In-Person Learning: A conversation with Kyle Guerrant, deputy superintendent with the Michigan Department of Education, on safety, regulations and plans for the reopening of schools for in-person learning.
Feb. 17: Michigan Poverty Task Force Update : A conversation with Kim Trent, deputy director – prosperity, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
Feb. 10, 10 a.m.: Child Care Updates: Safety, Eligibility, Virtual Opportunities and more: As many parents explore their options for putting their children back in child care in 2021, join us for a conversation with Starfish Family Services and Wayne RESA for updates on child care openings and safety.
Feb. 3: COVID-19 Vaccine – Your Questions Answered: A conversation with Henry Ford Health System on the new COVID-19 vaccines, including answers about safety and creation of vaccines.
Jan. 27: Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan’s New Resource Center: CCSM shares details about services available at their new resource center, Centers for the Works of Mercy.
Jan. 20: Unemployment updates: A conversation with the State of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity on updates to state and federal unemployment benefits available to Michigan residents.
Download the presentation slides
Jan. 13: Equity in Criminal Justice Reform: A conversation with Safe and Just Michigan on recent and upcoming state criminal justice legislation.
Jan. 6: What to Expect in 2021 Legislation: A conversation with the Michigan League for Public Policy on upcoming state and federal legislation.
Dec. 16: Renters’ Rights: Housing and Eviction Resources During COVID-19: Joe McGuire, staff attorney with the Detroit Justice Center, discusses the rights of homeowners and renters, and what options people have for support if the federal eviction moratorium ends in January.
Dec 9: Equity in Business: How to Support Minority Small Businesses: Dr. Kenneth Harris, President and CEO of the National Business League, joins us to discuss what we can do to support minority-owned businesses this holiday season and beyond.
Dec. 2: COVID-19 Update: How to stay safe during the holidays: Join United Way and Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services senior public health physician, for an important update on COVID-19 as we head into the holiday season.
Nov. 25: Equity in Black Maternal Health: Join us for the next installment in our Equity Series as we talk with Nkenge Browner, organizing director with Mothering Justice; and Shanayl Reed, a doula and community health worker with Henry Ford Hospital.
Nov. 18: Michigan Energy Assistance Program: Join us for a conversation around options for utility assistance, as well as advice for those looking to apply.
Nov. 11: Veterans’ Resources: Ryan Engle, partnership coordinator with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, joins us for this Veterans Day discussion on benefits and resources available to Michigan veterans.
Oct. 28 – Election Protection: Melanie McElroy with the nonpartisan civic engagement organization Michigan Voice discusses voters’ rights and Election Day safety.
Oct. 21 – Futures for Frontliners: Ava Attari, data & policy fellow for the University of Michigan’s Youth Policy Lab, placed with Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity; and Erica Luce, manager, Office of Adult Education, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity – Workforce Development join us to discuss this new program for frontline workers in Michigan.
Click here to view/download presentation slides
Questions? Email MiStudentAid@michigan.gov for questions about the community college path; LEO-AdultEd@Michigan.gov for the high school completion path
Oct. 14 – Helping Children Cope with Stress: Dr. Christopher Trentacosta, associate professor in psychology at Wayne State University, joins us to discuss how we can help our children through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Oct. 7: – Equity in Education Funding: Mary Grech, senior data and policy analyst with Education Trust Midwest, joins us for this continuation in our series of discussions around equity and inclusion.
Sept. 30: A Conversation with the Michigan Women’s Commission: Shannon Garrett, chief strategy officer for the Michigan Women’s Commission, discusses gender equity, child care and more.
Sept. 23: Be Counted Michigan – A Virtual Town Hall Census 2020: Joan Gustafson, external affairs officer with the Michigan Nonprofit Association, discusses the importance of being counted in the 2020 census.
Aug. 19: Closing the Digital Divide – A Virtual Town Hall with Connect 313 featuring Joshua Edmonds, Director of Digital Inclusion for the City of Detroit
July 31: Discover Your Spark – a Virtual Town Hall on Out-of-School Programs for Youth with Sara Plachta Elliott, executive director of the Youth Development Resource Center
July 22: Voting Safely in 2020 – a Virtual Town Hall with Assistant Secretary of State Heaster Wheeler
July 1: Supports for Older Adults with Area Agency on Aging 1-B
June 24: Getting Back to Work with Michigan Works!
June 16: Oakland County COVID-19 response
May 27: Mental Health
May 22: Stimulus Payment and Filing Your Taxes
Download virtual VITA tax assistance information
May 20: Utility and Water Assistance
May 15: Accessing Food Assistance
May 8: Unemployment Insurance