This Week on American Black Journal:

Flint marks 10 years since water crisis: Mayor Neeley reflects on the progress, challenges

A decade has passed since the City of Flint made the decision to switch its drinking water source from Detroit’s system to the untreated Flint River in a move purportedly aimed at saving money. However, this decision triggered a public health crisis that exposed tens of thousands of residents in the predominantly African American city to perilously high levels of lead contamination. 

Despite concerted efforts by the City of Flint to address water infrastructure issues, many residents continue to grapple with distrust in the water supply and persistent health concerns. Also, the $25 million financial settlement reached after the crisis has been subject to delays and complexities, prolonging restitution for affected individuals and families. 

In commemoration of this somber anniversary, host Stephen Henderson talks with Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley. Their discussion delved into the city’s present water quality status, the well-being of its residents, progress on the replacement of lead service lines, and the status of the financial settlement that emerged from the crisis. Mayor Neeley also shared his aspirations for Flint’s future, underscoring the community’s resilience in the face of adversity.

2024 Small Business Workshop explores practical solutions to navigate evolving business landscape

The Small Business Workshop, hosted by The LEE Group, returns for its 10th year on Wednesday, May 15 at The Corner Ballpark. Presented by Fifth Third Bank, the sold-out event is expected to draw a crowd of small business owners and entrepreneurs, industry leaders and other community advocates.

This year’s workshop theme is “Embracing Change While Moving Forward,” underscoring the challenges small businesses have faced while navigating a landscape rife with economic uncertainties. Inflation, economic uncertainty in an election year, the emergence of new technologies, and a tight labor market are among the challenges causing small businesses to adapt and adjust. Attendees will be able to engage in dynamic discussions led by industry experts, entrepreneurs, and community leaders who explore practical solutions to navigate an evolving business landscape. 

Host Stephen Henderson gets details on the 10th annual Small Business Workshop from the event’s founder Mark S. Lee, President & CEO of The LEE Group, and Tawnya Rose, Vice President & Community Impact Manager at Fifth Third Bank. Lee details the history of the event and what led him to come up with the idea a decade ago. He also talks about this year’s theme and what small business owners will take away from the event.  

Rose talks about Fifth Third Bank’s support for the workshop from the beginning, 10 years ago, and how the bank helps small businesses overcome issues and obstacles such as access to capital.

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.