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Michelle Tyson is the founder of Taking Back Muskegon.  She's a mom, a grandma, a former part of our contributing collective and one of the most giving people we know.  There's also a very big part of Michelle that's a "momma bear" to a lot of kids through her Taking Back Muskegon organization.  The program began in it's infancy about the same time we did at the Muskegon Channel and as it grew, Michelle's attention needed to go toward the kids, and with that, our attention stayed on her in an as needed basis.  Taking care of kids...clearly a priority. 

 

"It takes a village" is what will jump out at you first.  Last summer, we arranged to help the Taking Back Muskegon kids to be a part of the Wings Over Muskegon Air Show.  When they got on site, we were set up at the Muskegon Channel truck and as a group, Michelle brought the kids over and said "This is Grandpa Andy....if we get separated, come right back here and find Grandpa Andy and he'll make sure you are safe and can get back with the group."  The initial shock of being called "Grandpa" wore off eventually, but as we talked today, Michelle explained that growing up....that's how it worked.  Aunts, uncles, grannys and grandpas, they all just pitched in around the neighborhood no matter who the kids were, and with that....I felt honored.  

From the Taking Back Muskegon website - "Taking Back Muskegon Inc. is a grassroots organization that specializes in guiding individuals to transform their adversities into opportunities for growth, while emphasizing the acceptance and celebration of individuality as a pathway to success. What sets them apart is their dedication to philanthropy, as they function as a nonprofit entity and provide comprehensive scouting services in the form of scouting packs, troops, and units."

This coming summer, on Juneteenth actually, the Taking Back Muskegon organization is hosting a parade in Downtown Muskegon.  June 19th is observed as a holiday because after slavery was ended, it took three years for the word to finally reach the last enslaved people in Texas.  250,000 people freed from slavery, three years after the fact.  Imagine that?  Slave owners who knew it was abolished, kept the news from those they held for three years, because they could.  That's a piece of history more should be aware of, and honestly, should be observed.  The true history of slavery is a societal scar we will probably not see healed in our generation.  The parade is being organized to help the kids see that honoring history is important.  Honoring community is important.  Honoring learning is important and of course...seeing others in a community being there for them....that's a big deal too.  It's a bold step to show younger people a better direction.  There is plenty of time to GET YOUR ORGANIZATION REGISTERED TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PARADE

We're remarkably proud of Michelle and her staff for all they do for these kids.  To learn more about Taking Back Muskegon of how you can participate in, or support the organization, CLICK HERE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE.   You can also follow the group on their FACEBOOK PAGE

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