Flintern: July

April 20 became one of my happiest moments this year as I discovered I was going to be a Flintern.

In the joy I felt then, I could have never anticipated the respect and appreciation that I would developed for this community of Flint, Michigan.  

After being here for almost a month, I have observed their love and strength. There are so many bold, vibrant individuals who are working to bring their community together. 

These people have suffered more than most, but amidst their hurt, they continue to take a stand for their dreams. 

Every day, this place and the people here challenge me and teach me new things. They are my inspiration, and I'm excited to see what I'll learn from them in these upcoming months. 

The community of Flint gathers with law enforcement officers outside the Genesee County Jail during a protest organized by Ebenezer Ministries on Sunday, July 17, 2016 in downtown Flint. The protest promoted unity and respect between the community and law enforcement officers after the Baton Rouge shooting that left three police officers dead.

The community of Flint gathers with law enforcement officers outside the Genesee County Jail during a protest organized by Ebenezer Ministries on Sunday, July 17, 2016 in downtown Flint. The protest promoted unity and respect between the community and law enforcement officers after the Baton Rouge shooting that left three police officers dead.

Dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It is hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change. Dreams are like hope; we need both of them in order to see a different tomorrow.
— Bishop Urundi Knox of Ebenezer Ministries in Burton
Due to the circumstances, there will be no trash pick-up in the city starting this Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. Until a new agreement is officially in place, we ask the residents not set their trash out at the curb to prevent animals from disturbing it and making the situation worse.
— Statement sent by Flint spokeswoman Kristin Moore.
Julia Brown, 8, carries bags of groceries to be distributed while volunteering with her Girl Scout Troop 74022 during the Mobile Nutrition Pantry on Thursday, July 7, 2016 at West Court Street Church of God in West Flint. The Mobile Nutrition Pantry provides a variety of lead-mitigating foods to communities in need of good nutrition and that have limited access to grocery stores.  Check out the story: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2016/07/mobile_food_pantry_offers_lead.html

Julia Brown, 8, carries bags of groceries to be distributed while volunteering with her Girl Scout Troop 74022 during the Mobile Nutrition Pantry on Thursday, July 7, 2016 at West Court Street Church of God in West Flint. The Mobile Nutrition Pantry provides a variety of lead-mitigating foods to communities in need of good nutrition and that have limited access to grocery stores. 

Check out the story: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2016/07/mobile_food_pantry_offers_lead.html

 "They came in and they checked everything and I thought the guy said everything was all right," Harris said. "Next thing I know, these people are coming in and telling me they were going to replace my pipes. I [still] have to stop and think, can I use the water for this? Can I use the water for that? I still take my showers, I guess it's safe, and I still wash my dishes, but I'm afraid as far as food is concerned - cooking and preparing food with that water - I still can't use it. They told me to wait until they notified me. I just wonder what was the point of replacing it if I still can't use [the water]...I'm still getting the water tested." City Spokeswoman Kristin Moore said the service line was replaced at the request of Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech, who is working with the city. 

Check out story: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2016/07/council_votes_to_move_forward.html

Officers investigate a crime screen after a shooting at Grand Oak Apartments in Grand Blanc on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

Officers investigate a crime screen after a shooting at Grand Oak Apartments in Grand Blanc on Tuesday, July 26, 2016.

A court case involving nearly $1,800 in unpaid rent is part of the investigation into a shooting that left two women dead and forced doctors to deliver a baby several weeks early.
— Dominic Adams, of The Flint Journal
We want the kids to run toward us rather than away from us.
— Michigan State Trooper Amy Belanger
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It gives (the community) a time to feel safe because sometime not everyone always does feel safe to come out.
— Jay Rowland, project coordinator for the Neighborhood Art Parade
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We are really connecting with the land and each other.
— Deb Hamilton, Edible Flint Garden Starter Coordinator
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We all have the same goals and commonalities.
— Muralist Ariel Sammone, of Flint