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Our place, your voices: Southside news from southside neighbors- and why that matters

Who knew an immigrant kid from the southside of the city would be given the chance to speak his mind, and for that I am thankful to The Rapidian.

/Ken Miguel-Cipriano

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The Rapidian is your hyperlocal news source powered by citizen journalism. Everything on The Rapidian is about our place- Grand Rapids, Michigan- and written by your voices. Neighbors keeping neighbors informed about local businesses, events, and issues. 


As an open and welcoming platform for all voices, the Rapidian is truly powered by the people. Please keep the power going with a donation today. This is our place, and these are your voices.


During our Spring Fund Drive, we also have special ways to thank our donors! Along with new ways to show your Rapidian love with pencils, Issue Press notebooks and Citizenshirt bags, we also have great gift certificates donated to the cause from these fine establishments:

/Courtesy of Ken Miguel-Cipriano

Having been raised on the southside of the city always made me feel far away and apart from Grand Rapids. As if downtown was Manhattan, and Division Ave was the Brooklyn Bridge passing over into the southside, my Brooklyn.

A hotbed of vibrancy and culture, I grew up in perhaps the best part of the city (sorry not sorry Heritage Hill). What my neighborhood granted me was more important than streets of historic architecture; we were the centerpiece of the neighborhood. My southside upbringing has given me perspective, an invaluable point of view into how cities form and function culturally. I’ve taken this with me everywhere I’ve been, from up and down the East Coast to the Andes, and I am so thankful to have received it.  

It can be easy to overlook the southside and stay uptown, and before reading The Rapidian I had never encountered a news source that covered my side of town with the perspective that neared my own.

Citizen journalists have been the key to getting the story right the first time. We all have voices from our own place in the city, but they aren’t always ready to tell our stories. The saying goes history is written by the victors, and I think something similar can be said about places with an established voice.

A strong voice gives context and credibility to a people, where all the happenings and mishappenings are told as it happened by those who lived it. This can be such an easy detail to gloss over, but let’s put it in perspective. Imagine a person you have never met speaking on your behalf...for everything you do. It becomes very clear that your own voice should tell the story you are living, and no one elses. No one knows you better than you, and I have come to love The Rapidian for having this idea at their core.

Strong voices empower others to stand up and speak up, and in times of civil unrest what we need is not only a diversity of thought, rather we require an inclusivity of diverse thought at the core of our public forum. A hyperlocal news approach ensures that we always have this at the forefront.

Sure, these principles grant our city with the perspective to see ourselves as we are, and to discover ourselves, but it needn’t be limited to deep introspection. After all life is all about, and make sure you write this down, living life! As a very alive human being I endorse living life wholeheartedly, who wouldn’t? So I make sure to regularly check The Rapidian for what’s new and intriguing. Reading The Rapidian is the difference between taking the backpackers trail instead of the tour guide’s path. Some people just want more, and you can count me as one of them. I live in the small details, nuances and intricacies of daily life. Having The Rapidian lets me tune in to every part of the city, but even so we can always have more and do better.

Just imagine what they could do if we all just pitched in a little more? We all have our monthly subscriptions pulling us in different directions whether it’s Rdio, Spotify, Netflix or the newly appointed king of primetime HBO Now (goodbye weekends). We all have our favorite subscriptions, so consider adding The Rapidian to that mix. As of now I am sure they don’t offer subscriptions, but I say it doesn’t need to be a holiday to give a gift. If you’re saying to yourself right now, “Well I just borrow my friends Netflix password,” then I say to you great! Get your friend to donate to The Rapidian, and you can piggy back that way, whatever way lets you sleep at night.

Whatever way you can, support The Rapidian now during their fund drive.

Who knew an immigrant kid from the southside of the city would be given the chance to speak his mind, and for that I am thankful to The Rapidian.

I speak my father’s words from my mother’s tongue. I speak from neglect, from hunger, from rage and from a life that this city has given and taken from. I am so proud to be a supporter of this most dearest organization, and I ask that if you too wish to be heard, understood, and truly seen as you are, that you stand with our friends at The Rapidian to ensure that unheard voices from every block of our city are heard.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

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