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The Rapidian: our community news resource

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Community Engagement Specialist Briana Ureña-Ravelo speaks on the importance of a community news platform that serves everyone.

About NPO Showcase

NPO Showcase highlights nonprofit and government organizations and the work that they're doing in our community. The program is a feature of GRTV, a service of the Community Media Center, with producer and host Julie Way. You can catch it on GRTV on Saturdays at 8 AM and 6 PM and can view past episodes on the Grand Rapids Community Media Center website. If your nonprofit would like to be interviewed on NPO Showcase, please contact Julie Way.

Because you’re here on reading this article, you likely have an idea about what The Rapidian, a service of the Community Media Center, is all about. But why is it so important that our community has access to this free, inclusive, hyperlocal news source?

“If a community doesn’t serve everyone, then it really isn’t a community. It’s about certain people, or certain trends, or certain groups,’ says Briana Ureña-Ravelo, Community Engagement Specialist for The Rapidian. “That bias can become evident, and exists in a lot of our media and news. It’s everywhere.”

The Rapidian is a news source for Grand Rapids happenings, events, identities, and narratives, and is accessible to everyone. Any citizen can become a reporter by attending a training and working with a mentor to share their stories about Grand Rapids.

“I’ve got a great, loud love for Grand Rapids. I love all the work that goes into engaging, building and nurturing its different parts, even the hard and challenging bits that a lot of folks…would rather not hear, let alone talk about,” said Ureña-Ravelo in her first article after joining The Rapidian staff just over a month ago.

The Rapidian is the platform that everyday citizens can use to speak to those “challenging bits” that you may not hear about elsewhere. While the details may be different, we each have stories like Briana’s to share that make our community the place it is.

“There are all these different voices and identities but they’re coming together. The idea should be that we are all different, or we have different opinions of perspectives, or things we’re interested in, but we all come together to build this community and to support each other,” says Ureña-Ravelo.

Want to share your story, but unsure where to start? The Rapidian provides support for reporters, including trainings and pitch nights. Check out The Rapidian’s About page to get started and be a part of citizen journalism.


During The Rapidian’s online fund drive, we are reminded that this highly valued news source runs on money. The Rapidian needs your help to continue providing content that is important to you. Please give today at

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.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.