Katie Platte is a 10-year Vine neighborhood resident who is the first to publish from the Fall 2020 class of ON THE GROUND's Community Correspondent's Program. A grant-funded program that compensates participants for attending training workshops and pays to publish their stories, its purpose is to teach journalism basics to residents who are interested in lifting community voices and telling the stories of their neighbors and businesses and organizations that are addressing quality of life issues.
Why did you apply to the Community Correspondents program?
I applied for the Community Correspondents program because I have enjoyed the writing in articles Second Wave has published about the neighborhoods in Kalamazoo and I wanted to learn how to become a more engaging writer.
What impact do you hope to make?
I hope to write articles that resonate with the people living in Vine but talk to issues of the greater Kalamazoo Community.
What topics do you hope to highlight in your writing?
The Vine neighborhood has an interesting mix of residents with there being a high percentage of renters. As a member of a family living in Vine, I love living in a young neighborhood, however, there are concerns with having a high number of rental properties in Vine. I plan to write about both the people living in Vine and housing equity, especially with the new ordinance passed and the homelessness millage that is on the ballot for November.
Any thoughts you'd like to share about the Community Correspondent program? What can you say to encourage others to consider participating in the program?
The Community Correspondent program has been very helpful. I read a lot, but don't know much about writing, and by taking the class I learned why I like certain styles of writing and how I can use those techniques to enhance my own writing. I am still nervous about writing an article that gets published, but my mentor has been very helpful and down-to-earth with helping me prepare for my interviews. I enjoyed meeting my classmates who were also interested in activism. There were many things I didn't know about journalism that will make me evaluate the news articles I read. I would recommend this class for anybody interested in writing or sharing information about their community.