In August 2020, Cascade Community Foundation launched the first video of the Q&A Livestream, the first-of-its-kind streaming series. The goal was to address unspoken issues in Cascade, Ada, and Forest Hills that are overlooked due to fear, sensitivity, and confusion, and to offer a resource that promises a non-confrontational and judgment-free space for open dialogue on these issues.
The series began with a focus on race and diversity in West Michigan. What is it like for a person of color in the suburbs? How can we introduce our children to diversity through literature and play? Season one strived to answer these questions and many more, receiving high praise from community residents.
In March of 2021, season two of the Q&A Livestream premiered, this time zeroing in on another topic that is extremely important in our community—mental health. This season began with Isolated, a two-part mental health discussion in which area residents share personal stories of their own struggles with mental health. Episode three, A Faithful Challenge, analyzed the unique role faith has in mental health conversations.
Episode 4, Grace Period, shows the change the pandemic has brought to senior citizens through the eyes of caretakers, residents, and their loved ones. The season concludes with Covid Without Competition, which features an exclusive interview with a West Michigan family who lost their son to suicide in October 2020.
The Q&A Livestream has caught the attention of a variety of local news channels and features a variety of local faces, such as WoodTV8’s Casey Jones, WZZM13’s Val Lego, Fox17’s Deanna Falzone, and more.
Foundation CEO Justin Swan answered Q&A questions through several interviews on WGVU, WZZM13, West Michigan Business Network, Ada Living Magazine, and Cascade Living Magazine. In its first two seasons, the series has amassed over 1.1k views on Youtube and has gained the support of over 20 local businesses and organizations who are passionate about making these conversations accessible to the community.
Season 3, The Modern Classroom, premieres this fall to zero in on exactly how 2020 has shifted education and the new role of parents as stand-in teachers. Seasons 4 and 5, which feature conversations around finance and corporate culture, will take begin in 2022.
To learn more about the Q&A Livestream and watch prior episodes, visit qalivestream.org.
The Q&A Livestream series is made possible through endowment funds at the Cascade Community Foundation, sponsors, and viewers like you.
If you or your business would like to help keep these conversations accessible to area residents, please consider becoming a Cascade Community Foundation annual partner.
Cascade Community Foundation is a 501(C)(3) dedicated to serving Ada, Cascade, and Forest Hills residents, businesses, local government, and nonprofits. Through the Q&A Livestream series, annual grantmaking, and the establishment of private endowment funds, the Foundation helps to preserve this robust community, manage philanthropic resources efficiently, and guide support to areas of greatest need.