Alexis Stark

Alexis Stark

Alexis Stark is a freelance writer in Grand Rapids. She previously wrote for the Ann Arbor News. Before graduating from the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University, Alexis covered features and campus news for the State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism.

Michigan school board members struggle with anger, threats over COVID-19 rules, culture war issues

By: - September 10, 2021

School board members in Michigan — volunteers who are typically parents or former educators — are facing unprecedented pressure and scrutiny as a third school year dawns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike last year, Michigan does not have a statewide mask mandate, leaving the decision in the hands of county health departments and local school […]

From housing to health care, LGBTQ+ people have been hit hard by the pandemic

By: - August 26, 2021

Marwa ElShazly has battled the economic and personal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and says it’s taken a toll on her mental health. “I’ve been lucky enough to be working through the entirety of the pandemic, though I had to switch jobs because of furlough and ended up losing my health care for a few […]

LGBTQ voters relieved about Biden win, uncertain over the future of their rights

By: - November 13, 2020

Feelings of relief, but not necessarily joy, filled the hearts and minds of some Michigan LGBTQ voters following the 2020 presidential election. “I’m still processing what’s going on,” said Grace Koepele, a non-binary recent college graduate from Ann Arbor. “I love celebrating wins and milestones, big and small, but there is still a lot of […]

Jewish cemetery desecrated with “MAGA” and “TRUMP” graffiti 

By: - November 3, 2020

On Monday, one day before Election Day and hours before President Donald Trump visited the city, headstones at Ahavas Israel Jewish cemetery in Grand Rapids were found vandalized with red spray-painted letters spelling out “TRUMP” and his slogan of “MAGA” (Make America Great Again). The Anti-Defamation League of Michigan tweeted their statement shortly after the […]

Ivanka Trump’s Alto stop is 3rd Trump campaign visit to West Michigan in a week 

By: - October 20, 2020

As the contentious 2020 presidential race winds down to its final days, West Michigan has become a battleground.  On Monday afternoon, Wildwood Family Farms in Alto welcomed Ivanka Trump. Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic nominee Joe Biden and former Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg have all made recent stops in the Grand Rapids region. President […]

Grand Rapids judge leaves church after being denied communion for being gay 

By: - June 30, 2020

On Nov. 23, 2019, Judge Sara Smolenski received a call from the Rev. Scott Nolan at St. Stephen Catholic Church. Nolan requested that Smolenski, who presides over Grand Rapids’ 63rd District Court, abide by the teachings of the Roman Catholic church and not take communion because she is married to a woman. Some churches have taken […]

How Black Lives Matter has changed Pride Month

By: - June 28, 2020

On June 28, 1970, New York City hosted the first Pride march, commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. Fifty years later, the COVID-19 global pandemic has shifted the tradition of LGBTQ Pride month in June off the streets — but the tradition of advocating for the rights of oppressed people lives on, echoing historical […]