America has a fresh water problem. Here’s why.

America's fresh water is in danger. The Great Lakes hold roughly 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, and Lake Erie alone provides drinking water to more than 11 million residents in the United States. But serious water quality, access and infrastructure problems are threatening our fresh water future.

What is the Midwest?

Some distinctions are clear-cut: California is iconically West Coast, New York unabashedly screams East Coast and Mississippi just sounds right when said with a Southern twang. But move toward the middle of the U.S. and boundaries may not be as simple as you think.

How the Van Aken District Brought New Life to Shaker Heights: An Illustration Essay

The Van Aken District was once a glorified strip mall with more parking space than storefronts, but thanks to a strategic plan designed to help improve Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland, the District has been revitalized into a vibrant, welcoming space for dining, shopping and community gatherings.

Speaking Chinglish in Milwaukee: How Heritage Languages Shape the AAPI Experience

Within the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, language learning and bilingual fluency levels vary widely, affecting how AAPI individuals navigate the world and communicate with others.

Remembering Elektro, Mansfield and the “World of Tomorrow”

For nearly two decades, a futuristic robot and his robo-dog sidekick amazed the nation — a spectacular vision of the world to come. Then, they disappeared. Fast forward half a century and a basement, storage room and retired Westinghouse truck later, and Elektro and his pup reappeared, restored, in their birthplace of Mansfield, Ohio.

Resettlement to Revitalization: Toledo’s History of Immigration

Between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of rapid growth for Toledo, immigrants played an essential role in building Toledo’s economy, infrastructure, cultural heritage and even ecological landscapes. Today, as Toledo works to revitalize its economy and overcome ongoing trends of depopulation, looking to the past may provide valuable insights. If immigrants built Toledo yesterday, could they rebuild it today? This article is the first in a series titled “Resettlement to Revitalization,” which explores the past, present and future of immigration to the city.

How Climate Change is Transforming how the Midwest Farms

Across the United States, and particularly in the Midwest, a multitude of industries depend on the agricultural success of the nation’s farmers. Climate change is altering how farmers have to approach their jobs by causing irregularity in a crucial resource: water.

Building the Midwest’s Carbon-free Future with Nuclear Energy

llinois has a long history of nuclear energy development, innovation and research. In 2021, researchers and engineers throughout the region say new, safer nuclear technologies will be essential to decarbonizing the American energy system. True to its past, Illinois is playing a leading role in the development and deployment of these new technologies, this time with a focus on addressing the climate crisis.

The Politics of Midwestern Identity & Racial Divides

As protests and unrest continue, Midstory considers the Midwestern identity and the role the region has historically played in civil rights progress.

How Wisconsin Ginseng Became a Globally Coveted Commodity

Wisconsin is the number one producer of ginseng in the U.S. with ginseng products that are coveted nationally and internationally. The healing herb highlights the unique commercial and cultural interconnectedness of Asian communities across the globe with communities in the rural Midwest.

Bollywood, Hollywood and the Globalization of Socially-conscious Film: A Review of 3 Idiots

Amidst ever-increasing globalization, American audiences are slowly beginning to recognize international film industries, as evidenced by South Korea’s Parasite (2019) being the first non-English-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. As production companies pull rights for their content to start their own streaming services, platforms like Amazon Prime Video have found competitive avenues through hosting international films and television (think K-drama and European crime shows), opening up accessibility to global film industries.

Hidden in Plain Sight the GBS
The Quiet Revolution of Midwestern Speech

For decades, the Midwest was the example of perfect, accent-less English. Now, increasing dialectic quirks are changing that perception, and with it, Midwestern identity.

South to Midwest: My Grandfather’s Great Migration

Through conversations with her grandfather, the author unpacks his personal history during the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Migration—one that paved the way for generations to come. Read his story and listen to excerpts from the interview.

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The path that brought us to Toledo was a winding one. In a way, you could say that we were brought here by the birth of our first child. Our beautiful baby girl was born on the evening of August 20th, 2016 in Bismarck, North Dakota.

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How Climate Change is Shaping Michigan’s Coastal Management

You might remember earlier this year when a video of a North Carolina home being submerged in the Atlantic ocean went viral as a vivid example of climate change playing out in real time. While the Midwest safely lies far from ocean waters — some are even looking to the region as a “climate haven” — erratic water levels...

Exploring Urban Heat in Toledo, Ohio

It’s July 19th, 2021, a beautiful summer day in a tree-lined neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio. The sun is shining and the temperature hovers around 86 degrees Fahrenheit, but there’s plenty of shade to make a picnic or a barbecue pleasant despite the heat. But if you live a few miles away — particularly in the inner-city — it’s more than 10 degrees hotter, substantially raising both health risks and electric bills…

Tomato Juice: An Ode to Ohio’s (Controversial) State Beverage

It may come as a surprise that a little over half of U.S. states have designated a state beverage. The state hospitality beverage of South Carolina is SC-grown tea. Florida honors its iconic oranges.

What is the Midwest?

Growing up in Minnesota, I always thought I had a sense of the Midwest. It was the extra long sounds people around me made on their ‘a’ and ‘o’ sounds, my grandmother’s caramel roll recipe and the story of the Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991 (if you’re from another Midwestern state, feel free to replace this with your own...

Saving the World, One Seed at a Time: How Libraries Are Tackling Modern Environmental Crises

The old card catalog at the Lyon Township Public Library (LTPL) in Michigan fell out of use after the library’s infrastructure went online. An outdated but iconic relic of days gone by, the many-drawered, label-covered structure now houses the beginnings of tomatoes, zinnias and basil, among other plants. LTPL introduced their seed library in 2013, and they’re not the only...

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When it comes to the power of industry in Ohio, Toledo has one of the most storied and highly documented histories. It is a city built on grit and innovation, from its origins as a swamp repurposed for farming & agriculture to the glass industry boom.
https://www.midstory.org/after-industry-the-decades-long-recovery-of-the-glass-city/

As Sarah Stamey grew up in Midwestern America, language was a sore spot. People would say they couldn’t understand her father’s fluent English — it wasn't "good enough" — while others were surprised at her English — it was “too good” for an immigrant.
https://www.midstory.org/speaking-chinglish-in-milwaukee-how-heritage-languages-shape-the-aapi-experience/

Cleveland is more well known for its industry than its greenery, so it might come as a surprise that one of the city’s many nicknames — and, by some accounts, its oldest — is the “Forest City.”
https://www.midstory.org/reclaiming-the-forest-city-clevelands-quest-to-regrow-its-urban-tree-canopy/

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