FOX2 News investigative reporter Amy Lange, who is always generous with her time, emceed a dinner for a local charity in June. When she returned home, she ventured up the stairs and her trialing gown got caught in her heel and she tumbled to the bottom of the stairs crashing her head into the wall. The broken neck she suffered in the fall was not diagnosed or treated for several days. She turned her experience, which included painful traction and spinal surgery, into a cautionary tale broadcast on July 28, 2009. While Amy used her personal experience to raise awareness of the danger of falls, her true passion lies in telling the stories of those without a voice in our communities—the homeless, youth in foster care, adolescents aging out of foster care and a host of other community problems.
When Amy Lange enrolled in Marygrove’s Master in Social Justice program she already had plenty of firsthand experience from reporting on the pressing social problems in Detroit for FOX2 News since 1998, and prior experience in Flint. Rather than believing that she already knew it all, Amy sought to learn about root causes and systemic injustices that lead to the situations she covers every day and ways of solving what appear to be intractable problems.
Classmate Kimberly Redigan ’08 says, “Her story on people living under Detroit’s viaducts and local efforts to help them transition into independent or assisted living again helped educate the public to a reality that is often hidden.” She continues, “While others in her very public profession might use their position to elevate their own egos, Amy exemplifies a model of stewardship in which she responsibly uses her considerable gifts for the common good rather than self promotion.” Amy’s features on the homeless led to two Emmy nominations and to a seat on the board of the Homeless Action Network of Detroit (HAND).
Friends, colleagues and family describe Amy as humble and generous. Of herself Amy says, “I think there are probably many people far more deserving of this award (Distinguished Alumni) than myself - but because I’m in the field I’m in, I have an amazing platform from which to do the work of Marygrove and the Social Justice program and also bring it to the public’s attention.” Amy cites the influence of the professors and instructors in the Social Justice program for “their willingness to share their knowledge and passion that helped me grow.” In particular, she mentioned Dr. Brenda Bryant, Elena Herrada, J.P. Song, George Alcer, Jane Hammang-Buhl and Diane McMillan as well as classmates Kim Redigan and Sister Liz Walters. “What all these people embody is a commitment to the social justice-inspired mission of Marygrove.”
Amy and her husband Michael Shore, a professional photographer, are working together on a project called Portraits in Social Justice which will include photographs and biographies of those who have made significant contributions to social justice in the area. They hope it will be exhibited at Marygrove College.
Peace and justice are Amy’s passions. Though she admits it is not an original thought, Amy tries to live by the Golden Rule and advocates that all should treat others as they would like to be treated.
She is effusive about the help and support she continues to receive from her husband, her stepson Alex, and their family and friends, especially during her recovery from her recent surgery. She mentions the “Sunday Dinner Salon” friends “who often make fun of all my crazy ideas but whose support, encouragement and advice I couldn’t live without.” Amy is also grateful to her parents, Kent and Judy Lange, and to her brother David, his wife Kristin and their son, Ryan.
Kim Redigan sums up, “In addition to educating others through the media, Amy exemplifies the model of the scholar-activist...I recall Amy coming to class armed with a formidable body of research and prepared to synthesize all of it in a way that was often creative and compelling... Smart, tough and tenacious in her scholarship; kind and compassionate in putting it into action.”
Of herself Amy says, “I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished as a reporter—the lives I’ve been able to help change—a homeless woman getting an apartment, helping a mother get justice for her daughter and granddaughter killed by a speeding driver, helping raise awareness about foster children in need of loving homes.”