Zak Rosen

Reporter/Producer

Zak Rosen is a multimedia producer. His radio features have been heard on NPR, APM, PRI, the BBC, Deutsche Welle and Radio Helsinki. He was a staff producer on NPR/PRX's State of the Re:Union. Prior to that, he was a founding producer of WDET's Detroit Today. He has written for Yes!, The Huffington Post, Model D, and The Red Thread.

Brianna and Alyssa Foster have been to three different schools since 2013.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

 

This fall, it’s looking like Alyssa and Brianna Foster might switch to a new school.

Again.

It’s a pretty common experience in Detroit, where students switch schools 2.5 times more frequently than kids in the rest of the state.

57-year-old Christina Lumpkin heads to work at DTE Energy.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

 

Back in March, I introduced you to 57-year-old Christina Lumpkin and her family. At the time, they were navigating a crisis. Lumpkins’s daughter, Maya, had lost her job at McDonalds, and the family didn’t have any money coming in.


Mika Chang (left) with her sisters Bea, Kallia, Shannon and her nephew, Vincent.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

When we talk about immigrant communities in Detroit, the Hmong don’t usually come up in that conversation. The ethnic group from Southeast Asia began settling in Northeast Detroit’s Osborn neighborhood in the years after the Vietnam War. 

Christina Lumpkin at home with her daughter, Maya and grandson, Jahari.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

Think about most of the news stories you read about kids in Detroit. What comes to mind?

Something about dysfunctional schools? Maybe a crime story?

When’s the last time you felt like a story transported you into the life of a family? Where you really got to know a child? Where you felt what it might be like to be a parent raising kids there?

Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

A program in Detroit is pairing digital media artists with classroom teachers in a handful of city schools.  It’s called Detroit Future Schools. This year they’re teaming up with The James and Grace Lee Boggs School...a K-4 charter on the city’s east side. Reporter Zak Rosen is spending the entire year at the school. He brings us this report on how the program uses media, technology and art to help students understand and shape their worlds.