One Battle Creek family thinks they've moved up the economic ladder, but have they?

Dec 11, 2013

State of Opportunity's Jennifer Guerra spoke with Tiffany and Rodrico Blackman in 2011 when the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) was under scrutiny from Michigan's legislature. Back then the Blackmans were parents of three kids making ends meet on $22,000/year.

State of Opportunity is an ongoing project, so we like to follow up with families we've interviewed to see what changes they've experienced since we last spoke to them. Jennifer revisited the Blackmans in Battle Creek. Today, they're a family of four with an income of about $36,000. Has the extra money made a difference? 

The Pew Research Center's newly released study, Moving On Up, asks a similar question: "Why do some families leave the bottom of the economic ladder, but not others?" Hypotheses are flying fast and furious in today's public conversations, but let's look at what the actual research says. Check out the slideshow above from Pew.

Then, head over to the State of Opportunity site and listen to what actions the Blackmans are taking to continue their climb up the economic ladder. What progress have they made in two years?