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Families & Community

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

State of Opportunity began in 2012.

Since then, the State of Opportunity team has brought us hundreds of stories exploring the barriers to success that low-income kids and families in Michigan face.

Stateside 5.2.2017

May 2, 2017

Today on Stateside, Detroit's new top doctor explains her plan to curb lead poisoning and infant mortality in the city. And we learn why a workplace culture of "slights and indignities" makes it hard to prevent sexual harassment.

Stateside 5.1.2017

May 1, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from a Bohra activist against female genital mutilation who says a veil of secrecy keeps most women in the community from speaking out about the practice. And we learn what teachers' viral resignation letters reveal about the state of public education.

flickr user visionsofgrace / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

In some schools in Michigan, being a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or questioning high school student is welcomed and embraced. In other schools, LGBTQ kids have to stay in the closet or endure a backlash from homophobic students, or even teachers and administrators. 

Mayor Mike Duggan announcing plans for Midtown west development project at Delta Prep Academy in Detroit
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A new development project is coming to Detroit's Cass Corridor.

Midtown West will be a $77 million development project that will be located at what was once the Wigle Recreation Center near Midtown.

It will include a total of 335 residential units, 175 rental units and 160 units for sale. About 20% of those rental units will be affordable housing.

Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez represents the district where the project will be.

She says it’s important that development be done with and for the people.

Dzidzernagapert, Armenian genocide memorial in Armenia.
z@doune / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan’s official ceremony commemorating the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide included 39 Jewish survivors who lit candles in the Rotunda of the state Capitol.

There was music, speeches, prayers to remember the millions of victims of genocide.

State officials were joined by Holocaust survivors on a candle-lighting ceremony that took place in the Capitol rotunda.

As a young girl, Esther Posner and members of her family hid during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

Stateside 4.25.2017

Apr 25, 2017

It's been three years since Flint's ill-fated switch to the Flint River as its drinking water source. Today, we hear from Flint residents who still perceive a "lack of humanity" in the official response to the water crisis. And, we learn that the Flint River is actually cleaner than many think.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Flint water crisis brought a steady stream of big names to Genesee County. Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, officials from Lansing and the EPA, all visited the city.

But they flew in and out. They were not living day in and day out with water that wasn't safe to drink. 

Stateside’s Cynthia Canty spoke with two different Flint residents whose families lived through the crisis, with two different outcomes: one family stayed, and one family made the tough choice to leave Flint.

Stateside 4.24.2017

Apr 24, 2017

Today, we hear from two brothers who could each receive $1.25 million for their wrongful convictions. And we learn about how to preserve those dusty photos and VHS tapes in your basement and why it matters that you do. 

A police officer with motorcycle.
mikefritcherphotograph / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

The mistrust and misconceptions between police and the minority communities they serve can run both ways.

That's why the Michigan State University Police Department is hosting a communication session bringing together community leaders and citizens with police officers from all over mid-Michigan. 

City of Flint

A program to mow and maintain vacant lots is having a side effect in Flint: lower crime rates in those neighborhoods, including assaults, burglaries and robberies.

A Michigan State University researcher compared crime data to neighborhoods with active “clean and green” abandoned lots. He says his survey of crime stats from 2005 to 2014 shows crime rates decline as “clean and green” lots take hold.

Tracy Samilton

Despite heavy storms Thursday night, about 150 people showed up for a town hall meeting in Flint, after  city leaders announced that Flint will continue to get its drinking water from Detroit - instead of from a new pipeline called the KWA.

Some people at the town hall told the mayor and other officials they don't trust them to do the right thing.

After being warned, several people were arrested for shouting, booing, and using foul and abusive language.

Others lined up at the microphones to ask for more information about how the decision was reached.
 

Stateside 4.20.2017

Apr 20, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear the answer to listener Ashley Lewis' question: What's the origin of the Sleeping Bear Dunes story? And, we learn why one tech executive chose Ann Arbor over Paris.

Stateside 4.19.2017

Apr 19, 2017

Today on Stateside, GOP Rep. Upton explains why he opposes the rumored closure of EPA's Region 5 office. And, we learn how "wildcat banks" ran wild in the earliest years of Michigan's statehood.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

You create a special space for children with special needs: the Friendship Circle.

It’s a great success, but what do you offer those children when they grow up?

United States Department of Education / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Past and present public policies have a major impact on the disparities in child well-being in Michigan. That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Stateside 4.17.2017

Apr 17, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear from a Detroit man who spent three years in prison fighting to prove his innocence. And Michigan Radio's sports commentator John Bacon explains why the NHL's decision to bail on the 2018 Olympics is "dumb, dumb and dumber."

ABC Microbrewery / Instagram

State of Opportunity took Michigan Radio’s Issues & Ale stage for the final time last night at Ypsilanti’s ABC Microbrewery.

The project wraps up at the end of April after five years of stories about the barriers to success low-income kids and their families face in Michigan.

three moms at podium
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The parents of five young, unarmed black boys that Grand Rapids police held at gunpoint last month want police officers involved in the incident to apologize to their sons.

Police ordered the 12 to 14-year-olds to the ground after getting a tip that someone in a group matching their description had a gun. Grand Rapids’ police chief has apologized but said officers were following protocol.

Stateside 4.5.2017

Apr 5, 2017

Today on Stateside, a woman with mental illness weighs in on the future of behavioral health services in Michigan. And, we learn how researchers aim to make rocket engines more stable (which will better our chances of getting to Mars).

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan speaking where he plans to build Ella Fitzgerald Park on the city's northwest side
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says neighborhoods won't be left out of the city's comeback.

Duggan announced his two year plan to invest $4 million into the Fitzgerald neighborhood on the city's northwest side, near Livernois and McNichols.

The project aims to rehab 115 vacant homes and 192 vacant lots, create a two-acre park, and build a bike path between Marygrove College and the University of Detroit Mercy.

Maurice Cox, the planning director for the project, says the goal is to create something seldom seen in the city.

Courtesy of Clark Retirement Community / Facebook

In a unique effort to bridge the generation gap, three Western Michigan University occupational therapy students are more than six months into a 19-month stint living side-by-side with senior citizens at the Clark Retirement Community on Keller Lake.

It’s one of the first research projects of its type in the country.

Stateside 4.4.2017

Apr 4, 2017

A recent dip in auto sales could lead to production cuts, but today we learn why you shouldn't panic just yet. We also hear from the Port Huron man who claims he's still the world's greatest whistler, and the first American to win Japan's biggest poetry prize.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

About half of Michigan’s homeless do not have one vital tool they need to get off the streets: A valid form of ID.

The head of a Flint homeless advocacy group says about half the people who walk through its doors have no form of identification. That makes it difficult for them to receive housing and services.

But this isn’t just a problem in Flint. 

Jason Weller is with the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness.  He says their surveys show this is a statewide problem.

crowd at protest
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A man from southwest Detroit has two weeks before he is deported back to Mexico after living in the city for almost 20 years. 

Mario Hernandez came to the U.S. as an adult without a visa in 1998. He has no criminal record, and his friends and supporters say he has made a positive impact in the community.

But it's unlikely Hernandez will be able to stay in the U.S. after his stay of removal request was denied by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals.

Courtesy Photo / Zak Rosen

Among the big life questions we all face, this is one of the biggest: whether or not to have a baby. 

Detroit-based writer and radio producer Zak Rosen is good at telling stories. Now he and wife Shira Rosen are telling their own personal story in a new podcast called Pregnant Pause.

Pick a street corner in downtown Hamtramck, Mich., and you'll be struck by the incredible mix of cultures crammed into this tiny, 2-square-mile city.

A Catholic church across the street from a mosque. Polish pastry shops, sausage factories, and grocery stores promising "the best Polish food, shipping to Eastern Europe," side by side with Bengali clothing shops that sell richly embroidered dresses and headscarves. And you'd be remiss if you didn't stop in the many Yemeni restaurants serving fragrant lamb and discs of flatbread the size of hubcaps.

Courtesy frankieleon / Creative Commons -- http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Rick Snyder says current efforts to curb opioid abuse and addiction in Michigan aren’t working as nearly 2,000 people a year in the state die from overdoses.

“Far too many lives have been either lost, damaged, injured in some fashion because of these drugs,” he said. “We need to do more in our state.”

Snyder says a big part of the problem is over-prescribing painkillers. He says prescriptions have spiraled in recent years.

Stateside 3.22.2017

Mar 22, 2017

Today on Stateside, Detroit's safe haven for asylum seekers gets a reprieve from the federal government. Also today, an expert explains why pumping billions into infrastructure, without steady growth, is just a "Ponzi scheme."

people praying on yoga mat
Courtesy of Freedom House

It was a close call for Freedom House, the one-of-a-kind Detroit shelter that provides housing, legal aid and a host of other services to help asylum seekers.

Its doors were in danger of closing after its annual grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was slashed by more than half.

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