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Families & Community

gordon park sign
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

It’s a Sunday afternoon, and there’s a party of sorts going on at 12th Street and Clairmount on Detroit's west side.

Exactly 50 years ago, the police raid that sparked the city's massive, deadly riots started right here. Now there’s a newly-refurbished park on that corner and a marker designating it a state historic site.

military veterans
John M. Cropper / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Democratic lawmakers in Lansing say the Attorney General is doing too little, too late.

The Attorney General announced criminal charges against workers at the state-run Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Schuette’s investigation of the veteran’s home started in May of 2016. This was after a scathing audit of the home revealed that workers falsified records, skipped room checks, and other issues.

But Representatives Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, and Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, said they sounded the alarm as early as 2013.

Stateside 7.27.2017

Jul 27, 2017

Today, we hear Detroit cast members explain why they hope the new film will spark conversations about race relations. And, nuns recall their role in the 1967 rebellion. They also talk about the injustices still troubling the city today.

班森 / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

The Next Idea

Baseball and opera usually don’t end up in the same sentence. But for the next year, they will in Detroit.

Next May, the Michigan Opera Theatre will be producing Daniel Sonenberg’s The Summer King, an opera about Negro League’s baseball player Josh Gibson.

The CEO of the Michigan Opera Theatre Wayne Brown joined Stateside to tell us about a partnership between the Michigan Opera Theatre and the Detroit Tigers, called Take Me Out to the Opera.

Courtesy of Sister Theresa Milne

The Detroit rebellion erupted in the early Sunday morning hours of July 23, 1967, just blocks away from the Catholic church and school of St. Agnes located on 12th Street. That street is now known as Rosa Parks Boulevard.

The parish had been a strong presence in the neighborhood for many years, with its church and a community high school staffed by nuns: the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHMs). The order is noted for its strong commitment to social justice and education.

Nick Gregory

Divisions, intolerance and a biased political process have influenced Detroit for several decades before and since the 1967 uprising. The idea for “Split” was born after meeting Detroiters who live behind the Wailing Wall, built in the 1940’s to separate white and black neighborhoods.

Stateside 7.26.2017

Jul 26, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear how out-of-touch city leaders energized black pastors to redouble their activism efforts after the 1967 rebellion. And, we learn why cities struggling with unpaid water bills could learn from Philadelphia's new approach.

A string of rainbow flags against a blue sky
Chomiji / flickr

LGBT activists say the state’s civil rights law is too vague when it comes to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

Now they’re calling on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission to clarify the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. The Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act lists attributes people can’t discriminate for – like race, religion and sex.

 

Stateside 7.24.2017

Jul 24, 2017

Today on Stateside, Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics team explains where things stand in the race for governor in Michigan. And, two brothers relive Detroit's 1967 rebellion, which they say helped create a "permanent underclass."

Walter and Wallace Crawford experienced Detroit's 1967 rebellion first hand.
Stateside Staff

In July 1967, Walter and Wallace Crawford had just graduated from St. Vincent High School in Detroit.

The twin brothers were dedicated athletes, heading to college on track scholarships in the fall. On the morning of July 23, the Crawfords woke up and headed to their weekend job at a car wash.

Delaney Ryan

The Next Idea

Helping underserved young people embrace education, get into college and go on to be world-class citizens is the mission of a program called FATE. It's operated as part of the cause-based clothing company Merit Goodness.

Give Merit  Executive Director Kuhu Saha and 2016 FATE graduate Asha Stewart joined Stateside to share how FATE provides a space where students can create aspirations.

Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce / Courtesy photo

Every kindergartner in Muskegon County will get a college savings account when they start school in the fall.

Those accounts will start off with $50 already in them, thanks to the Community Foundation for Muskegon County

Foundation president Chris McGuigan says about 2,000 kids will get the accounts this year.

"We wanted this to be a cultural change,." she says "We wanted it to be a Muskegon County-wide expectation."

A group of retirees holds court almost every morning at Cops and Doughnuts in Clare.
Maya Kroth

At Cops and Doughnuts in Clare, classic tunes play on the stereo while customers line up at the glass display case, waiting to place their orders.

But Bill White isn’t here for the doughnuts.

“I never have a doughnut,” says White. “When you get old enough you can’t eat good stuff anymore. You have to go with fruits and vegetables.”

White has been coming in every Saturday morning, for years, even though he doesn’t partake in the doughnuts or coffee. In fact, White doesn’t order anything at all at Cops and Doughnuts.

Sarah Hulett

Ten Julys ago, I sat down with my grandfather at his kitchen table for a conversation that went on for a couple of hours. It would be the first and last time I would do this, just me and him. We talked about how he met my grandmother, their early life together, and many other things.

We also talked about his time as a cop in Detroit – particularly that summer 50 years ago in the 10th Precinct where he worked, when the neighborhood erupted in civil unrest.

Stateside 7.19.2017

Jul 19, 2017

Today on Stateside, we get to know the family at the center of the 1967 unrest in Detroit. And, we take a stroll with the Anishinaabe water walkers as they trek from Minnesota to Quebec to honor and protect the Great Lakes.

Josephine Mandamin(center) with fellow water walkers near Harrow, Ontario.
Courtesy of For the Earth and Water

The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on the planet. But their future is uncertain.

Every year, a Native American group called the Mother Earth Water Walkers treks hundreds of miles around the Great Lakes to raise awareness of water issues in the region.

This year, the group is making its 2,000 mile trip from Duluth, Minnesota to Matane, Quebec.

Stateside producer Mercedes Mejia caught up with the group near Leamington, Ontario, and learned that the walk is more than a call to action. For many, it's a spiritual journey that connects them to each other and to other indigenous communities.

Stateside 7.17.2017

Jul 19, 2017

Today on Stateside, we learn how a secretive development could force drastic change on small-town Durand. And, a historian explains how the divide between "White Detroit" and "Black Detroit" led to the city's 1967 rebellion.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Monday night’s Issues & Ale event plunged back in time to the days surrounding the 1967 rebellion – the historic conflict between citizens and police that led to 43 deaths and thousands of buildings destroyed during five summer days in Detroit.

brain scan
NIH IMAGE GALLERY / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

State lawmakers have formed a task force to look for ways to improve mental health treatment in Michigan.

It’s called the House C.A.R.E.S task force. C.A.R.E.S stands for Community, Access, Resources, Education and Safety.

The committee was formed by House Speaker Tom Leonard, R-Dewitt. Late last year, Leonard said a mental health overhaul was one of his top priorities.

Now he has appointed over a dozen state lawmakers to serve on the bipartisan task force.

Stateside 7.18.2017

Jul 18, 2017

Today, we hear what it was like to be a young, black police officer in Detroit during the 1967 rebellion. We also learn how a Detroit native and former Canadian Football League player ended up in a Chinese jail.

The civil unrest began in the early hours of July 23, 1967 following a police raid on an unlicensed after-hours bar on the corner of 12th and Clairmount.
Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In 1967, a series of civil disturbances in cities across America rocked the country. The unrest, called a rebellion by some and a riot by others, made its way to the city of Detroit in July of that year. 

Ethel Rucker and her children
Courtesy of Ethel Rucker

Social assistance programs that serve the poor are targeted for budget cuts in President Trump’s proposed budget.

While Congress approaches its fall deadline to set a federal budget for the next fiscal year, Stateside set out to talk with people whose voice isn’t often a part of the conversation: people who are struggling to live paycheck to paycheck, the so-called “working poor”.  

Taisha standing behind a sign that says neighborhoods of hope
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Family visits for kids in foster care often take place in a foster care agency’s office, which is not always the homiest setting. But a new program launching in Wayne County wants to change that.

Neighborhoods of Hope is a collaboration between the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and community partners in Detroit.

The centerpiece of the project is a townhouse in the GardenView Estate public housing development in Detroit. The furnished home has a cozy living room, a full kitchen, and a play area in the backyard.

Stateside 7.13.2017

Jul 13, 2017

Today on Stateside, we get to know a low-income family that scrapes by on government assistance and odd jobs. And, we hear how this weekend's festival on Belle Isle aims to create community connections through wind, wind crafts, and string.

Courtesy of Detroit Kite Festival

Bringing people together through the age-old practice of kite flying: That is the goal of the Detroit Kite Festival, happening this Sunday on Belle Isle.

Russell Sage Foundation, 2016


The Trump administration’s proposed budget would potentially cut housing subsidies, child care assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and other programs that serve the poor by staggering amounts.

In response to that, Stateside is beginning a new series looking at the so-called working poor — who they are, what challenges they face and what policy changes might help the most people.

Courtesy of Wil Rankinen

There is no better reminder of what a diverse state we live in than contemplating the differences between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula.

Wil Rankinen​ is an associate professor of communication sciences and disorders at Grand Valley State. He's also a born and raised "Yooper." Rankinen is spending his summer exploring the way Yoopers talk by criss-crossing the UP to record long-time residents.

COURTESTY OF SHELDON HILL

Is there hope for a new life after being addicted to drugs or selling drugs?

Detroiter Sheldon Hill is proof there is.

After years of selling and using drugs, and multiple arrests, Hill went into an addiction recovery program. He was in his 40s. And it worked.

Today, Hill's sole mission in life is to keep others from making the mistakes and choices he made as a young man.

Courtesty of LINCS

The Next Idea

Parents of children on the autism spectrum face significant challenges in getting the right education, support and other life tools for their kids. But the difficulties don’t go away when these kids grow up. Can they live alone, support themselves, be a part of society? And what happens when their adult caregivers age out of watching over them?

Keeria Myles sits on the front porch of her small white bungalow
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

 

Keeria Myles moved into a little white bungalow on Rosemont Ave. in Detroit last January. She had a furnace and water heater installed, and was starting to remodel the kitchen.

But then, she got a letter saying the house was in tax foreclosure and would be auctioned in September. Shortly after that, her water got shut off.

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