I can add little of value in the midst of the seismic event of national importance that is Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting. These events weigh heavily, even from my geographically and experientially removed position.
My colleagues Dustin Dwyer, Jennifer Guerra, and to a lesser extent, I, have been reporting on the combustible issues of race, poverty, violence, and opportunity.
The following is a digest of some of these pieces.
- If you want to go back to the beginning and explore why we talk so much about race and racism, here's some background for you from Dustin Dwyer.
- All the research we've reported on say conversations about race should be happening with kids, even very young kids.Whether these talks are motivated by practical concerns for safety or helping kids work through identity, there is plenty of research out there that can be helpful to some of these conversations.
- It was so hard for Jennifer Guerra to find a title for her documentary on race that it never really got one. These issues just aren't pithy or easily packaged. That's why it's called, "A documentary on race, neighborhoods, schools, and kids in Michigan." There are a lot of resources attached to this page, and the documentary itself is the kind of sound-rich, character-driven and immersive experience you expect from Jennifer.
- Michigan, just like every state, has a messy and imperfect history with race, racism, and protest. From the fight against integrating schools to more recent echoes of Ferguson in Benton Harbor, there is much to reflect on.
- Finally, the impact and reach of violence and trauma is long. Dustin Dwyer has put together a separate digest of some of these stories, along with profiles of those working to stop violence in communities across the state.
If there are resources you find useful to process or explore these issues, please share them with us.