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State of Opportunity

Jen Guerra and child
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The State of Opportunity team began its work in 2012. Since then, they've produced hundreds of stories exploring the barriers to success that low-income kids and families in Michigan face.

Now, that important project is wrapping up.

boy listening to radio
Ian T. McFarland / Flickr CC / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Earlier this week, my colleague Dustin Dwyer brought you Pushed Out: A documentary on housing in Grand Rapids, our final State of Opportunity documentary. 

While our five-year project is coming to an end, the issues facing low-income kids and families in Michigan aren't. If you want a deep dive into the challenges facing families in poverty, listen to a few of our past documentaries. 

Students from Fordson High School in Dearborn (above) and students from Hamilton High School near Holland.
Courtesy of Zeinab Chami and Lauren Robinson

As neighborhoods and thus schools become more segregated, there are teachers who have decided to confront that head-on. They're not waiting for a grand solution from our leaders to appear.

They know it's easy to get along with people who look like you, and think like you, but they want to prepare their students for a world that is increasingly diverse.

“I think that now, and not just now but maybe for the last decade or so people are starting to appreciate the value of knowing your neighbors," Morenoff said.
flickr user woodleywonderworks / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

What’s the most important thing to consider when you’re choosing a neighborhood?

You real estate agent would probably tell you: location, location, location.

But what makes one neighborhood different from another a few blocks over?

One key factor is the relationships between the people living there. In other words: neighbors, neighbors, neighbors.