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.

Out of the studio and into the streets!

Oct 18, 2013
Juan Munoz's Last Conversation Piece sculpture
cliff1066 / Flickr

State of Opportunity is coming to a Detroit community near you!

We want to hear from local residents on the question: do you see a future for yourself and your family in Detroit? 

Hosts from Michigan Radio, WDET, The Detroit Free Press, and The Center for Michigan will field your comments and opinions on what it takes to make Detroit and your neighborhood a better place to live. 

Here are four new web features for you

Oct 8, 2013
maczee / deviant art

We're shaking up our website and bringing you new, themed web posts during the week. The posts highlight the research, resources, and great interviews State of Opportunity uses to inform our on-air reporting.

Here's what you can look forward to each week:  

Ever wonder what didn't make it into a story you've heard on State of Opportunity? Well, here's where you can find out. Outtakes  are the interview moments that stuck with us and compelling expert knowledge that adds substance to our stories. 

macinate / Flickr

Updated with audio from the show.

Remember writing a paper in school? As you wrote your draft, you'd return to your argument to refresh your memory: "Where was I going with this?"

Let's return to State of Opportunity's central question, which is, "What can be done to help Michigan's children get ahead?" For today's call-in show, we're going to tackle that question from the schools angle---one of our favorites. 

We'll be asking you, and our in-studio guests, "What would it take to give all kids in Michigan a quality education?" 

Our back-to-school photo contest winner!

Sep 17, 2013
photo of child holding 1st grade sign
Trisha David / State of Opportunity

Congrats to our first State of Opportunity Back-to-School photo contest winner, Trisha David

We thought this photo of her son, Nikolas, captured on day one of the first grade, conveys the excitement of the new school year and State of Opp's expansion into stories on grades K-8. Trish wins a pair of tickets to Michigan Radio's October 7th show with Radio Lab Live

Thanks to everyone who entered!

What's new with State of Opportunity?

Sep 5, 2013
dvsross / Flickr

State of Opportunity passed its one year mark! Our team of reporters wants to bring you the most thoughtful, provocative, well-researched stories rooted in the lives of real people. You'll notice a shift in our focus as we enter year two of the State of Opportunity project. Our scope is expanding to include children and adolescents in kindergarten through eight grade.

Submit your work to our back-to-school photo contest!

Sep 4, 2013
Pink Sherbet Photography / Flickr

You read that right: State of Opportunity is having our first ever Back-to-School Photo Contest!

A new school season is upon us. We want to see how you're documenting the occasion. 

Enter our photo contest and win two (2) tickets to the Radio Lab live show, "Apocalyptical" on October 7, 2013 at the Michigan Theater. 

See contest rules and submission details.  

Deadline: Friday, September 13th, 5pm