State of Opportunity State of Opportunity is a project aimed at exposing the barriers children of low income families in Michigan face in achieving success.
State of Opportunity

State of Opportunity

From Michigan Radio

State of Opportunity is a project aimed at exposing the barriers children of low income families in Michigan face in achieving success.

Most Recent Episodes

Free day care changed this family's future. An anonymous donor made it possible.

Among the hundreds of stories produced by the State of Opportunity team was one about a Hillsdale family, Amanda and Mike Hood, and their two young daughters. Their story put a spotlight on the challenges low-income families face in finding affordable child care and preschool.

Free day care changed this family's future. An anonymous donor made it possible.

In-home visits, education for families help reduce infant mortality in Michigan

Too many Michigan babies are dying. For every 1,000 babies born in our state, roughly seven won't make it to their first birthday. That's a full point higher than the national infant mortality rate. When you break that down by race, the numbers are more disturbing.

In-home visits, education for families help reduce infant mortality in Michigan

State of Opportunity reporters on what has, and hasn't, changed for Michigan's low-income families

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.

State of Opportunity reporters on what has, and hasn't, changed for Michigan's low-income families

Pushed Out: A documentary on housing in Grand Rapids

Don Norman settles into his chair, and pulls his blanket up to his chest. On the TV, Dick Van Dyke is about to solve a murder. The room is warm, shades drawn. It's a good old house. A bit of plaster is coming off the ceiling in the corner, but the house is neat. Every shelf is filled with pictures of family. Don's been here 40 years, he says. Ever since he and his wife got pushed out of their last home, when the hospital near them started an expansion and bulldozed their old block.

"I wanna be a Batman!"

Week after week for five years, we've played the same clip at the start of every State of Opportunity story. You hear three kids telling us what they want to be when they grow up: a firefighter, a ballerina, and a Batman. We've heard from countless listeners, friends, and even colleagues over the years. And they all want to know: where's Batman now? So, as my last story for State of Opportunity, I set out to track him down.

Detroit charter fights to maintain diversity as school gets whiter, wealthier

Charter schools are public schools, which means they're supposed to educate any kid that walks in the door. But a new bill making its way through the Michigan legislature could make it so that charters can give enrollment preference to certain students. Which ones? Well, the answer might surprise you.

Detroit charter fights to maintain diversity as school gets whiter, wealthier

"We're going to be separated from my dad." A family's final days together before deportation

President Donald Trump said he wanted to go after "bad hombres," but his immigration policies affect more than just those who are here and have committed crimes. Undocumented immigrants with no criminal history are also being deported. That's the case with a Michigan father of four who's been told he has to leave the country by the end of the month.

"We're going to be separated from my dad." A family's final days together before deportation

Muskegon Heights students on possible closure: "We are not a failing school."

Students in Muskegon Heights are very familiar with uncertainty. They've been threatened with school closure many times over the past several years—first because of finances, now because of failing test scores. Muskegon Heights Academy high school is one of the 38 schools the state School Reform Office says could close by the end of year if some kind of turnaround plan isn't put in place.

Muskegon Heights students on possible closure: "We are not a failing school."

Annual community breakfast in Detroit's Osborn neighborhood offers hopeful view

With award-winning restaurants and lofts going for half-a-million dollars , Detroit's midtown and downtown areas are hot right now. But the view is different out in the neighborhoods.

Annual community breakfast in Detroit's Osborn neighborhood offers hopeful view

Places of worship in Michigan promise to protect undocumented immigrants

Eight places of worship in Michigan – in metro Detroit and near Kalamazoo – have officially joined a growing number of churches and synagogues across the country that have agreed to house and protect unauthorized immigrants who fear deportation. Central United Methodist in Detroit was among the first in Michigan to publicly declare itself a sanctuary churche (you'll find the full list at the bottom of this article). Central has a long history of activism, fighting for water rights and protesting

Places of worship in Michigan promise to protect undocumented immigrants