Stateside: Anishinaabe theater; Detroit’s black middle class; few options for severely autistic kids | Michigan Radio

Stateside: Anishinaabe theater; Detroit’s black middle class; few options for severely autistic kids

Feb 19, 2019

Today on Stateside, a new plan to boost Detroit says restoring the city's African-American middle class is key to a successful revitalization effort. Plus, we hear about the Anishinaabe Theatre Exchange, a program that draws on indigenous storytelling traditions to talk about current social issues.

Listen to the full show above or find individual posts below.


A new plan to boost Detroit focuses on growing the city’s black middle class

  • As revitalization takes place in certain areas of Detroit, a common rally cry that’s often heard is, “What about the neighborhoods?” A Detroit non-profit organization, Detroit Future City, believes that the pathway to vibrant neighborhoods is growing the African-American middle class.
  • We talk to Anika Goss, executive director of Detroit Future City, about her concerns about the city's future and the well-being of current Detroiters.

Theater program uses Anishinaabe storytelling traditions to tackle modern social issues

  • The Anishinaabe Theatre Exchange was created to give Michigan's first people a way to tell their stories through the performing arts. Artists from the program are in residence this week at the University of Michigan to perform the play Three Sisters by playwright Carolyn Dunn.
  • Stateside spoke with two of the people involved in the project to find out more. Anita Gonzalez, a professor of theatre and dance at the University of Michigan, helped create the program four years ago. Colleen Medicine, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, has been an actor with the program since it began.
  • You can find details on the performances of Three Sisters on Thursday in Detroit and Friday in Ann Arbor here.

Lovers of ‘overlooked’ Lake Huron work on making it healthy forever

  • Lake Huron lovers are putting out a call to the public for help creating a regional action plan to ensure the long-term health and longetivity of the lake. Stateside talks to Diane Fong, the President and CEO of the Bay Area Community Foundation, one of the groups working on this effort, about how Lake Huron is faring and what threats lay ahead. 

They say their son needs to be in a psychiatric hospital. He went to jail instead.

  • A danger to themselves or others: that's the threshold set by Michigan law to put someone is a psychiatric hospital. Many families with autistic children say meeting that definitely doesn't seem to be enough for their kids, and they don't know what to do. Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek reports on one of those families.

To find help for her disabled daughter, Michigan mother had to leave the state


  • Cyndi Sibley's 19-year-old daughter Jackie has a severe form of autism that requires constant care. Sibley couldn't find in-home or residential care for Jackie in Michigan. So, she ended up driving Jackie across the country to a Maryland facility that specializes in care and treatment for people with severe autism. Stateside talks to Sibley about her struggle to find care and how she thinks the state could help families like hers.

(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or with this RSS link)