In-depth reporting on Michigan's largest city and surrounding communities, including deep dives into the big changes afoot in Detroit, its schools, neighborhoods, institutions and city hall.


Three prison reform ideas drawing bipartisan support

October 18, 2016 | Bill McGraw

Increasingly, policymakers across the political spectrum are coalescing around specific areas to reduce prison populations and successfully integrate inmates back in their communities.

School choice, metro Detroit’s new white flight

September 13, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson, Chastity Pratt

Nearly 50 years after the racial tumult of 1967, state schools of choice policies are helping to create more racially segregated districts in metro Detroit and beyond.

DATABASE: How 'school choice' has changed Michigan districts

September 13, 2016 | Bridge Staff

See how school choice has changed racial demographics in some districts across the region

Walking back segregation in Ferndale schools

September 13, 2016 | Mike Wilkinson, Chastity Pratt

Ferndale, an inner-ring suburb popular with Detroit students, is taking bold steps to desegregate its schools.

Hatch contest leans toward white winners in majority black Detroit

September 6, 2016 | Bill McGraw

The $50,000 Hatch Detroit competition has helped startups launch creative businesses in the thriving central city. But winning entries for entrepreneurs of color in Detroit’s neighborhoods have proven more elusive.

The Detroit Historical Museum wants your story from the summer of ‘67

August 16, 2016 | Bill McGraw

The museum is collecting oral histories from Detroit and suburban residents who lived through the chaos and pain of the disturbances that took place in Detroit that summer as its 50th anniversary nears.

For Detroit’s new school board, state still wields the power

August 2, 2016 | Chastity Pratt

Detroit’s school board will have power limits unlike other districts across Michigan. Some fear that those restrictions will scare off strong candidate

Detroit pension funds under pressure to reach ‘Grand Bargain’ goals

August 2, 2016 | Sandra Svoboda

Early payments to city retirement funds from the state and the Detroit Institute of Arts were heavily discounted, which means the troubled pensions must produce even bigger returns over two decades.

DJC Poll: Black and white optimism on Detroit-area race relations

July 28, 2016 | Bill McGraw

Yet the Detroit Journalism Cooperative survey on racial attitudes also shows that bias infiltrates the daily lives of blacks in the region a way that many whites can’t imagine.

Metro Detroit racial divide is widest over police

July 28, 2016 | Bill McGraw

The Detroit Journalism Cooperative survey found significant optimism over racial attitudes in general. But blacks and whites have vastly different experiences -- and opinions -- concerning law enforcement.

Real talk about race

July 28, 2016 | Chastity Pratt

We asked leaders around metro Detroit to talk frankly about racial attitudes in their lives and communities. These five answered the bell.

Kenneth Reed

July 28, 2016 | Chastity Pratt

Poverty and joblessness, fuel for '67 riot, even worse today

June 16, 2016 | Bill McGraw

Unemployment and poverty drove much of the violence that swept across Detroit in the summer of 1967. Today, those numbers are even worse.

A brief history of poverty and jobs in Detroit

June 16, 2016 | Bill McGraw

Detroit’s boom and bust auto industry explains a lot about the poverty and jobs challenges the city faces today.

Detroiters in poverty face nearly insurmountable obstacles

June 16, 2016 | Lester Graham

Politicians and media reports indicate Detroit is in the middle of an economic resurgence. That’s true for the central business districts. That’s not the case for many residents in the poorest neighborhoods

House by house, do-it-yourself residents transform Detroit

May 3, 2016 | Kimberley Kinder

Tired of waiting for the garbage trucks and housing inspectors who never seemed to come, here’s how one ordinary, extraordinary Detroiter restored beauty and a sense of safety to the street she calls home

In a city with long memories of racial torment, Detroit’s police chief seeks to turn a corner

April 21, 2016 | Bill McGraw

The city’s feared, nearly-all-white police force eventually integrated after the 1967 riot. But crime and mistrust within the city’s African-American community did not fade so easily. Residents say a new chief is helping to ease old animosities