Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

The Intersection: Focus: HOPE CEO Talks Tackling Poverty in Detroit

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William Jones says racial healing and economic opportunity can prevent social unrest.

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FOCUS: Hope was one of the organizations founded after the 1967 uprising in Detroit. It’s focused on racial healing and economic opportunity in Southeast Michigan. And over the last 50 years, it’s played a vital role in moving the community forward and helping people who are trapped in poverty.

As part of our work with the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, WDET is examining the issues the Kerner Commission identified as reasons for the social unrest in the late 1960s. 

William Jones, CEO at FOCUS: Hope, joins Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson to talk about one of those findings — that poverty and lack of jobs contributed to that societal conflict.

Jones says people don’t seem to understand that the best attempts at solving these multi-layered problems are long-term investments, which are often passed over in favor of short-term fixes. Jones uses factory work as an example, saying that those jobs may be taken by robots, but that they can train people to program those robots.

It’s a very tough sell, but we’re determined to keep doing it.” says Jones.

To hear the full conversation, click on the audio player above.

Original air date: June 30th, 2016

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.


Detroit Journalism Cooperative

This post is a part of Detroit Journalism Cooperative.

The DJC is a partnership of six media outlets focused on telling critical stories of Detroit and creating engagement opportunities on-air, online and in the community. View the partners work at detroitjournalism.org.

Support for this project comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Renaissance Journalism’s Michigan Reporting Initiative and the Ford Foundation.



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