Social Justice

When it comes to opportunity, the bar is not set at the same height for everyone. Race, gender and identity can play a big role in allowing some to leap ahead while holding others back. WKSU is committed to examining both the obstacles and barriers that exist as well as the solutions that are available in Northeast Ohio. Our goal is to focus attention on issues that affect individuals, neighborhoods and communities who lack a voice.

 

Each month, reporter M.L. Schultze digs deeply into stories which help us to give you a better understanding of serious social issues and the greater impacts they have. It’s reporting that that has a resonance locally while at the same time tells a story that is all too common people all across the country.

Ways to Connect

A photo of Amer Adi
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Ohio is far from the U.S. southern border, but the policies and practices there are playing out here daily. The Cleveland Immigration Court has a caseload numbering in the thousands. Ohio jails and private prisons are collecting millions of dollars to house immigrants. And immigrant families who have lived in Ohio for years are planning their departures. Ohio is playing a big role in the national immigration debate.

A photo of the University of Akron Driver's License clinic
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Ohio suspended the driver’s licenses of more than 1 million people, many of whom can’t afford to get those licenses back. But that doesn’t mean they’re not on the road. So until July 31, the state is offering a limited amnesty. On paper, it looks like Ohio is forgiving $500 million dollars in reinstatement penalties. But, advocates see it as a crucial investment in people, jobs and community.  

A photo of Andrew Bridges
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Over the last seven years, Ohio’s been slowly changing a set of laws that many believe keeps people from getting jobs, paying child support, even volunteering in their community. In the first of two stories on Ohio’s official second chances, we examine how some of these changes are playing out.