Southeast Michigan
State of Play


The purpose of the State of Play Southeast Michigan initiative is to: seek both community-wide and specific-stakeholder input to collaboratively build local solutions that address a goal of “building communities in which all children have the opportunity to be active in sports.”


State of Play Southeast Michigan was launched in late 2017.  It is a partnership of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program.

This three-year effort builds upon a report of recommendations from a scan of youth sports in our region conducted in 2017. Click here for the report.

The scan was conducted to better understand the state of youth sports in our community—programs, facilities, quality and access.  It represents thousands of diverse voices across the region—gathered through interviews, roundtables, focus groups and online surveys. 

When asked the question, what grade would you give Michigan in getting kids active though sports, surveyed stakeholders gave the region an average grade of C+. We can do better!

Activities included in the new effort will explore lessons learned from the report and find solutions. This includes building on existing community assets and focusing on “doable” projects that have great potential, rather than increasing complexity and diluting efforts.

Specific activities will include:

  • Educating key stakeholders across the region on how to activate strategies in the State of Play report.
  • Developing, implementing and leading a process to drive cross-sector action, via application of Collective Impact methodology with the Partners and the Task Force.
  • Identifying and developing specific local opportunities for innovative partnerships to address gaps and opportunities identified in the State of Play Report.
  • Working with our Partners to identify and bring best practice programs to the community.
  • Recommending funding opportunities to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation that will create leverage and advance the overall goal.
  • Facilitating opportunities to engage other potential funders.

A first step in our activities will be three, large public meetings across the region.  These meetings will be an opportunity for the community to learn more about the details of the findings, and to provide input and reactions to the recommendations as well as generate ideas for success.

Register To Attend




While the State of Play initiative does not have a specific grantmaking component at this time, the Community Foundation will seek to leverage learnings from the report through the annual grantmaking from our Wilson Legacy Fund for Youth Sports. Information on that Fund can be found here.


You are invited to join The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan for conversations designed to encourage community members to share their ideas and provide feedback about local youth sports.

We will be using the Aspen Institute’s recent “State of Play in Southeast Michigan,” a comprehensive study about youth sports in our region, as a basis for the discussion.

We invite you to choose which location works best for you:

December 4: Macomb Community College 11:30 am – 2 pm
December 6: Suburban Collection/Oakland County 8:30 – 11 am
December 7: Outdoor Adventure Center 8:30 – 11 am

A light meal will be served at each location.

You must register to attend.

Register HERE

Download the Report

Stay Connected

Use the form below to get alerts about upcoming events and discussions regarding youth sports in the region.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:

Sarah Wedepohl

Senior Program Officer

313.961.6675, ext. 136