The NEw York Times Magazine New York, n.y. 2015-present
Report and write long-form projects on racial injustice.
ProPublica New York, N.Y. 2011-2015
Report and write investigative projects on civil rights, fair housing, school segregation and discrimination.
The Oregonian Portland, Ore. 2006-2011
Developed and wrote news articles for the Northwest’s largest newspaper and online audience. Maintained a social networking presence to reach the traditional and nontraditional newspaper audience. Shot and edited short videos.
Government and Census Reporter (2008-2011)
Led census coverage requiring analysis of complex data on deadline and for enterprise for a new investigative team. Investigated the city of Portland’s decision not to enforce fair housing violations and the cover-up of that decision, leading the state legislature to intervene and demand the city act. The coverage spurred Portland officials to draft the city’s first fair housing plan and to forward the names of discriminatory landlords to the state civil rights agency. Wrote a news analysis that gained national recognition for debunking the myth of Portland as a sex trafficking hub by tracking down the source of faulty statistics and detailing officials’ lack of records to back up their claims.
Demographics Reporter (2007-2008)
Led reporting on the state’s racial and ethnic minorities, producing award-winning reports on immigration and the working poor. Developed deep sourcing in under-covered communities.
Enterprise Reporter (2006-2007)
Produced human-interest features under nationally renowned writing coach Jack Hart for an experimental team aimed at drawing readership through narrative long form.
The News & Observer Raleigh, N.C. 2003-2006
Defined coverage of school equity and the racial achievement gap at the paper through reporting on the majority black Durham Public Schools, the state’s fourth largest district. Investigated a middle school that deprived its poor students of advanced classes, leading the superintendent to remove the principal and provide students equal access to courses. Chronicled the district’s failure to address teacher quality at impoverished predominately black schools. This reporting prodded the school board to adopt teacher incentives to address the problem.
The Chapel Hills News Chapel Hill, N.C. 2003
Reported and wrote stories on one of the state’s elite school districts for the twice-weekly newspaper owned by The News & Observer.
Awards AND HONORS
Honorary doctorate, Xavier University of Louisiana, 2018
MacArthur Fellow, 2017
National Magazine Award, public interest, 2017
Hillman Prize, magazine journalism, 2017
Mildred and Richard Loving Civil Rights Award, 2017
Peabody Award, radio reporting, 2016
George Polk Award, radio reporting, 2016
National Education Award, radio, 2016
Media for Just Society Award, radio, 2016
National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award, 2015, 2016, 2017
The Root 100, 2015, 2016, 2017
Emerson College President's Award for Civic Leadership, 2015
Sigma Delta Chi Award, public service, 2015
Journalist of the Year, National Association of Black Journalists, 2015
Fred M. Hechinger Grand Prize for Distinguished Education Reporting, 2015
National Magazine Award, finalist, public interest, 2015
National Awards for Education Reporting, first prize, beat reporting, 2015
Deadline Club Award for newspaper or digital beat reporting, 2015
Online Journalism Award, feature, 2014
Online Journalism Award, explanatory reporting, 2014
Columbia University Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, 2013
Sidney Award, 2013
Silurians Excellence in Journalism Award for online investigative news, 2013
Society for News Design Award of Excellence, 2013
Gannett Foundation Innovation in Watchdog Journalism Award, 2012
C.B. Blethen Memorial Award for Distinguished Reporting in the Northwest, 2011 (2), 2012
Society of Professional Journalists Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism Award, 2007, 2008, 2010
Founder, board member, Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting
Board member, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Board member, Spencer Foundation
Board member, The Teacher Project
Russell Sage Foundation Visiting Journalist, 2017
New America Fellow, 2017
Institute for Advanced Journalism Studies to travel to Cuba to investigate social changes under Raul Castro and the impact of universal healthcare on Cuba’s educational system, 2008-2009
Selected by the University of Pennsylvania to report on the impact of the Watts Riots for a study marking the 40th anniversary of the Kerner Commission report, 2007
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Master of Arts in mass communication, news editorial sequence, 2003
Roy H. Park Fellow
University of Notre Dame
Bachelor of Arts in history and African American studies, 1998