During 2014, I reported on North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement, a faith-based organizing effort that is becoming a national model. The movement is spearheaded by the state NAACP with broad support from churches and issue-based organizations, including women’s, immigrant, environmental, LGBT, and labor groups. Most of the articles were published online by The American Prospect, illustrated by […]
Neighborhood groups are bringing the blighted city back, one block at a time. Will City Hall stand in their way? Originally published in The American Prospect. A SHIVERING KNOT OF COLLEGE STUDENTS stands outside Motor City Java House as John George unlocks the front door. It’s 15 degrees in Detroit on a February morning, and […]
Marie Lynn Miranda, head of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at Duke, uses sophisticated modeling to tackle stubborn public-health problems. Originally published in Duke Magazine. LAST FALL, DURHAM COUNTY HEALTH DIRECTOR Gayle Harris faced a thorny question: How do you get a confused and suspicious public inoculated against H1N1 influenza? The much-feared flu strain had […]
Millions of older Americans don’t have enough money to put food on the table, but the government doesn’t count them as poor. How did this happen—and what’s being done about it? Coming soon: a segment on Prime Time Radio profiling three family matriachs struggling to pay the bills.
Can academic rigor, firm discipline, and a daily dose of religion turn boys from poor families into scholars? An intimate look at one such attempt. Originally published in Duke Magazine. AS AN AUGUST DRIZZLE falls outside, thirty-one middle-schoolers sit at long tables in a North Carolina mountain lodge. It’s the end of summer vacation: Next week […]
Originally published in the AARP Bulletin. ED MAHONEY GAPED AT THE SPECTACLE. On the edge of the Guatemala City dump, a fetid ravine swarming with vultures, dozens of human scavengers intercepted garbage trucks. They picked through the refuse for anything of value-bottles, cardboard, string-to sell to recyclers. Mothers carried their babies in boxes while older children played […]
The U.S. government is allowing farmers to fill thousands of jobs with foreign ‘guestworkers.’ The conditions are hardly hospitable—and those who speak out can be sent straight back home. Originally published in Mother Jones. THE GREYHOUND PULLS UP TO A TWO-STORY METAL WAREHOUSE in the tiny town of Vass, North Carolina. Efrain Madrigal gets off the bus. […]
The Enterprise Foundation led a $60 million effort to repair a broken Baltimore neighborhood. All it fixed was the buildings. Originally published in City Limits. THERE WASN’T AN EMPTY PARKING SPACE for blocks around Gilmor Elementary School the night Mayor Kurt Schmoke visited Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood last June. Braving the summer rain, 400 people packed the auditorium […]