Journalism writing

Immigrant and refugee communities 

Zomi USA: How a city in Oklahoma became home for an ethnic group from Southeast Asia – NBC News Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second largest city, is now known as “Zomi Town” or “Zomi USA” because it is the largest concentration of Zomi people in the U.S. Many Zomis in Tulsa and its surrounding suburbs have arrived and resettled from Southeast Asia because of their Christian faith.

In Oklahoma, a Myanmar refugee community worries about Trump’s expanded travel ban – NBC News Trump’s new travel ban expansion will increase prolonged family separations for this Myanmar refugee group.

Radio Vietnam in America’s Heartland serves growing community – NBC News A refugee from Vietnam runs a radio station in Oklahoma’s largest city that provides critical information and support for the growing Vietnamese-American population.

Criminal Justice Reform

Nearly 500 prisoners released on a single day – The New York Times Oklahoma held one of the largest single-day release of prisoners in history. I co-wrote this story from Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft, Oklahoma.

New computer coding class for women at Oklahoma prison – Ms. Magazine Oklahoma has for years led the nation for female incarceration. A new program is hoping to give women in prison a chance to learn job-readiness skills to help them transition back into society.

Love, courageous and strong – The Tulsa Voice The Girl Scouts offer a program in which the young girls can visit their mothers in prison. I traveled from Tulsa to Oklahoma City as a set of sisters visited their mom at a prison near Oklahoma’s largest city.

Women’s Rights and Issues

Rural Indian girls get discrimination-fighting tool: soccer – The Associated Press A nonprofit in rural eastern India seeks to empower girls by showing them they have the right to focus on education instead of getting married and starting a family, and the right to choose their life path.

School for underprivileged girls teaches feminist principles in India – NBC News In a deeply patriarchal society like India’s, girls are at a disadvantage before they are even born. Girls at Prerna come from nearby poverty-stricken neighborhoods and are taught feminist principles to help them see and understand they are equal to boys. This is one of a series of stories I wrote and photographed during my fellowship with the International Reporting Project from India.

How a program in Bangladesh is preparing garment workers for college – NBC News Pathways for Promise eliminates many of the barriers women in the developing world face to getting a university education, including cost and academic preparation.

Health

In rural India, MIT grads aim to improve access to sanitary pads for women – NBC News The majority of women in rural India prefer to use a cloth during their period, which experts warn can be unhygienic and cause health issues. A new startup creating biodegradable sanitary napkins from banana fiber hopes to improve access and waste disposal of pads. This is one of a series of stories I wrote and photographed from India as a fellow with the International Reporting Project.

Put your baby in a box? A Finnish tradition is winning converts here – The Washington Post Baby boxes, which were started in Finland 80 years ago and helped to substantially reduced the infant mortality rate, according to the government, are now coming to the United States through nonprofits, community health organizations and private entities.

Travel

Ohio’s multicultural capital: The most interesting things to do in Columbus – Culture Trip Ohio has one of the highest rates of refugee resettlement in the United States, according to the Pew Center for Research. This story highlights some of the ways to fully experience the multicultural and diverse city through its people, food and unique sites.

The untold stories of Oklahoma’s historic Black towns – Conde Nast Traveler Oklahoma was once home to more historical all-Black towns than any other place in the United States. Once totaling more than 50, that number stands at 13 today. Shirley Nero has spent the past decade highlighting this history—one that many locals aren’t even aware of.

Historic Preservation and Architecture

Four historic spots that showcase Nashville’s powerful women – Saving Places Nashville may be known today for country music, health care, and a budding food scene, but it also played a significant role in the women’s rights movement.

Feature Profile

He’s laying the legal groundwork for reparations – OZY Civil rights attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons is leading a suit for the 1921 razing of Black Wall Street.

Lifestyle

People hiring photographers to document everyday life – The Associated Press I pitched this story at the AP after noticing from my various social media accounts that more people were posting photos shot by professionals. It was one of the top 10 most shared stories across the globe on the AP mobile app for two days. The New York Times wrote its own version of the story a few weeks later.

Corn Couture: Kernels get a high-fashion makeover – Modern Farmer I really love quirky stories. And using kernels to make clothes? Definitely quirky.

Green preschools teach children the basics of natural living – The Associated Press Dozens of preschools are popping up nationwide that have an eco-friendly focus.

News industry 

Researchers, Somali refugees create podcast addressing intimate partner violence – International Journalists’ Network Researchers are turning to podcast in humanitarian settings to help prevent and stem intimate partner violence. Here I speak with the researcher behind the project.

Stuck at home with little to do, news consumers are surging toward hobbyist magazines – Poynter The COVID-19 pandemic and related recession have slashed the news industry, news magazines included. But hobbyist magazines are sustaining, even thriving in some cases.