Bio

I’m a writer and journalist living in Chicago.

As a kid, I never had a favorite subject in school. I liked them all. Later, I changed majors six times. Picking just one occupation seemed dull to me, so after bouncing from field to field for awhile after college, I chose journalism – the one occupation where I could learn about anything I wanted to.

My passion is telling people’s stories, particularly the stories of everyday people who are pushed out on the margins of society. I’m deeply interested in the intersections of race, poverty, class, economics and culture. I’m an idealist who thinks it’s possible to change the world for the better, but only if we can help people understand one another in a meaningful way. A good story creates empathy for another person’s circumstance, and thus, is the catalyst for creating change.

I write and have written for the Chicago Reporter, the Chicago Reader, Rebellious Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Tonic.com, Change.org, American Libraries, and many other fine publications. I started my reporting career in Chicago working for the Chi-town Daily News, covering the public housing beat. I turned that beat into a blog, One Story Up, which was called one of the “most important blogs in the United States” by Urbanophile’s Aaron Renn and won the Chicago Reader’s Best Local Blog Award for 2010.

In 2013, I won the Studs Terkel Award, given to journalists who write “news that’s bottom up, rather than up, down.” That’s always been my goal, and so this award is a real honor.

I’ve also won a Peter Lisagor Award for my work at the Chicago Reporter and was named a 2012 finalist for the National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence, as well as receiving a Local Reporting Awards grant from the Chicago Community trust to work on an investigative piece about lead poisoning.

In 2012, I became a mom to my dear little son, Teddy. It’s a cliche, of course, but becoming a mom has completely changed my life. I work part time and stay home with my son a few days a week, an arrangement I love. I firmly believe in creating a healthy work/life balance, and that healthy people do better work and have more to offer. That’s controversial in the journalism community, but it’s something I stand by.

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