Should cops be in schools? Police reforms divide a community in California

The Fresno Police Reform Commission was created after the community demanded police reforms. While some topics had consensus, School Resources Officers divided the commission. 

“But the divisive dress code recommendation, put forth by the community development subcommittee, illuminated some of the fundamental challenges the committee faces in finding a consensus.”

This story was part of The GroundTruth Project and Report for America. It was co-published with USA Today. This was a reported article, not an opinion piece. Due to the partnership between the GroundTruth and USA Today all stories are published under the opinion section. 

A Timeline of the COVID-19 Outbreak at Foster Farms

Radio Bilingue

After close to 400 Foster Farms workers tested positive for COVID-19 and eight workers passed away, many people were left wondering how did the case count get so big? Through interviews, press releases, and news report I created a timeline that seeks to answer that question. It begins with the first known case in April, and ends with the latest known info as of Sep. 9.

Poor Conditions and Overcrowding Lead to COVID-19 Outbreak in Avenal State Prison

Radio Bilingue

Juan Carlos Torres is free after 26 years of being incarcerated but he still hasn’t seen his family.“I’m free but I still can’t hug my mother, my daughter, my son,” he said in Spanish.Instead, he’s in quarantine at a hotel in Los Angeles. Carlos, who is 45-years-old, tested positive before being released from Avenal State Prison

How Climate Change is Disproportionately Affecting Black and Brown Communities in Texas 


Across the state, poor, brown and black communities, who have less access to resources, will bear the greatest brunt when it comes to climate change. 

“[It] is absurd to separate people from the environment,” said Treviño. “If you’re not factoring people, you’re not centering people, then you’re not looking at it holistically. And you’re not really reflecting the environment.”

‘Swamp Therapy’ Hikes Aim To Connect South Floridians To The Everglades


A small group of people gathers at the wooden rail of Big Cypress National Preserve for an event called Swamp Therapy, a hike that involves art, mediation, and activism, created by Yadira Capaz. She wants people to connect with the Everglades.“Lets connect to the swamp, let’s learn from the swamp, let’s listen,” she said.

Senate Passes E-verify, Bill Makes Its Way to Governor’s Desk


The bill requires public employers like schools and government offices to use E-verify, a federal database from the Department of Homeland Security that verifies if a government document matches the person’s identity. Companies they contract will also be required to use E-verify.

Young People Tackle Climate Change At Second South Florida Convening


“Just because we’re younger, doesn’t mean we’re less smart. Just because we’re younger doesn’t mean we can’t do change,” Gandelman said. “And if the adults that are currently in power…don’t want to listen to the facts and see what’s wrong, then we need to step up.”

Miami Women’s March Makes Steps Towards Inclusivity


Hundreds of people attended the Women’s March Miami and Rally at Miami Gardens on Saturday

Two Years After Parkland, A Community is Still Healing


“There’s never going to be complete healing… People will tell you it gets easier with time, but that is a fat lie, it doesn’t get easier.” 

Fighting climate gentrification with a radical community garden”

Scalawag Magazine

“To go back to our roots, and reconnect with earth is a big radical, healing, act of resistance,” Peña said.

Colonias on the border struggle with decades-old water issues.” 

News 21

For my fellowship with News 21 I traveled across the US-Mexico border with my colleague, Andrea Jaramillo. We talked to colonia residents about water contamination in their communities. Lack of infrastructure in colonias dates back to their creation, as early as the 1950s, when developers where able to sell lots of land without basic infrastructure to mostly Mexican immigrants who couldn’t afford to live in the city. The problem persists to this day. Our story has been published by NBC, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Texas Tribune!

Troubled Water won a 2018 Student Edward R Murrow Award for Excellence in Digital Reporting, a 2018 Nina Mason Pulliam Environmental Journalism Award for Environmental Reporting  from the Arizona Press Club and the 2018 Pro-Am Student Award from the Online News Association

Local police may be profiling residents — especially when they’re African American. The evidence? EPPD’s own reports.


Getting searched is not uncommon for African Americans in El Paso — according to the El Paso Police Department’s own traffic-stop racial profiling reports. The most recent racial profiling report, compiled with data from 2015, shows black drivers are almost three times more likely to be “consent” searched than white drivers, and two times more likely to be consent searched than Hispanics.

Minimum City


I interviewed workers the city of El Paso contracts from third parties. I found that many of them were struggling to pay their rent and bills. Even though city employees get paid more than the minimum wage, contracted workers get paid the state minimum $7.25 an hour. Local efforts by one city council member to raise the wage for contracted workers were met with staunch opposition. I also found that the city grants contracts through a score system that gives more points to companies that give employee benefits like health insurance. All of the contracted workers I spoke with said they had didn’t know they had health insurance, or couldn’t access it. 

Money from relatives in U.S. sustains many Mexican families

Cronkite News

As part of the Borderlands program, I was able to travel to Queretaro, Mexico to report on remittances, money sent mostly by immigrants from the US to Mexico. Several anti-immigrant proposals have been made at both the state and federal level to block undocumented immigrants from sending money to Mexico. The trip gave me the opportunity to speak with the people who would be most affected by blocking remittances– some of the poorest people in Mexico, often mothers.

Harlem Ballroom Competitions Foster Unity in L.G.B.T. Community

The New York Times Student Journalism Institute

Now a global phenomenon, ballroom has transformed into more than a competition. It is a community for its participants. Ballroom “was a place where I could express myself and be me,” said Hector Xtravaganza, one of the first members of the House of Xtravangaza. “I felt safe. I felt like what I was going through was O.K.”

Sugga Pie Koko, Plus-Size Drag Queen, Ditches Glamour for Laughs

The New York Times Student Journalism Institute

“I don’t have to have the glitz,” said David Burgess, 44, the man behind Sugga Pie Koko. “I don’t have to have the glamor. I don’t have to have the sparkly dress. I can go just based on talent.”

Artists in Harlem Use Art to Create Community

The New York Times Student Journalism Institute

Every three months members the Harlem Art Collective, a group of Harlem-based artists who do projects in the neighborhood, paint an abandoned construction fence in front of an empty lot on West 116th Street between Second and Third Avenues.

The Workers of Juárez Who Couldn’t See the Pope

Latino Rebels

Marissa’s puesto, or makeshift selling post, is one of more than 30 along David Herrera Jordan Avenue, intersecting Costa Rica and Bolivia Streets. The people behind the puestos sell a plethora of products — chips, roses, burritos, juice, t-shirts, coffee, grilled burgers, churros, etc.

Voteria: How One Latino Organization Uses Culture to Engage Voters

Latino Rebels

Unlike the VPD, the aim of Votería was not only to increase voter turnout, but also to increase voter engagement by starting a conversation with the community.

Maquila Workers’ Protest in Juárez Ends, But the Fight Continues

Latino Rebels

The tent, called a plantón, was were 56 workers set up camp and sustained a five-month protest in front of the maquila.

El Pasoans unite for missing Ayotzinapa Students

The Prospector (UTEP)

“Forty-three chairs, 43 people and 43 biographies. So people can ask those questions, what is happening? Who were they? What are their stories?” said Marlett Garcia, social work graduate student. “We want people to wake up.”

This story won  a Pinnace Award for Second Place for Best Breaking News at the 2016 National Media Convention in Austin, TX.

How Does SGA spend your Money

The Prospector (UTEP)

An investigation into last year’s SGA budget revealed that on average SGA covered 17 percent of a students’ or organizations’ total appropriation requests.

This story won First Place for In-Depth Reporting at the 2016 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Awards Conference in Dallas, TX.

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