My top stories of 2021

Note: This is copy-pasted directly from my Twitter account!

FINALLY getting around to sharing some of my stories (& some favorite things) from 2021! So much happened this year and I’m so thankful to all the folks who read my stuff and care about the things I say, but also the folks who tell me their stories.

None of these are happy stories, but they are stories I’m proud of writing and spent a lot of time on.

The thing about living through the End Times is that normal things still happen in the day-to-day. I entered my mid-twenties. I switched jobs. I read things and watched things and saw people when I could. I’m still bored of dating apps and looking for the perfect plaid pants!

One of the things I feel most proud of is writing my first INDY Week cover story. Remember when that mammoth Texas gas station was trying to come to N.C.?

After a Month of Public Comments, Orange County Sends Buc-ee’s Back to the Drawing Board

In February, I wrote about the Campus Y at UNC break-in and the resilience of the students who dedicate their time to it. I felt very humbled to have them reach out to me to share their story.

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Campus Y Reclaims Its Community Following Break-In

In April, I wrote about Kalkidan Miller, a teenager who was punched by a grown man at a Chapel Hill BLM rally. She used the moment to advocate for better hate crime laws in North Carolina.

A Teenager Was Attacked at a Black Lives Matter Vigil. Now, She’s Working to Fix the State’s Hate Crime Law.

If you haven’t noticed, I really love having the opportunity to give young people a voice. This shorter story on parents attempting to censor the Southern Alamance HS yearbook is an example of that.

Southern Alamance High School’s Yearbook Documented What Happened This School Year. Parents Are Furious.

The Nikole Hannah-Jones and UNC story went from nothing to everything so suddenly. It was an honor to dive into the history of inequality in UNC and shed light on a glaring issue in our public education.

Nikole Hannah-Jones’s Experience with UNC Is Emblematic Of a Common Struggle for Black Women in Academia

In August, something kind of wild happened: I got an offer to become an opinion writer for McClatchy’s NC team, and now my work appears in The News & Observer, The Durham Herald-Sun, and The Charlotte Observer. For the next stories, you may hit a paywall! Don’t forget that there’s a day pass!

Instead of a soft landing, I came in at the same time Texas banned abortions at six weeks. It was quite the intro.

We’re not Texas yet, but North Carolina already makes abortion inaccessible

Soon after starting, I revealed my Mayberry roots and found myself once again wishing for a little more compassion. This got picked up by a ton of other papers, including The Winston-Salem Journal, my “home paper.”

Maybe we should change how we talk to Mayberry about the COVID vaccine

In October, North Carolina started a new policy for prison mail that further isolates incarcerated people. I’ve received lots of emails and letters from folks on the inside since writing this, and it’s been a real humbling moment.

New NC prison policy on cards and letters is cruel and confusing

A few weeks ago, I wrote about Wake County Public Library removing a specific book from circulation after complaints (not to mention a lot of fanfare from the lt. gov.), and why it may actually be unconstitutional:

Wake County Library ban of LGBTQ+ book may be unconstitutional

And finally, the other day I wrote about tenants at a particular Durham apartment complex who were told to be out by Dec. 31, but now don’t have to be, and have been hearing so many different things that it’s obvious who deals with the blowback.

Durham renters told they needed to be gone by New Year’s until media got involved

I hope you liked them too, and you keep up with my work in 2022! I have some ideas I’m hoping to make a reality and I want y’all along for the ride.

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