I'm a designer, developer and data journalist. I left conventional newsrooms in April 2021 to start Code Black Media, a digital media consultancy that lives at the intersection of data, design and equity. One year later, I introduced AfroLA, a nonprofit newsroom that covers Los Angeles through the lens of the Black community with nuanced explanatory and solutions journalism.
I previously worked in data reporting, interactive design and news apps development for KPCC, The Dallas Morning News, Pew Research Center and The Baltimore Sun. I've taught data journalism and interaction design across the country at conferences and colleges, most recently UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism.
I have a passion for finding the human stories behind the data points, digital storytelling and creating compelling news experiences for audiences. I have won numerous awards for my data visualizations and interactive stories.
- Check out some of my work below.
- Questions? Comments? Let's talk.
- Hiring? Visit Code Black Media.
- Want to see how I'm changing L.A. news? Get to know AfroLA.
I’ve been working as a data journalist, developer and designer for nearly a decade. In a previous lifetime, I was an intern and aspiring foreign correspondent who covered Congress during the Obama Administration and a cub reporter covering the Maryland statehouse. I was also a freelancer for a community newspaper — writing about everything from increased interest in adult ballet to 17 hours shadowing an EMS crew on a Saturday night — for 50 bucks a story to make rent.
I’ve tried out just about every role in the newsroom, at some point or another, as a student, intern or working professional. I’ve done weekend social media shifts (which I sucked at) and copyedited and done print layout.
I’ve terrorized colleagues who've grown to be dear friends from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. to Dallas and, now, Los Angeles. I completed my undergraduate studies at Wesleyan College, where I was the editor of the humble student newspaper (the school had no journalism department) and earned my Master of Journalism degree from University of Maryland, College Park.
But I don’t think anything could’ve prepared me for where I’ve found myself at this point in my career. I teach, I get to code cool stuff, I edit and lead awesome projects — and I get paid for it.
- Check out some of my work below.
- Questions? Comments? Let's talk.
- Hiring? Visit Code Black Media.
- Want to see
News Documentary - Large Market RadioRadio Television Digital News Association's Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for “Deceit, Disrepair and Death Inside a Southern California Rental Empire,” 2021
Print/Online Division II WinnerInvestigative Reporters and Editors Award for “Deceit, Disrepair and Death Inside a Southern California Rental Empire,” 2020
Audio - Large Category FinalistInvestigative Reporters and Editors Award for “Deceit, Disrepair and Death Inside a Southern California Rental Empire,” 2020
ONA Women's Leadership AcceleratorOne of 26 women selected from a competitive pool of nearly 300 applicants to join Online News Association's 2021 cohort
University of Florida Award for Investigative Data JournalismONA Online Journalism Awards, Small/Medium Newsroom Winner for“Deceit, Disrepair and Death Inside a Southern California Rental Empire,” 2020
Excellence in Audio Digital StorytellingONA Online Journalism Awards, Winner for “Deceit, Disrepair and Death Inside a Southern California Rental Empire,” 2020
Gather Award in Engaged Journalism, Overall ExcellenceOONA Online Journalism Awards, Winner Several projects including “Facing the music: The Uncertain Future of the Orange County School of the Arts” 2020
Multimedia - Large Market RadioRadio Television Digital News Association's National Edward R. Murrow Award for “Graying California: Profiles of Aging in the Golden State,” 2020
Feature Reporting - Large Market RadioRadio Television Digital News Association's Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for “Protesters Killed A Plan For A Koreatown Homeless Shelter. But That's Just The Beginning Of The Story,” 2020
Multimedia - Large Market RadioRadio Television Digital News Association's Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for “Graying California: Profiles of Aging in the Golden State,” 2020
Free Speech & Open Government AwardFirst Amendment Coalition for The California Reporting Project, 2019
Best multimedia package - 2nd placeSouthern California Journalism Awards for Voter Game Plan 2018 elections coverage, 2019
Excellence in InnovationRadio Television Digital News Association's Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for “The Block that Prop. 13 Built,” 2019
Best News Public Affairs ProgramRadio Television Digital News Association's Golden Mike Award for “Collateral Damage: A Look At How California And Los Angeles Prosecute Sex Trafficking, And Who Really Pays The Price,” 2019
Michael Brick Storytelling AwardTexas Associated Press Managing Editors for “Almost Famous,” 2018
Star Online Package of the year - 2nd placeTexas Associated Press Managing Editors for “My Aryan Princess,” 2018
Award of ExcellenceSociety of News Design for “My Aryan Princess,” 2018
Newsroom Award for Digital DesignThe Dallas Morning News for “My Aryan Princess,” 2017
Newsroom Award for Alternative StorytellingThe Dallas Morning News for “Dallas Police Ambush in Pictures,” 2016
Single-Topic News or Feature award finalistEducation Writers Association for “#BlackAtSMU,” 2016
Print/Digital Feature News award finalistNAHJ Journalism Awards for “#BlackAtSMU,” 2016
Outstanding Newsroom Performer The Baltimore Sun for Voter Guide, 2014
Best Use of Interactive Media - 2nd place Maryland-D.C. Press Association for “Top 20 Ravens Moments,” 2013
. . .
NOTE: Many of these awards were collaborative efforts for which I fully acknowledge the work of my colleagues and teammates.
Fellowships & Professional Development
Solutions Journalism HBCU/Black Press Fellowship :: Year-long fellowship program from the Solutions Journalism Network, 2023-24
Complicating the Narrative Solutions Journalism Trainer :: Completed training in July 2023 (accreditation pending)
Complicating the Narrative Fellowship :: Year-long fellowship program from the Solutions Journalism Network, 2022-23
Meta Journalism Project Scholarship :: Full-tuition scholarship for City University of New York’s Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program, 2022
Dallas Morning News Idea Lab Fellowship :: Research and teaching at University of Texas at Austin that culminated in a news project on public housing inequality, 2016
Findlay Fellowship :: Earned Wesleyan College's humanities/social science studies full-tuition scholarship, 2006-10
Mentoring & Coaching
Johns Hopkins Health Policy Research Scholars Career Coaching Program :: Matched in September 2022
IRE Journalist of Color Investigative Reporting Fellowship :: May 2022-June 2023
Black Media Product Strategy Program :: April-October 2022
Merrill Mentors at University of Maryland, College Park :: Spring 2021-Fall 2022
USC Annenberg Resources & Mentoring Program :: Matched in August 2020
IRE Conference Mentorship Program :: Matched in September 2020
Essays & articles
*While I reported and produced the graphics for all of the stories listed, these specifically are projects that I pitched, researched and reported, and at times, designed and coded myself outside a content management system.
Colleges & Universities
University of California, Berkeley
University of Southern California
University of North Texas
360-degree Storytelling :: Led a session at the ACP Spring National College Media Conference in March 2023, San Francisco, California
Keynote Speaker :: Journalism Association of Community Colleges SoCal Regional Conference in October 2022, Fullerton, California
#African Burial Grounds Matter and the Importance of Black Medias :: Panel discussion at City University of New York’s Public Interest Tech University Network (PIT-UN) (Un)convening in October 2022, Staten Island, New York
Real Talk with the Women’s Leadership Accelerator :: Panel discussion at Online News Association (ONA) Conference in September 2022, Los Angeles, California
Normalizing Solutions Journalism :: Led a small group discussion at the Solutions Journalism Summit in May 2022, Sundance, Utah
Human-Centered Data Reporting and Visualization :: Designed and led training for the Black News Initiative in partnership with the Center for Community Media in May 2022, Online
Designing for Equity :: Designed and led training for City University of New York’s inaugural Black Media Product Strategy cohort in April 2022, Online
Visuals 101 + 201 :: Designed and led training for Generation Data fellows in February, May and September 2022; July 2023, Online
Data for Civic Engagement :: Panel discussion at Knight Smart Cities Lab Conference in July 2021, Online
Recognizing bias :: Implicit bias presentation for BuzzFeed (non-newsroom) staff in December 2020, Online
Recognizing our blind spots :: Implicit bias presentation for BuzzFeed News staff in August 2020, Online
Thinking beyond your newsroom: The 2020 Census :: Session co-led at SRCCON:LEAD 2019, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Census 2020 data training :: Led hands-on training for community, ethnic and in-language media partners in November 2019, Pasadena, California
Graphic lies and misleading with data :: Presentation to Multicultural Summer Institute students at Occidental College in July 2019, Los Angeles, California
Creating data visualization to tell better stories :: Led hands-on training for APME NewsTrain 2019, Albuquerque, New Mexico
A playbook for reporters interested in reaching people at risk of being undercounted :: Session co-led at SRCCON 2019, Minneapolis, Minnesota
How newsrooms can start thinking right now about community coverage around Census 2020 :: Session at M3: Machine learning, migration, mountains journalism "unconference" hosted at the University of Denver in May 2019, Denver, Colorado
First Graphics App :: Workshop at 2019 National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference (NICAR), Newport Beach, California
Use data visualization to tell better stories :: Hands-on training for APME NewsTrain 2018 at University of North Texas, Denton, Texas
Data Reporting: The Ultimate Lie Detector :: Panel at National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention 2018, Detroit, Michigan
Managing the “blind spots” in community news coverage :: Session taught at SRCCON 2018, Minneapolis, Minnesota
How Much Does College Really Cost? :: Panel at 2018 Education Writers Association (EWA) National Seminar, Los Angeles, California
First Graphics App :: Workshop at 2018 National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference (NICAR), Chicago, Illinois
Data Blitz :: Panel at 2018 National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR) Conference, Chicago, Illinois
#BlackatSMU: Covering Racial Inequality on Campus :: Workshop at 2017 ACP/CMA National College Media Convention, Dallas, Texas
The Art of Multimedia Storytelling: The Aryan Princess :: Panel at 2017 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference, Grapevine, Texas
Just Enough Django :: Workshop at 2017 National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting Conference, Jacksonville, Florida
Interactive Graphics for People with No Free Time :: Workshop at 2016 National Association of Science Writers Conference, San Antonio, Texas