Nieman Reports: Is Movement Journalism What’s Needed During this Reckoning over Race and Inequality?

Nieman Reports, August 25, 2020: Is Movement Journalism What’s Needed During this Reckoning over Race and Inequality?

Last summer I found myself at the M.W. Stringer Grand Lodge in Jackson, Mississippi. Considered “the epicenter of the civil rights movement,” the well-worn building was once the training site for the Freedom Riders and home to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. It seemed a fitting place to launch Freedomways, a journalism fellowship prioritizing women of color and LGBTQ+ people rooted in the American South and committed to doing reporting that advances justice.

Named after the journal that published the work of Black freedom fighters, Freedomways is a program of Press On, a Southern media collective that supports movement journalism ?— journalism that meets the needs of communities directly affected by injustice.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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