Now, I'm an independent writer living in Texas, working on feature stories and personal essays for national magazines and news sites.
My interests are eclectic, as you can see from things I've reported on in the past. My Mother Jones magazine feature on the future of computer science in K-12 has been called the definitive take on the subject. My Code Switch podcast episode on "hard to pronounce" names is one of the series' most popular. My viral exposé on "brogrammer" culture in Silicon Valley exploded the conversation on tech's gender problem. I started my career as a staff features reporter at the Chicago Reader, where I got a job after submitting a 3,000-word profile of a local eight-year-old filmmaker. (They ran it on the cover.)
At NPR, along with developing and launching the Code Switch podcast, I edited hotly discussed essays on race and identity by Gene Demby, Kat Chow, Roxane Gay, Jeff Yang, and other leading writers, and was a finalist in the 2016 awards from the National Association of Black Journalists.
As a senior editor at Mother Jones, I created a fierce team of award-winning, data-obsessed reporters and developers. Our ethos was "storytelling by any means necessary." We built a popular open-source storytelling toolkit, visualized the first-ever database of American mass shootings, and trained our entire newsroom in telling stories in new ways on the web.
Called "one of the smartest people on Twitter" by Fast Company, I've spoken at leading web and media conferences (Newsfoo, Online News Association, National Institute of Computer-Assisted Reporting, Spark Camp, MediaRise) on diversity and inclusion, journalism in the digital age, gender in the workplace, and other issues I care about deeply.
I travel a lot. Home base is a small town in east Texas where I live with my parter and stepson. There's really good barbecue here, sweet tea and green fields, and a whole lot of quiet. You'll also regularly find me in D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, and the Bay Area.