During the past year, I have been involved as editor and writer on Essence's three-part "Guns Down" series. The first installment of the series appeared in the May 2013 issue and included a riveting story by Asha Bandele about Nelba and Jimmy Greene who lost their six-year-old daughter, Ana Grace, in the Newton, Connecticut school shooting. The second story in the series, "Chicago Hope," appeared in the July 2013 issue. In that piece I profiled Ameena Mathews, a violence interrupter with Ceasefire in Chicago. The third, and final, installment of the series, "What Does it Take to Save a Life?" about the city of New Orleans' innovative approach to eradicating gun violence, is on stands now.
I had the great pleasure of working with comedienne Loni Love on her hilarious relationship advice book, "Love Him or Leave Him but Don't Get Stuck With the Tab" [Simon & Schuster]. The book is filled with entertaining tales of Loni's adventures in love and lust, and plenty of practical advice. Get yours today at Amazon.com!
"The Danger Outside," about the killing of Trayvon Martin (Essence, June 2012), was given a prestigious Front Page Award by the Newswomens' Club of New York. The story was also awarded a Henry R. Luce Award for public service reporting
It's not often that an artist has something nice to say about a journalist. But the wonderfully gracious Alicia Keys gave me the most wonderful compliment about the inspiration for her new single "Girl on Fire." Read it here.
"Our Teens' Secret Sex Lives," my year-long investigation into the challenges faced by middle schoolers (Essence, October 2011), won three separate awards this year: A Maggie Award for Media Excellence from Planned Parenthood, a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, and an award for public affairs reporting from the New York Association of Black Journalists.
On December 15th, I will be a guest on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, giving tips to parents about speaking to kids about sex. My story, "Our Teens Secret Sex Lives," which appeared in the October issue of Essence magazine, is now being used by members of Planned Parenthood to help train staff.
The National Association of Black Journalists awarded me two Salute to Excellence Awards. I won first place in Investigative Reporting for "Lost Girl" about domestic sex trafficking of children, and first place in International Reporting for "Trouble in Paradise," about homophobia in Jamaica.
Henry R. Luce Award
"Trouble in Paradise" was the finalist for a Henry R. Luce Award for Reporting.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation gave me the great honor of nominating my story "Trouble in Paradise" for an Outstanding Magazine Article of the Year.
Salute to Excellence
The National Association of Black Journalists awarded me two first place Salute to Excellence Awards. I won first place in Investigative Reporting for "Number One with a Bullet" and first place for International Reporting for "Child Brides."
"Number One with a Bullet" won a Henry Luce Award for Public Service. The piece details the epidemic of gun violence in Philadelphia. This award is a great honor.
Vanessa Vick is the most talented photo journalist I've ever worked with. She shot the breathtaking images that accompany the stories I wrote about child brides in Niger and AIDS orphans and child soldiers in Uganda. You can see her work here: vanessavick.com
"Number One with a Bullet" (Essence, March 2008), about Philadelphia's soaring homicide rate, was awarded first place in Investigative Reporting from the New York Association of Black Journalists.
I've finally put up a website. Not everything is up here so if there's an article you're looking for but can't find, let me know and I'll do my best to get it from you. You can e-mail me on my contacts page. Thanks!