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Mississippi Reckoning

Mississippi Reckoning

Last August, I spent four unforgettable days in Mississippi. I had never been to the state and had all sorts of preconceived notions about what I might find. The reality of what I discovered there was so far beyond anything I could ever encapsulate in one story. Even months later, well after the story was published, the experience of that short trip still seeps through my being, changing me in ways I couldn't have anticipated. I was in the state to report a story on…
How to Be a True Anti-Racist

How to Be a True Anti-Racist

When I first reached out to her this past fall, professor Cheryl Matias was reluctant to talk with me. She had seen a lot of hate mail and resistance to her work and didn't want to attract more vitriol. After I told her about the story I wanted to write, illuminating the dangers of unexamined whiteness, luckily she reconsidered. At the school of education at CU Denver, Matias teaches prospective teachers about whiteness, the widely recognized social construct that confers privilege on people who act…
Exploring The Hidden Sadness That Lives Among Us

Exploring The Hidden Sadness That Lives Among Us

It has been just over a year since Tricia died by suicide. This time of year can be tough for many, especially the most sensitive and vulnerable among us. The days get darker; the holidays can come with joy but also painful expectations and mixed feelings. I think of Tricia often and wish her well, wherever she is. I knew her only as an acquaintance but admired her presence and courage. Her death had a profound impact. I know the world would be better if…
A Monumental Undertaking

A Monumental Undertaking

For his dream assignment, photographer Ian Shive had to undergo a litany of tests and preparations: blood work, urine analysis, lung capacity, physicals, hearing and colorblindness exams, a mental health study and a lifeguard swim test. He had to get licensed as a commercial drone pilot and complete rigorous scuba diving exams. Where was he going? Some of the most remote places in the world: the far-flung marine national monuments of the Pacific Ocean. The assignment from the Fish and Wildlife Service resulted in a…
How to Hustle the Side Gig

How to Hustle the Side Gig

I was nervous before talking to former pro middle-distance runner Lauren Fleshman. She just seemed so, well…cool. Over the course of her enviable career, she has won state championships, USA championships and finished seventh in the world. She has written for Runner’s World and been profiled in The New York Times. She is an activist for women in athletics, co-founder of Picky Bars, co-founder of Believe Training Journal Series, creator of Wilder running and writing retreats, mastermind behind AskLaurenFleshman.com…and she’s a wife and mother of…