Reportage

Previously spent a decade as a journalist, focusing on human rights and producing award-winning reportage globally for major international media including the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Atlantic, Reuters, and many others. 

Extensive experience editing, research, writing, communications and senior level project management for the UN, the Carter Center, The Heinrich Boll Foundation and others.

If you read two things read this and this.


West Africa

Things Fall Apart||Nigeria||2018||The Atavist||WEB

A feat of elegant design wowed elite architects and promised to bring education to poor children in Nigeria. Then it collapsed. This story explores the widening gap between truth and gloss and the social splintering that underpinned the structure’s physical erosion. It is also about lies in all their shapes, the myths we tell to make this painful world more palatable, and the ethics of experimentation and representation. It’s about greyness and complexity and argues that while there are heroic and generous actions, there are no pure heroes (or villains).

Interview with Emerge85 Podcast about the essay. 

Versage || Nigeria || 2017 || GfZK Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig || PDF,  WEB,  WEB see also: WEB

A meditation on low-end globalization and global inequality, the notion of cheapness, the complexity of the concept of “made in china”, the creolization of taste, and when mimicry becomes its own aesthetic. An ongoing project, its first manifestation is a mixed media photo/text/Versage installation in the ChinAfrika.Under Construction exhibition with photographer Benedicte Kurzen.

The Price of Senegal’s Strict Anti-Abortion Laws ||Senegal || 2017 || The New Yorker Online || WEB

On victim-perpetrators, ephemeral oppression, and the danger of social isolation; on Senegal’s infanticide crisis, rigid abortion restrictions and theological debates about ensoulment. 

Marché Noire Lomé-Paris || Togo, France || 2018 || The New York Times || WEB

On taste and trajectories, dumping used clothes into African markets, and fashion that resists consumerism. 

Redemption Camp || Nigeria || 2017 || Goethe Institute, Hotspots Lagos || WEB

On solitude en masse, sacred spaces and human divinity.

Urban Hybridity || Nigeria || 2016 || Nataal || WEB

On architecture and identity in Lagos.

Taste, Scent, Trade || Nigeria || 2016 || Institute of Current World Affairs || WEB

On fake versace and perfumes and on the spidery pathways they travel across Nigeria.

Fools Gold: On Oil and its Discontents || Nigeria || 2015 || Institute of Current World Affairs || WEB

On slippery borders, friendly smugglers, secret scars, lotteries, motorcycles, artificial scarcities, legitimate hoarding, and decayed wales.

Hepatitis, the Road Trip||Nigeria||2016||Institute of Current World Affairs||WEB

On hepatitis, a “silent killer” and also on stigma, and the myriad overlapping health systems:traditional, religious, informal, western medicine, etc in Nigeria.

How Long is Now? || Nigeria || 2015 || Institute of Current World Affairs || WEB

On old buildings, new buildings, social transitions and taste in Lagos.

What we can do to stop the next Pandemic || Democratic Republic of Congo/Global || National Geographic/Ozy || WEB

For those who advocate changes in the global health and emergency response system, Ebola could be a catalyst. That is, if they can look past the consuming crisis.

The Road Through Redemption Camp: Religion, Fertility and Abortion in Lagos || Nigeria || 2014 || Los Angeles Review of Books || WEB

From mega-churches to store-front parishes, religion is big in Nigeria’s biggest city.

Lagosians seek justice for Demolitions || Nigeria || 2015 || Al Jazeera America || WEB

On the tangled and brutal world of slum demolitions in Lagos; layers of social hierarchies, power politics and sprawl.

Abortions in Nigeria are Legally Restricted, Unsafe–and Common || Nigeria || 2013 || Al Jazeera America || WEB

A portrait of Bunmi Ayenuro, a 23 year old Lagosian who has survived seven dangerous abortions. 

Salt and Thunder: Contraception Misconceptions in Nigeria || Nigeria || 2014 || Pulitzer Center || WEB

Crowing like a rooster, or guzzling water until you drown are just some of the myths around contraception young women in Lagos shared. 

Family Planning Program in Senegal Drawn into Conflict with Religious Leaders|| Senegal|| 2014 || Washington Post || WEB

On the culture clash around contraception and some Senegalese communities’ skepticism of foreign aid.

Senegal’s Sufi Celebrities || Senegal|| 2014 || OZY || WEB

Senegal’s tele imams weigh in on everything from dating to drought to politics, using TV to mold the future of Islam and democracy in this peaceful West African state.  

Sex, Lives, and Mother of George || Nigeria || 2013 || OZY || WEB

An essay exploring the truths in the fictional film “Mother of George” and the links between conceptions of fertility and abortion in Nigeria.

How Do You Get an Abortion in Lagos? || Nigeria || 2013 || Pulitzer Center || WEB 

Abortion is mostly illegal in Nigeria, except in a few extreme medical cases, but a grey abortion market flourishes just under the surface.

Reporting on Secrets || Nigeria || 2013 || Pulitzer Center Field Notes || WEB

On the tragedy in reporting on taboos.

Scratch and Win|| Nigeria || 2013 || Pulitzer Center Field Notes || WEB

Fake drugs are everywhere in Nigeria, but the national regulatory agency is trying to crack down on the shadowy economy. One technique is a lotto-like scratch pad with a number to text and verify authenticity.

On Tattoos, Secrets and Jesus || Nigeria || 2013 || Pulitzer Center Field Notes|| WEB

In Nigeria abortion is secret, and taboo. Tope layers her past traumas and her redemption in ink on her shoulder.

Sorrowful Mysteries: Secret Abortions Kill Thousands of Nigerian Women Each Year|| Nigeria || 2014 || Global Post || WEB

A video exploring secrecy around abortions and a written piece exploring the religious activists who see abortion as a sinful scourge in Nigeria.

On Pills Prayers and Pregnancy || Senegal || 2012 || Foreign Policy Association ||WEB

West Africa lags behind other regions in contraceptive use. In Senegal complex social factors–from concepts of womanhood to rumors about long-term health effects–push many women away from family planning. But with women suffering complications as they bear numerous children in quick succession, advocates are pushing for a new culture around contraception.

Coup Contagion? || Guinea-Bissau || 2012 || Foreign Policy Association || WEB

A coup in Guinea Bissau closely followed one in Mali, but the fallen neighbors had little else in common.

Feeling the Heat in Mali || Mali || 2012 || Foreign Policy Association || WEB

Coup, rebellion, secession, oh my.

Senegalese religious leaders’ perceptions of HIV/AIDS and implications for challenging stigma and discrimination || Senegal || 2010 || Culture Health and Sexuality || WEB

I collaborated with Fulbright Scholar David Ansari on his academic research on Imams and HIV/AIDS stigma.

Constructing Democracy in Transitioning Societies of Africa || Mali || 2008|| WEB

I contributed field research from Djenné, Mali to Susanna D. Wing’s Award-winning book. 


Haiti

Still Fissured: Haiti’s Health System || 2015 || Los Angeles Review of Books || WEB

In the aftermath of the earthquake there have been countless picturesque projects on this gorgeous Caribbean island — shells of schools with no teachers, gleaming new hospitals with no staff. Many charities have come and gone, and even those that stay largely have short-term contracts. My motorcycle driver, Junior, told me his wife had birthed each of her three children since the earthquake in a different clinic — following a word-of-mouth network about ever-shifting programs and projects to find affordable options for her deliveries. The strings of these myriad distinct programs do not knit into a safety net for Haiti, and mothers are left to advocate for themselves.

Haiti’s Fight For Gay Rights||2014||Al Jazeera America|| WEB

As LGBTQ activists push for more visibility, the Evangelical community cracks down. Meanwhile gay culture flourishes in secret drag shows and the welcoming Vodou religion.

Stateless People in the Dominican Republic Hope to Regain Citizenship || 2014 || Los Angeles Times || WEB

A love story from across the statelessness debate affecting Dominicans of Haitian Descent in the DR.

Dominican Republic Citizenship Law Ends Limbo for Haitian Descendants || 2014 || The Guardian || WEB

Alejandro loves bachata, doesn’t speak Kreyol and has lived in the DR his whole life. But the Dominican government told him he was Haitian. A look at the nationality debate in the Dominican Republic.

Stateless in the Dominican Republic|| 2014 || Al Jazeera America || WEB

Tens of thousands born to Haitian parents cope with the fallout from a court decision rescinding their citizenship.

Deisy Toussaint: Dominican Firebrand || 2014 || Ozy  || WEB

When Deisy Toussaint’s world turned absurd, this memoirist/science fiction writer turned her pen to political critique. On an unlikely activist in the Dominican Republic fighting for the rights of Dominicans of Haitian Descent.

Still Homeless in Haiti || 2012 || Los Angeles Times WEB

Two and a half years after the earthquake, housing questions linger: what does ‘home’ mean? Who should pay for it? How should Port-au-Prince look?  Lakay se lakay, home is home.

Vacation to Haiti? || 2012 || Los Angeles Times || WEB

A passionate band of Haiti lovers are determined to rebrand this oft-derided island. Some locals wonder who will earn if Haiti sells.

Cholera Returns || 2011 || Los Angeles Times || WEB

Cholera peaks and dips with the rain. Donated temporary toilets pool and ooze waste, forgotten as organizations retreat from the crisis.

Singer Michel Martelly Sworn in as Haiti’s President || 2011 || Los Angeles Times || WEB

The political outsider took his post in front of the crumpled national palace, a symbol of the heavy labor ahead.

Former Pop Star Sworn in as Haiti’s President ||2011 || CNN || WEB

Deported to Haiti || 2011 || Los Angeles Times || WEB

After a year of humanitarian reprieve, deportations of criminals resumed to Haiti in the midst of the cholera epidemic. The deeply Americanized Haitians struggled to survive and build new lives in a broken, foreign city.

No Contest Expected to Martelly Presidential Win || 2011 || Los Angeles Times || WEB

Opponent Mirlande Manigat concedes defeat following the election results.

Carnival Returns || 2011 || Los Angeles Times || WEB

The yearly festival returns a year after the earthquake to a plaza still crammed with tents and a city unsure of its party spirit.

Presidential Election Plays out on Crowded Political Stage || 2011 || The Atlantic || WEB

Egos abound in Haiti’s election, far beyond the candidate pool.

After 7 Years in Exile, Aristide Returns to Haiti || 2011 || CNN || WEB

Aristide’s Return to Haiti “Imminent”: Spokeswoman || 2011 || Reuters || WEB

The country waited with baited breath–some expecting a savior, others anticipating chaos–ahead of the exiled former president’s homecoming.

Haitians Pick a President: Election Day || 2011 ||CNN || WEB

Grandmother-in-Chief? || 2011 || The Boston Haitian Reporter || WEB

Ahead of the run-off election, a profile of Mirlande Manigat.

Haiti Protesters want Preval Out || 2011 || Reuters || WEB

Protesters marched against President Rene Preval on the day he had been scheduled to leave office before a temporary extension.

Aristide Retrieves his Passport, Nearing Return || 2011 || Los Angeles Times || WEB

The former president prepared for his much-anticipated return after seven years in exile.

Aristide Supporters March for His Return || 2011 || Reuters || WEB

The Ghosts of Duvalier || 2011 || Los Angeles Times || WEB

The unexpected return of the former dictator re-awakened brutal memories among survivors of the torturous regime.

Haiti Government Candidate to Quit Election Race || 2011 || Reuters || WEB

After weeks of conflict, ruling party candidate Jude Celestin accepts defeat in the first round of the election. He cleared the way for a run-off between pop-star Michel Martelly and university professor Mirlande Manigat.

The First Anniversary of the Earthquake || 2011 || Reuters || WEB

Haitians commemorate the earthquake, and bemoan the lingering hellish conditions.

Understanding the Crisis Rape-​HIV Nexus || 2011 ||ETH Zurich Center for Security Studies ||  WEB

Sarah Palin in Haiti || 2010 || Reuters || WEB

The former vice-presidential candidate tours Haiti charity sites with evangelical relief organization Samaritan’s Purse.

Maternal Mortality: Numbers and Reality  || 2010 || ETH Zurich Center for Security Studies || WEB

Task Shifting: Maximizing Healthcare in Low-​Resource Countries || 2010 || ETH Zurich Center for Security Studies || WEB

Mismanagement in the Time of Cholera || 2010 || The Atlantic || WEB

Discordant government and organizational responses to the cholera epidemic leave families fighting for their lives.

Haiti in the Time of Cholera || 2010 || The Atlantic || WEB

The Haitian government struggles to respond to the cholera epidemic. Public health service announcements fall flat in a country lacking waste management and clean water.

Postponing Haiti Polls Could Threaten Stability says European Union || 2010 || Reuters || WEB

The election must go on, despite the raging cholera epidemic, asserted EU officials in Port-au-Prince.

Who Will Be Haiti’s Next President? Candidate Profiles || 2010 || The Boston Haitian Reporter || WEB

Wyclef Jean’s Presidential Bid Shut Down || 2010 || The Atlantic || WEB

Haitians respond more quietly than anticipated to the hip-hop star’s exclusion from the presidential elections.

Hip-Hop Politics: Wyclef Jean in Haiti || 2010 || The Atlantic || WEB

Charisma and rhythm infuse the international musician’s presidential bid.


Republique Democratique du Congo

Associations D’Élegance||Kinshasa||2019||Berlin Quarterly||PDF

On types of power, dust, l’invisible, colonialism, capitalism, sex work and intuition. Shortlisted for the Stack Magazines 2019 Best Original Non-Fiction Award.

Streets of Goma||Democratic Republic of Congo||2018||The Common|| WEB

Tussling with the violence of journalism and flat narratives for reality; seeking truth and photographing feelings.

What we can do to stop the next Pandemic || Democratic Republic of Congo/Global ||2014|| National Geographic/Ozy || WEB

For those who advocate changes in the global health and emergency response system, Ebola could be a catalyst. That is, if they can look past the consuming crisis.

Special Reportage on Female Peacekeepers || Goma || 2015 || The Guardian || WEB and WEB

Fifteen years after a UN resolution stressed the vital role of women in conflict resolution, only 2% of its largest mission – in DRC – are female

The Impact of War on Maternal Mortality in Masisi || North Kivu || 2015 || Al Jazeera America || WEB

Overall the DRC has about half the necessary health workforce to effectively manage its birthrate.

Sexual Violence as a Catalyst for Judicial Reform in the Democratic Republic of Congo || Kinshasa || 2009 || Haverford College Political Science Thesis || WEB

My undergraduate thesis based on extensive in person research in Kinshasa as well as extensive desk research was awarded honors at Haverford College.


India & Nepal

In Nepal, Exiled Each Month || June 2013 || New York Times Video || WEB

A short film documenting the monthly isolation of women during menstruation in Achham. Video by Allison Shelley, Reporting/interviews by me. Winner of WHNPA Eyes of History contest for video feature. Featured in the Pulitzer Center Film Festival and the Toronto Nepali Film Festival

Women in Nepal Face Monthly Ostracization || June 2013 || New York Times India Ink || WEB

A look at the origins of the chaupadi practice and slow pace of change.

India’s Other Sexual Violence || February 2013 || The Atlantic|| WEB

Women in India face violence throughout their reproductive lives. In light of recent high profile rape cases, a look at violence against women and maternal mortality.

Perilous Delivery: Inside India’s Maternal Health Care Crisis || June 2014 || The Los Angeles Review of Books || WEB

A Profile of Malti Devi, the birth czar of small town Bihar, India.

Deadly Cycle: Chaupadi || December 2012 || Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting || WEB

In rural far western Nepal, chaupadi–a tradition of isolating women in animal sheds during menstruation–still lingers. This project explores fast and slow changes in the practice, the nuances of diverging opinions about chaupadi, and the deadly dangers women face each month.

Separation During Menstruation: Tradition or Torment || May 2013 || Women Deliver || WEB

Women Deliver is the largest maternal health conference in the world. This piece brought the chaupadi tradition to maternal health experts, as a reminder of the complexity of women’s voices in the field.

Transparency Travails || May 2013 || Christian Science Monitor || WEB

Amid Achham’s ripples of steep mountains, Nyaya Health is trying to not just transform health care, but also share every step they take. Sometimes the truth hurts.

 Out of the Sheds||March 2013||Christian Science Monitor||WEB

“NGOs come and go, but we the villagers are here to stay.”  A look at inside/outside perspectives on activism, social change and chaupadi.

Deadly Cycle || February 2013 || Pulitzer Center || WEB

Questioning gods and tradition when the chaupadi practice takes a tragic turn. 

Chaupadi and Violence Against Women || February 2013 || Pulitzer Center || WEB

In light of recent high profile rape cases in India, a look at violence women face just North in Nepal.

Migration Meditation || December 2012 || Pulitzer Center Field Notes || WEB

A bustling, bursting Kathmandu is not the only consequence of Nepal’s urbanization. On the other side of the hills, houses and communities are quietly crumbling.

Quality vs Quantity || December 2012 || Pulitzer Center Field Notes || WEB

Nepal has succeeded in increasing the number of girls in school, but gendered work roles that place the brunt of house and field work on women-cutting into study time-still undermines girls’ academic performance.

Sex in the City, AIDS in the Country || December 2012 || Pulitzer Center Field Notes || WEB

Migration from Achham has fueled a quiet AIDS epidemic in this sleepy, rural district, as workers bring more than cash home.

On the UN, Youth, and Child Brides || April 2012 || Foreign Policy Association || WEB

High level denunciations of child marriage have little immediate impact on the lingering practice half a world away.


China

Versage || Guangzhou || 2017 ||

On all hours Mahjong for the insomniacs, and eating jollof rice in Guangzhou.

A meditation on low-end globalization and global inequality, the notion of cheapness, the complexity of the concept of “made in china”, the creolization of taste, and when mimicry becomes its own aesthetic. 

GfZK Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig || WEB see also: WEB

Presented as a mixed media photo/text/Versage installation in the ChinAfrika.Under Construction exhibition with photographer Benedicte Kurzen.

Nataal and Longreads || 2018 || Print Magazine PDF || Nataal WEB Version || Longreads WEB || Stack Magazine Review || Stack Magazine Award ||

A long form essay published in Nataal and later in Longreads. Winner of the Stack Magazines 2018 Best Original Non-Fiction Award.


Mexico

La Lucha || Mexico || 2014 || The Guardian || Article and Documentary

Mexico has some of the strictest abortion laws in the world, and women can find themselves criminalised even after miscarriage.


Philadelphia

I was a long-form reporting fellow at Next City Urban Policy magazine from 2012-2013 and was a Kaiser Family Foundation Fellow at the Philadelphia Inquirer in summer 2012. My health reporting regularly made the front page, and my work on recovery homes in Northern Philadelphia affected policy.

But What About the Baby? || 2013 || Next City || WEB

A lengthy magazine piece exploring the diverging opportunities, options and lives of mothers in different Philadelphia neighborhoods. $2 fee to purchase the full article or email for the pdf.

Post-Industrial Identity Crises||2012||Next City|| Part OneTwoThree

Tryptic exploring the many faces, histories and imagined futures on South Philly’s Washington Ave.

Loss of Philadelphia aid worries drug-recovery homes and their neighbors || 2012 || The Philadelphia Inquirer || WEB

For decades a shadow economy of unregulated drug recovery houses has flourished in Philadelphia, springing up around the city’s lauded addiction services and the state welfare cash assistance. Recovering addicts pooled their $205 monthly allowance to live in dilapidated row houses and try to get clean. In August those funds were cut from the state budget, leaving an estimated 4,000 recovery house residents vulnerable to bankruptcy and eventual shut-down.

The Glass Ceiling: Surgery Edition || 2012 || The Philadelphia Inquirer || WEB

Women doctors still face unexplained wage discrepancies with their male colleagues. Philadelphia doctors address the myriad pressures on their careers and the lingering wage disparity that continues even as women fill medical schools and residencies.

Philly’s quiet saffron revolution||2013||Next City|| WEB

With little fanfare, Philadelphia’s Cambodian Buddhist community is putting down roots and building up temples.

Developing World Level Education in the US ||2013||Next City||WEB

A new report sheds a depressing light on rampant educational disparities in the US.

The Cost of Refusing the Medicaid Expansion||2013||Next City|| WEB

When Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett refused the Affordable Care Act’s subsidized Medicaid Expansion he jeopardized patients and hospitals. 

Turning 52nd Street into Rue 52||October 2012||Next City|| WEB

West Philly born and raised entrepreneur Mahari Bailey is trying to breathe life into Philly’s former epicenter of Black Culture.

Women Advocates Celebrate “Well-Woman” Coverage || August 2012 || The Philadelphia Inquirer || WEB

More women’s health care services will be free under the Affordable Care Act. Philadelphia women’s health advocates pause to celebrate the official phase-in of the policy and educate women on their rights.

Advocates Push for Cure Research || July 2012 || The Philadelphia Inquirer || WEB

An eclectic group of long-term AIDS advocates pushed high and low for the prioritization of AIDS cure research at the AIDS Conference in Washington, DC.

Activists and the AIDS Conference || July 2012 || The Philadelphia Inquirer || WEB

The ever-impassioned Philly AIDS activist community marched to the White House during the International AIDS Conference in DC, demanding a final financial push to beat the epidemic.


Struggle for Dental Care || June 2012 || The Philadelphia Inquirer || WEB

Stop-gap donated dentistry events are insufficient fillings for the massive cavity in Pennsylvania dental care. Lack of access to care is causing many uninsured and under-insured Pennsylvania’s to lose their teeth.


The Berlin Patient in Philadelphia || June 2012 || Philadelphia Inquirer || WEB

The first patient ever cured of AIDS has unveiled his identity and now travels the country advocating for more focus and financing for cure research. A profile of a reluctant medical celebrity.


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