Camille Thomas with her husband, Reuben Thompson-Amarteifio, and their son, Cameron, in front of their home in San Jose last year. Photograph by Stephanie Penn.

FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES | “Doulas Hope to Regain Momentum as Covid Restrictions Ease” — When Camille A. Thomas began feeling labor pains, her first call was not to her doctor. It was to her doula. Having a doula was important to her. As a Black woman, she knew her pregnancy was more likely to end with her baby being born too soon or too small, and that Black women in the United States are far more likely than white women to die during labor or after birth.

FOR THE JUGGERNAUT | “Life in Limbo — This project focuses on Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka who have been living in South India, in some cases, since 1990. Like many others of her generation, Jayadevi (pictured at left), fled Sri Lanka under duress during the civil war. Nearly 30 years later, the decision to return isn’t a simple one, especially after the Easter Sunday attacks. Read the full story here.

In the Aftermath of Civil War, a Writing Workshop Aims for Peace” — In April, Literary Hub published the story I wrote on a literary reconciliation program in Sri Lanka, reported with the support of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Read the full article by clicking the title above.

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Birthing Inequity 
an award-winning* collaborative multimedia report for The East Bay Express (cover story)

While she was carrying her third child, Tanisha Fuller had to convince her hospital caretakers that something was really wrong. It was 2003, she was six months pregnant, and she was unsure of what was happening to her. The Richmond resident had rushed to the emergency room at Alta Bates hospital in Berkeley with pain in her back, feeling like she couldn’t breathe. At the hospital, she was told that it was “probably gas,” she said, given a Tylenol, and told to lie down in the examination room. Continue reading here.

Playwright-Performer Sarah Jones (And Company) Talk Trump’s First Hundred Days: BUST Interview

Playwright-performer Sarah Jones “plays with the spaces between” questions about self-creation for her one-woman shows, Surface Transit (2000), Tony award-winning Bridge & Tunnel (2004, produced by Meryl Streep), and Sell/Buy/Date (2016). Jones slips seamlessly into character during her shows, donning their props and accents: elderly Jewish Lorraine; soft-spoken Lakota Gary; fast-talking feminist Bella; and many others. Read more here.

Monstera Deliciosa Variegata: Grief and the Search for a Rare Houseplant

“Once you discovered the plant community on Instagram, your relationship with your phone changed. I would wake, roll towards you, and your face would be bathed in blue. Giant-leafed elephant ears. Succulents of all kinds in terrariums, in tiny clay pots, in boxes built into walls. Ferns. Greenery blinked by with the flick of your thumb.” Continue reading here.

book reviews & essays

The Normal School | Brooklyn Magazine | The Masters Review | Wales Arts Review | The Rumpus | The Punch | Fiction Advocate | Catapult | BOMB

The Los Angeles Review of Books: When the Hurlyburly’s Done: Roy Scranton’s “War Porn” | The Choice to Stay: SJ Sindu’s “Marriage of a Thousand Lies” | Points of Access: Achy Obejas’s “The Tower of the Antilles” | 25 Years After November 26, 1992

Gulf Coast: On American War, Omar El Akkad’s Tale of the Second American Civil War | Micro-Review: Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’s Don’t Come Back | “a pirouette beside a barricade”: A Review of Aja Monet’s My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter (Print Only, Winter/Spring 2018)


Anomaly: We Are All Complicit | Freemans: Family | An American Weakness | A Gentle Visit | Cosmic DisruptionAnd to Questioning, Stay Faithful | A Time to Mourn | Interrogating Whiteness: reading Austin Channing Brown’s “I’m Still Here”


Shelbie Dimond — “The Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Who Found Her Voice When She Lost Her Clothes,” Narratively, August 2018 | Nayomi Munaweera | Kim Magowan | Patricia Powell | Roscoe Mitchell** | Juliana Spahr


John Freeman | Jade Chang | Roy Scranton | Anuk ArudpragasamDaniel Lowe | Jami Attenberg | Beck Levy

crime, courts, & justice reporting for Oakland North

OPD gets $50,000 grant to lower alcohol sales to minors | Study shows Oakland police less respectful toward black motorists | Man dies in custody after Oakland police deploy taser | PODCAST SEGMENT! >> Tales of Two Cities: While You Were Sleeping | Healthcare experts break down how new birth control rules will affect Californians | Protestors demand answers to death of man tased by Oakland police | AUDIO SLIDESHOW! >> Youth-led environmental group donate items to a climate legacy time capsule

*Awarded: Robert Whittington Award for Exceptional Reporting, August 2018
*Awarded: Salute to Excellence Award, National Association of Black Journalists, August 2018
**This story received Honorable Mention for Best Feature Story from the California College Media Association in 2016.