Shereen Marisol Meraji

Shereen Marisol Meraji tries to find the humor and humanity in reporting on race for the NPR Code Switch team.

Her stories center on the real people affected by the issues, not just experts and academics studying them. Those stories include a look at why a historically black college in West Virginia is 90 percent white, to a profile of the most powerful and most difficult-to-target consumer group in America: Latinas.

Prior to her time with Code Switch, Meraji worked for the national business and economics radio program Marketplace, from American Public Media. There, she covered stories about the growing wealth gap and poverty in the United States.

Meraji's first job in college involved radio journalism and she hasn't been able to shake her passion for story telling since. The best career advice Meraji ever received was from veteran radio journalist Alex Chadwick, who said, "When you see a herd of reporters chasing the same story, run in the opposite direction." She's invested in multiple pairs of running shoes and is wearing them out reporting for Code Switch.

A graduate of San Francisco State with a BA in Raza Studies, Meraji is a native Californian with family roots in Puerto Rico and Iran.

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5:20pm

Tue May 19, 2015
NPR Ed

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful ... This Great Teacher Abides By The Scout Law

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 11:32 am

Romy Vasquez leads the boys in drills ahead of an upcoming Eagle Scout ceremony.
Shereen Marisol Meraji/NPR

Only a small number of Boy Scouts make Eagle Scout.

The feat is even harder when you come from inner-city poverty.

Yet for 27 years, Romy Vasquez has successfully encouraged boys from South Central Los Angeles to become Scouts, and he has seen more than a dozen members of Troop 780 go on to reach scouting's highest rank.

His pitch: You want to be in a gang? Scouting is the biggest gang in the world.

"It's global," he tells the Scouts. "We got some in Japan, China, Israel, all over. So guess what? You belong to BSA!"

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10:08am

Wed May 13, 2015
Code Switch

A Rust Belt Story Retold, Through Portraits Of The Women Who Lived It

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 3:18 pm

United States Steel Mon Valley Works Edgar Thomson Plant, 2013, from The Notion of Family (Aperture, 2014).
LaToya Ruby Frazier

Just outside Pittsburgh is the tiny borough of Braddock, Pa., best known as the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie's first steel mill. Today, it's something of a poster child for rust belt revitalization, a place where artists can buy property for pennies and even construct outdoor pizza ovens using the bricks from abandoned or demolished buildings.

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11:30am

Wed April 29, 2015
Code Switch

How One West Baltimore Principal Helps Her Students Make Sense Of It All

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 5:31 pm

Harden-Lindsey helps direct students after the school day ends.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

Editor's note: Code Switch reporter Shereen Marisol Meraji spent Wednesday with a West Baltimore principal charged with a huge task: helping her middle and high school students, who are overwhelmingly poor and black, make sense of what's happening in Baltimore right now.

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4:37pm

Mon March 16, 2015
NPR Ed

Why Many Smart, Low-Income Students Don't Apply To Elite Schools

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 8:01 pm

Kristen Hannah Perez, a low-income, high-achieving student from Celina, Texas, plans to attend Dartmouth€ College next fall.
Shereen Meraji/NPR

Right now, high school seniors across the country are trying hard not to think about what is — or isn't — coming in the mail.

They're anxiously awaiting acceptance letters (or the opposite) from their top-choice colleges and universities. But this story isn't about them. It's about a big group of seniors who could get into great schools but don't apply: high-achieving students from low-income families who live outside of America's big cities.

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7:35am

Thu February 5, 2015
Code Switch

Steven Yeun's 'Glenn': Slaying Zombies And Getting The Girl

Originally published on Sat February 7, 2015 8:48 pm

Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) - The Walking Dead - Season 4
Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

AMC's The Walking Dead holds the record for the most-watched cable television drama. If you've never seen it, it's about the zombie apocalypse and follows a group survivors trying to stay alive in Atlanta, Ga. If you're a fan — and there are millions upon millions of us out there — you know that no character is safe, and you've got a favorite character that you don't want to die.

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4:41pm

Wed November 26, 2014
Code Switch

How Ferguson Residents Are Giving Thanks This Holiday Season

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 6:39 pm

Karen Gold paints on a boarded window of her store in Ferguson, Mo.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The kickoff to the holiday season in St. Louis has been overshadowed by unrest following the grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson. And for some residents of Ferguson, the meaning of this year's Thanksgiving — amid the anger, hostility and unresolved issues — is hazy.

The Schnucks grocery store is pretty busy on this cold, gray Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Michael Howell, a local musician picking up a few staples, says he just wants to relax at home and have a little turkey. Howell's home is right near a string of looted and burned businesses.

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5:08pm

Tue November 25, 2014
Around the Nation

At Vandalized Ferguson Businesses, Anger And Tears

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 11:29 pm

A worker cleans up glass outside a Quiznos restaurant that was damaged during a demonstration Tuesday in Ferguson, Mo.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Residents and business owners in Ferguson, Mo., awoke Tuesday morning to assess the damage done to their neighborhoods. In the aftermath of the grand jury's decision Monday night not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, many business were vandalized and some were destroyed.

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5:09pm

Mon November 24, 2014
Around the Nation

Ferguson Protesters Anxiously Await Grand Jury Decision

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 10:15 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

And now let's bring in NPR's Shereen Meraji. She's outside the police station in Ferguson where protesters have been gathering throughout the evening. Shereen, describe the scene right now.

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9:38am

Mon November 24, 2014
Code Switch

'Ferguson Forward': Churchgoers Seek A New Normal

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 6:42 pm

Youths walk past a mural depicting peace in Ferguson on a vacant building up the street from the city's police department.
David Goldman AP

I reunited with the Rev. Daryl Meese at his place of worship, a no-frills brick Methodist Church in Ferguson, Mo., on this stormy Sunday morning.

We first met at a coffee shop last August. I was looking for a cool place to file a story about the protests over the death of an unarmed black 18-year-old at the hands of a white police officer; he was taking a break from the chaos. We shared a table and ended up chatting.

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5:11pm

Mon November 3, 2014
New Boom

Millennials Have Inherited The Black Marriage Gap

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 8:03 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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5:34am

Thu October 16, 2014
Race

Black Students Gather At Harvard To Watch 'Dear White People'

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 2:22 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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4:21pm

Fri September 12, 2014
Men In America

How To Be A 21st Century 'Gentleman'

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 8:40 pm

If men and women aspire to operate as equals, does a man still pay the bill on a date? Should he hold open a door? Pull out his date's chair?
iStockphoto

Back in 1967 the rules for dating were fairly clear-cut whether you agreed with them or not. Check out this U.S. Navy instructional video, How to Succeed with Brunettes. (What is UP with that title, anyway?)

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8:05am

Sat August 16, 2014
Code Switch

Summer Camp In State Prison: A Chance To Bond With Dad

Originally published on Sat August 16, 2014 1:56 pm

Hope House campers wear tie-dye shirts they made to the last day of camp at Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

On the list of activities for this summer camp: visiting Dad in a maximum security prison. The nonprofit group Hope House runs three camps to keep children connected with incarcerated dads who might not be close to home.

There are also plenty of arts and crafts, mosquito repellent and campfire songs.

Carol Fennelly founded Hope House in 1998, after a Washington, D.C.-area prison was closed, sending thousands of inmates to far-flung institutions. That made it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for relatives to visit.

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6:53am

Mon June 30, 2014
Code Switch

'Do The Right Thing' Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 4:22 pm

Spike Lee directed, wrote and starred in "Do the Right Thing." The landmark film prompted a national conversation about racial tension.
Universal The Kobal Collection

Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing was hotly anticipated when it was released 25 years ago.

The film about racial tension reaches a boiling point on a scorching summer day in Brooklyn. All the action takes place on one block in Bedford-Stuyvesant, one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City; a block where African-Americans and Puerto Ricans live, Koreans and Italians work and the New York Police Department plays dirty.

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4:20pm

Fri June 27, 2014
Men In America

Bathrobes And Baby Carriers: The Stuff Of Manliness?

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 4:26 pm

David Lee writes an online men's guide to Asian lifestyle and entertainment. He says he voted against a battle-ax and for his bathrobe when choosing a masculine object. The blue terry cloth robe is based on the Adventure Time cartoon.
Courtesy of Salima Koroma

This summer, All Things Considered is looking at the lives of Men in America and how things have changed — or haven't. Part of that is redefining masculinity, so the show asked me to ask guys about the stuff they equate with manliness today. (Submit your own stories in the form below.)

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