Did racism kill Erica Garner?

News of Erica Garner’s heart attack and coma hit activist communities and beyond really hard the holiday week of 2017. Having observed how gracefully and eloquently Garner, 27,  took up Black Lives Matter cause after her father’s chokehold death in 2014 , I couldn’t help but wonder whether there was a direct correlation to her condition…

Featured in the NYT

The Daniel Holtzclaw sexual assault trial in Oklahoma was a litmus test of sorts for those participating in and aware of Black Lives Matter and Say Her Name. Both movements have made efforts to center African-American women in the conversation around police conduct and public safety. The work of OKC Artists for Justice and organizers…

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism

I’ve been fortunate to join the MLK50 reporting and photography team as managing editor of a year-long  project covering the economic realities of the majority-black city of Memphis leading into the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. there at the Lorraine Motel. Conceived by Neiman alum Wendi C….

Chicago’s policing problem @Vice

The 2015 shooting death of Quintonio Legrier further inflamed tensions between Chicago citizens of color and Chicago police. In fact, Legrier’s father had called the cops for assistance, but an overzealous police officer ultimately shot dead the woman who opened the door for him, then Quintonio. He then sued Legrier’s father. Yep, he did that….

Covering the Holtzclaw case for Ebony

In fall 2015, I covered the Daniel Holtzclaw case for Ebony.com. Holtzclaw was accused of a series of sexual assaults against African-American women he thought too marginalized by complicated pasts, such as convictions and drug use, to complain. Until one of them did. Ebony editors felt it was important to keep a watchful eye on…

American Prospect: Mother’s Day For Real

In May 2015, I curated and edited a series of essays under the theme: Mother’s Day—For Real at American Prospect. The series was done in partnership with The OpEd Project examining aspects of life unique to women, on one of greeting card industry’s biggest days. I lead with my own story: Why There Are No…

Why Do You Do What You Do?

The OpEd Project, a global thought-leadership initiative, explores everything from accountability to knowledge and experience, and developing the best ideas to the notion of legacy. During the fourth convening of Year Two of the University of Texas at Austin Public Voices Fellowship, fellows, me and my co-senior facilitator entertained the question: What Do You Do…

Featured on Popaganda Podcast …

One of the joys of teaching is having rich conversations with students where I get to experience the world through their generational vantage point, in addition to just being able to chat with some of the smartest people around. During winter quarter 2016 at Northwestern, a graduate student, Rebekah Frumkin, stopped by my desk to…

How does it feel to a problem? The remix

Chicago Sun Times | July 27, 2008 Sunday | Final Edition Why is bias vs. Muslims acceptable in America? BYLINE: Deborah Douglas, The Chicago Sun-Times | SECTION: NEWS; Deborah Douglas; Pg. A25 | LENGTH: 662  words Raafat Arman, a Palestinian, college-educated, Republican real estate developer who lives in East Garfield Park, is as American as…

Teaching the 1964 Civil Rights Act at NU

In summer 2014, I led a group of Medill graduate students in tracing the steps of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to uncover what is unfinished, what worked and what new problems our nation must confront. I directed the summer capstone and developed a curriculum with a team of veteran Northwestern University professors/journalists. The students,…