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.

Today, ethnic studies is an accepted part of academia. Many if not most college students have taken a course or two. But 50 years ago, studying the history and culture of any people who were not white and Western was considered radical. Then came the longest student strike in U.S. history, at San Francisco State College, which changed everything.

The groundwork was laid for the strike a couple of years before, when black students organized to press for a black studies department and the admission of more black students.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Karla Mosley wants you to know that people with eating disorders look like her too.

"I'm a woman of color and I certainly didn't know that people like me had eating disorders," she says. "I thought it was a white, rich, female, adolescent disorder."

Only one of those identifiers fits Mosley who's black and binged and purged for years. But Mosley, an actor and a regular on the day time soap, The Bold and the Beautiful, is sharing her story of battling bulimia and getting her health back.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric diagnosis. This week, one organization is trying to spread the word that eating disorders affect all of us. From NPR's Code Switch podcast, Shereen Marisol Meraji has more.

President Trump traveled to a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, today, continuing on his campaign to drum up support for a $5.7 billion border wall. The visit came after weeks of Congressional debate about border security that has resulted in a partial government shutdown.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, " LA BAMBA")

LOS LOBOS: (Singing in Spanish).

NOEL KING, HOST:

RJ Young wasn't always into firearms. Quite the opposite.

"Because I always knew that guns were something that could get me killed," he says in an interview. "They weren't really around to help me. They were always, you know, pointed at me or somebody who looked like me."

Young is a writer and sports commentator, especially on Oklahoma Sooners football. He's a black man.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.


Sixty years ago this month, a 17-year-old Mexican-American kid in California released a single that quickly climbed to the Top 40.

In 1987, an East Los Angeles rock band added their own spin, which became the first song in Spanish to hit No. 1 in the United States.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Let's listen now to something President Trump said back in May to supporters at a rally in Tennessee.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Tattoos are no longer taboo. According to a Harris poll, about half of American Millennials say they have at least one, and so do a third of Gen Xers. Once you have one, data show, you'll get more.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

If you or someone you know has tattoos, you might recognize this style of tattooing that's become really popular at the moment. It's called black and gray realism. Shereen Marisol Meraji from our Code Switch team looked into its roots.

Diana de los Santos, better known as Amara La Negra, is black and proud. She's also the breakout star of this season of Love & Hip Hop: Miami. Most importantly, she's an Afro-Latina singer who won't compromise her blackness for her Latinidad.

For immigrants, this past week has been a doozy: First, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services took the words "nation of immigrants" out of its mission statement. Then, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants held in detention are not entitled to bail hearings.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Hispanic Heritage Month is a nationally recognized, not-quite-a-month. (It's the back half of September and the front half of October).

John Thompson was appointed by President Barack Obama to head the U.S. Census Bureau in 2013 and had worked there for 27 years before running it. So the announcement in May that he was resigning — smack in the middle of a one-year term extension — came as a surprise to many, including census watchers.

Looking back at the 1992 Los Angeles riots, people often remember tensions between African-Americans, white law enforcement officers and Korean small business owners. That story gets even more complicated when you step into Pico-Union — a neighborhood that was, and still is, predominantly Latino.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Kids are headed back to school, and this year, a couple hundred thousand K-12 students will be walking unfamiliar halls because their previous public school closed, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Over the past 15 years, between 1,000 and 2,000 public schools have shut down each year.

In the Facebook Live video streamed earlier this month by Diamond Reynolds after her fiance, Philando Castile, was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in a Minnesota suburb, Reynolds identified the man who shot Castile as "Chinese" as she narrated the scene.

Many of the kids who left Central America for the U.S. two years ago are still waiting to see if they'll be granted asylum. Tens of thousands came on foot, escaping gang violence, hoping if they got here they would get to stay.

The ones who made the journey without their parents have been called unaccompanied minors, child migrants or asylum seekers. A new play, Shelter, gives them names and tells their stories.

Imagine Sex and the City, but instead of New York City, the action takes place in Accra, Ghana.

About 40 years ago, when she was 24, Consuelo Hermosillo had an emergency caesarean section at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. In the new documentary No Más Bebés, she recalls asking her doctor what type of birth control she should use going forward.

Hillary Clinton got side-eyed after blasting Jennifer Lopez's "Let's Get Loud" at a campaign stop in San Antonio where she called herself "La Hillary" and "Tu Hillary." Jeb Bush earned eye rolls after debuting a Spanish-language ad celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

JARROD BURGUAN: The information we have is that they came prepared to do what they did as if they were on a mission.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Pages