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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4:43pm

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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8:04am

Sat February 28, 2015
Code Switch

'The Black Summit' Draws African-American Skiers And Boarders To Aspen

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 3:28 pm

Art Clay, 78, of Chicago takes a run in a light snowfall on Wednesday. Clay is a co-founder of the National Brotherhood of Skiers.
Sonya Doctorian for NPR

We've all heard the old adage that every snowflake is different, but they do have one thing in common: They're all white. That's also the image that many have of the people taking part in winter sports, including skiing and snowboarding, here in the U.S.

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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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2:03pm

Sat January 17, 2015
Code Switch

Iranian-American Filmmaker Breaks Out Of Boxes, Into The Box Office

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 4:25 pm

Desiree Akhavan plays Shirin in Appropriate Behavior. Akhavan says she chose the name Shirin because it means sweet in Farsi. "Even though she's insane, she has a sweetness," says Akhavan.
Desiree Akhavan

4:53pm

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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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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5:23pm

Sat October 18, 2014
Code Switch

Watching 'Dear White People' At Harvard

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 1:28 pm

Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) plays Lionel Higgins in Dear White People
Roadside Attractions

A new movie about race and identity is out in select theaters today. It's called Dear White People, and it's a satire set at a fictitious ivy league college. Or, as the promotional materials say, it's "about being a black face in a white place."

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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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7:41am

Tue August 26, 2014
Around the Nation

Michael Brown's Funeral Is Mixed With Tributes, Political Messages

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 11:47 am

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Transcript

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