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.



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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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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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?

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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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

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit



This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.


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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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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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Thu June 26, 2014

A View On The World Cup, Seen From An LA Bar On A Midweek Morning

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 7:10 pm

Fans of the U.S. soccer team gathered across the country to watch Thursday's World Cup match against Germany. More than a thousand people watched the game at Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., and many others filled Grant Park in Chicago. Meanwhile, NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji was with fans in Los Angeles, and she offers some of their reactions.

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Sun June 22, 2014
Health Care

In LA, Barbers Cut Hair And Check Blood Pressure

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 12:19 pm

A Los Angeles doctor is training barbers to check their customers for high blood pressure. He's targeting the social hubs for black men because of the health risks associated with hypertension.


Tue June 10, 2014

Honored Puerto Rican Army Unit Made A Name For Itself In Korean War

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:31 pm



They fought for the U.S. and countered ethnic stereotypes in the process. Today, President Obama honored the Puerto Rican soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment. The president signed legislation recognizing the veterans for their military valor. They'll be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal - a distinction given to other segregated military units in the past, such as the Tuskegee Airmen and the Navajo code talkers.

NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji was at the White House as the president signed the bill.

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Fri May 16, 2014
Code Switch

Before 'Brown V. Board,' Mendez Fought California's Segregated Schools

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 10:51 pm

Sylvia Mendez was a young girl in the 1940s when her parents fought for Latinos to have access to white schools in the California court case Mendez v. Westminster. They won in 1947.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

Sylvia Mendez says the only reason she wanted to go to an all-white school in California's Westminster District in the 1940s was because of its beautiful playground. The school that she and other Latino students were forced to attend didn't have monkey bars or swings.

"I was 9 years old," she says. "I just thought my parents wanted us to go to the nice-looking school."

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