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HOW THIS PROJECT BEGAN

“We recognized covering a desegregation process playing out in 2017 was important to chronicle, and we wanted to do that in a way that reflected the uniqueness of the situation. We’ve had plenty of hard news to report, but sometimes there’s more to the story. This is our effort to show you how much more there is to that story – to illustrate what this means to the students and the town, to show that their stories matter, to let them speak for themselves, and to help people outside of Cleveland learn about how all of this is playing out.”

— Kelsey Davis, Mississippi Today Education Reporter
“Many felt the national headlines weren’t telling the entire story. So, why not give students, administration, community members the right to tell their own story in their own words? We wanted this project to heavily lean on visuals whether that’s still photo or videos. We didn’t want to write a full-story every week, but vary the type of content we’re producing so you never know what to expect. We also wanted to make it social media friendly because Mississippi Today is a digital-only platform.”

— Aallyah Wright, Mississippi Today Education Reporter

MEET THE REPORTERS

Kelsey Davis is a reporter based in the Delta covering education who came to Mississippi from Montgomery, Alabama. She worked for two and a half years at the Montgomery Advertiser covering courts, but she also won awards for her reporting on public housing and the life of a parolee re-entering society. Before that she lived in Texas where she wrote about toxic waste. She graduated from Auburn University and was raised in Mobile.

Aallyah Wright is a Clarksdale native and a graduate of Delta State University with a degree in journalism with a minor in communications and theater. She is one of the playwrights for “Beautiful Agitators” Written by Jessica James, Charles Coleman, Nick Houston and herself, which is a play about the life and legacy of Vera Mae Pigee in Clarksdale, Miss. and her fight to get African-Americans first class citizenship. Before joining Mississippi Today as a Delta-based reporter, Aallyah worked collaboratively with Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting alongside the Delta Arts Alliance on an ongoing interactive community news project that created a platform for stories from Cleveland, Miss., through the lens of history, equality and change titled the Cleveland Yearbook.

BEHIND THE HEADLINES ADDITIONAL CONTENT