Mississippi Today’s #PublicNewsroom events are regular community gatherings where people come together with reporters to listen, receive feedback, and build relationships. We host these in a variety of spaces in the Delta: from Clarksdale to Cleveland, in churches and community centers.
We believe that by hosting conversations and sharing our reporting through these gatherings, we are building stronger relationships with the communities that we report on.
September 26 | Clarksdale, MS
#PN9: Lead Exposure and School Infrastructure
Do you care about the infrastructure of your public schools? What can you do about it?
Join Delta-based reporters Aallyah Wright and Kelsey Davis
for their 9th #PublicNewsroom as they present on the persistent
issues plaguing school buildings in Clarksdale, Coahoma
County and across the Mississippi Delta. We want to hear
directly from YOU on concerns affecting your schools.
We’ll be in the children’s sanctuary at The City of Truth church
in Clarksdale, 600 Yazoo Ave. from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on
August 22 | Cleveland, MS
#PN8: Delta School Infrastructure
The state of school buildings has been a persistent issue for districts in the Mississippi Delta, but not a topic of public conversation. Leaking roofs, caving floors, and broken air conditioning units -- to say the least -- play a vital role in a district’s well-being as it affects student achievement and teacher recruitment.
In September, the Leland School District is trying to tackle this issue head on, asking taxpayers to vote on a $8.75 million bond issue to help repair its schools. But how did they get here? And what can other districts take away from this?
Read more about it here: Leland School District may ask voters for $8.75 million to fund renovations and upgrades
Meet our Delta Bureau
Aallyah Wright is a native of Clarksdale and a Mississippi Delta reporter covering education and local government. She is also a guest radio host for WROX Radio (97.5 FM) and was a playwright/reporter for "Beautiful Agitators," a 2017 project by StoryWorks/Reveal Labs from the Center for Investigative Reporting in partnership with Mississippi Today. Aallyah has a bachelor’s in journalism with minors in communications and theater from Delta State University. Prior to joining Mississippi Today January 2017, she interned as a reporter for the Bolivar Commercial and was the project producer and community journalist for The Cleveland Yearbook, a project by The Center for Investigative Reporting and Delta Arts Alliance. In 2018, Aallyah earned a fellowship with Hechinger Report to report on Mississippi’s teacher shortage and its effects. Her reporting with the Mississippi Today Education Team for "Behind the Headlines:Cleveland Central" received third-place at the 68th Annual Green Eyeshade Awards. Her work has appeared in The Hechinger Report, The Daily Journal and Delta Magazine. She is a Community Advisory Board Member for Aspen Youth Leaders Fellowship Delta and a board member for Lower Mississippi River Foundation.
“The work I do here at Mississippi Today is important because there's not many who are dedicated to report from or committed to living in an area like the Delta. It's empowering for people from here to see someone who looks like them giving back to the community by amplifying their messages, providing them with additional resources and information to better inform their decisions. And, essentially, giving them diverse stories with being fair and factual.”
Kelsey Davis is from Mobile, Ala., and currently lives in Cleveland, where she works as one of our Mississippi Delta-based reporters covering education and intersecting issues. Kelsey has a dual degree in journalism and Spanish from Auburn University and worked as an editorial intern at Texas Monthly and a courts reporter at the Montgomery Advertiser. Prior to joining Mississippi Today August 2017, she won awards for her reporting on public housing and the life of a parolee re-entering society.
“The work we in the Delta bureau do is integral because this area has historically gone underreported on. As a result, issues central to the Delta haven’t been as much apart of statewide conversations. The ways that statewide policy specifically affects the Delta haven’t been as widely discussed. There is a critical need to elevate those conversations and our work aims to do that.”