Before and after Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the same hallowed steps stormed by insurrectionists only two weeks ago, there was talk of the nation’s sheer possibility.
Americans across the union, such as those spotlighted by corps member Seyma Bayram and her Akron Beacon Journal colleague, celebrated the first woman–and mixed-race one at that–to ascend to the vice presidential office, Kamala Harris. As minorities nationwide confront endemic racism, they now also find unprecedented representation in the new administration, one which promises to be as diverse as the people.
The new administration faces an array of crises, including a pandemic and political extremism, a public resurgence of white supremacy and domestic terrorism. Yet as the new president put it, “Democracy has prevailed.”
Peace and reconciliation, Spokesman-Review’s Orion Donovan-Smith reports, are on the horizon, despite the odds.
But, President Biden also emphasized, “The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured.”
Its greatest weapon, he went on, is truth.
“Each of us has a responsibility to defend the truth, and defeat the lies,” a responsibility that is the work of many but perhaps none more so than the free press.
Journalists like Clara Hendrickson and Angie Jackson of the Detroit Free Press mark the first draft of the American story, doggedly representing the marginalized and oppressed, holding the elected and the powerful accountable, all to ensure the wheels turn between checks and balances.
It remains to be seen if America will “master this rare and difficult hour,” but the scale and insight of recent work by Report for America corps members nationwide offers a hint: It must keep going.
HERE ARE RECENT STORIES FROM REPORT FOR AMERICA CORPS MEMBERS THAT EXPLORE THE STATE OF THE UNION AS A NEW ADMINISTRATION SETTLES IN:
- AKRON, OH – FBI: National Guardsman expressed white supremacist ideology, Farnoush Amiri, AP
- MIAMI – “Some in Miami Spanish-language media falsely blame Black Lives Matter, antifa in riot,” Lautaro Grinspan and David Smiley, Miami Herald
- BILOXI, Miss. – ‘In the dark.’ Family of man killed by police at Biloxi courthouse waits for answers Isabelle Taft, Sun Herald
NATIONWIDE STATEHOUSE PROTESTS LOOM OVER 59th PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION
- SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Legislature opens amid pandemic, protest concerns, Sophia Eppolito, AP
- TACOMA, Wash. – WA National Guard troops headed to DC to provide support at presidential inauguration, Abbie Shull, News Tribune
- COLUMBUS, Ohio – Small crowd of protesters mingle, argue at Ohio Statehouse, Farnoush Amiri, AP
- DETROIT–Trump repeated lies about Michigan’s election before pro-Trump supporters stormed Capitol, Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press
- DETROIT–At least 6 Michigan residents arrested in connection to US Capitol riot, Clara Hendrickson and Darcie Morgan, Detroit Free Press
- BROOKLYN – Haitians: Mob Violence In DC Hits Too Close To Home, Sam Bojarski, Haitian Times
REPORTERS ON THE GROUND WITH COMMUNITIES STRUGGLING THROUGH RENEWED SETBACKS OF COVID-19
- BOSTON – Housing activists demonstrate for eviction protections, Morgan Mullings, Bay State Banner
- HELENA, Mont. – Montana bill seeks to limit governor’s power in disasters, Iris Samuels, AP
- SACRAMENTO – ‘‘I have to provide’: How these California moms are making it through the pandemic’ Kim Bojórquez, Sacramento Bee
- HILTON HEAD, S.C. – Beaufort County’s COVID-19 cases are spiking. ‘It’s worse definitely than the summer.’ Sam Ogozalek, The Island Packet
- COLUMBUS, Ohio – Rural hospitals worry about access, misinformation as COVID-19 vaccines arrive Ceili Doyle, The Columbus Dispatch
EXPLORE THEIR ONGOING WORK COVERING ISSUES FROM EDUCATION TO THE LOCAL ECONOMY, IMPACTING DAILY LIFE IN THE WAKE OF SEISMIC SHIFTS:
- TAKOMA PARK, Md. – Raft of Election Reform, Voting Access, Vacancy Filling Changes Proposed Bennett Leckrone, Maryland Matters
- ILLINOIS – Here’s what southwestern Illinois lawmakers said about the criminal justice reform bill DeAsia Page, Belleville News-Democrat
- SAN ANTONIO – Germ-zapping robot maker gets new digs as business grows Brandon Lingle, San Antonio Express News
- ST. GEORGE, Utah – How the Biden-Harris and Cox-Henderson administrations could impact Utah national parks, monuments K. Sophie Will, St. George Spectrum & Daily News