This blog post was written by Program Intern Olaya Barr.
For our next CHAPTERS Reading on April 25, award-winning author, journalist, professor, and lecturer Farai Chideya will be sharing the stage with our readers.
From 2006 to 2009, Chideya hosted NPR‘s News and Notes and still contributes as a political contributor to WNYC; in the 2010-2011 school year, she served as “Leader in Residence” at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies, where she focused on the impact of social media on public policy. Her current project on the future of work, Work and Us, stemmed from her reporting on the “great recession,” where she road-tripped through America to interview people about economic anxiety and the national identity crises concerning religion, immigration, and race.
Beyond her extensive experience in journalism, what I personally admire in Chideya’s writing is her ability to make the personal and intimate relevant to the general public. She also has the keen skill of reversing this, and making socio-political events feel like immediate and firsthand affairs.
Her blog covers a wide array of topics: from losing close friends to cancer, to the situation in Syria, from the current image of feminism, to Chinua Achebe. She makes every topic accessible.On the Huffington Post, Chideya mused about the overlapping of religions, writing: “As a small child, I created a pantheon that included the Virgin Mary, Jesus, Greek and Norse gods, and superheroes. Hey, why shouldn’t saints have superpowers and capes?”
She writes with the same frankness and energy when writing about mainstream journalism’s segregation of minorities for The Nation or about how it feels to be it feels to be brown-skinned while walking through Tiananamen Square for the New York Times.
Chideya recognizes that journalistic diversity is pivotal. Our varied backgrounds mean we can access a broader range of stories and explore them with varied lenses. By reading Chideya’s blog and articles, I can tell she celebrates how our own personal experiences and memories shape the way we decode and understand the world around us. Farai Chideya sets a fantastic example of how we can enrich our own journalistic writing by using an exploration of ourselves to intensify our exploration of science, history, and politics.
- Don’t miss Farai’s keynote at our next CHAPTERS reading — snag your tix now! It’s free for teens with a suggested donation for adults.