Posted inCheated at Work

As guest workers increase, so do concerns about wage cheating

This story also appeared in Associated Press and Univision For Maribel Hernández, falling ill with COVID-19 at a Louisiana crawfish processor and losing her job was terrible enough. But the Mexican guest worker was in for another shock. A federal labor investigation in 2020, initially focusing on worksite safety, revealed that the company failed to […]

Posted inThe Heist

A closer look at an effort to make loan data public

In 2010, as Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it directed the agency to collect data on small-business lending. That would be the rough equivalent of home mortgage application data made public for decades, which has helped reveal discriminatory practices. Years went by. No rule to get lenders to report small-business loan data was […]

Posted inThe Heist

Small business lending looks unequal. Getting the data has been a battle.

You can’t fix a problem you don’t track. That’s especially true if you’re counting on the federal government to intervene. It’s why, several years after 1968 civil-rights legislation intended to stop housing discrimination, Congress passed a law requiring many financial institutions to report some information about every home mortgage application they receive.  The race, ethnicity […]

Posted inWatchdog newsletter

Checkerboarded land ownership poses challenge to redistricting

ARLEE, Mont. — On a bright October day, Shelly Fyant sat behind her laptop at the Stonebridge Cafe, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” softly playing in the background. She had brown, shoulder-length hair and glasses. Nestled in the foothills of the Mission Mountains, Arlee marks the south end of the 1.3 million-acre Flathead Indian Reservation, […]

Posted inCriminalizing kids

Virginia wanted to report fewer kids to police. Now it’s reversed course.

In 2020, Virginia passed a law that allowed principals to decide when to alert police if students committed a possible misdemeanor. Organizations that work on juvenile justice issues championed the change, hoping it would slow the state’s school-to-prison pipeline after a 2015 Public Integrity investigation revealed that students in Virginia were referred to law enforcement […]

Posted inInside Public Integrity

Public Integrity, Carter Center partner on mental health reporting

In the face of a growing national mental health crisis, the Center for Public Integrity is partnering with The Carter Center to launch the Mental Health Parity Collaborative, a new multistate newsroom partnership focused on exploring access to and inequities in mental health care in the U.S. The newsroom partners are located in six states […]

Posted inThe Heist

One place was redlined. The other, greenlined. This is how they look today.

In the 1930s, a federal agency created maps for cities across America that color-coded neighborhoods based on their perceived risk for mortgage lending. The “riskiest” were colored red, a process now known as redlining. Areas judged the lowest risk were colored green on the maps. Racism was baked into those judgments. As a result, according […]

Posted inThe Heist

Fighting the wealth vortex

WATERLOO, IOWA ReShonda Young strode into a church too big for its congregation, in a still-segregated city where economic barriers often strangle Black ambition, on a mission to tackle a tenacious consequence of American discrimination. This story also appeared in The Des Moines Register and USA TODAY and Word In Black If she could buy […]

Posted inIn public view

Diversity, humility and investigative reporting that shares power

As she approaches her second year as an editor at the Center for Public Integrity, Mc Nelly Torres sees the need for bigger and faster changes in an investigative journalism field where numerous roadblocks remain for people of color. The award-winning, South Florida-based investigative journalist is a former investigative producer for NBC6 in Miami. In […]

Posted inIn public view

An investigative reporter’s job: “Good journalism has always sought to expose injustice”

Liz Essley Whyte joined the Center for Public Integrity in 2014 as a fellow, and she became a reporter in 2015. Her investigative work has won Goldsmith and Gerald Loeb awards, as well as honors from the National Press Club, Editor & Publisher, the Association of Healthcare Journalists and others. She graduated summa cum laude […]

Posted inInequality

Shirley Sherrod was fired by USDA. Why is she serving the agency again? 

Among the 15 members of a new Equity Commission charged with dismantling discrimination at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one name stood out: Shirley Sherrod. Sherrod rose to national prominence more than a decade ago when right-wing website Breitbart selectively edited video of Sherrod, then the USDA’s Georgia state rural development director, telling an audience […]

Posted inCriminalizing kids

‘She looks like a baby’: Why do kids as young as 5 or 6 still get arrested at schools?

ORLANDO — The preschoolers filed offstage in royal blue caps and gowns, hugging their parents and ready for treats to celebrate their 2018 graduation from Trinity Learning Academy. All but one. This story also appeared in USA TODAY A 5-year-old took center stage, dancing to upbeat music, legs kicking in white tights and shiny white […]

Posted inThe Heist

The Heist: Season 2

Season 1 | Season 2 Subscribe on Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google | Stitcher | Pandora Click transcript to read the trailer transcript.ReShonda Young is trying to do something nobody in the country has managed in more than 20 years. Open a new Black-owned bank. In the second season of The Heist, we follow her quest to confront the enormous wealth gap between […]

Posted inIn public view

An investigative reporter’s job: “Look at the entirety of a situation”

Melissa Hellmann joined the Center for Public Integrity in August 2021 as a reporter covering racial, gender and economic equality. She was formerly a reporter with the Seattle Times, where she covered marginalized communities, and artificial intelligence including bias in facial recognition systems and the changing landscape of labor. She previously worked for Seattle Weekly, […]

Posted inWatchdog newsletter

A fifth of nursing-home workers remain unvaccinated as deadlines loom

Federal deadlines to vaccinate all health-care workers against COVID-19 are just weeks away, but the most recent federal data show that roughly a fifth of nursing-home employees are not yet fully vaccinated. The Supreme Court in January upheld the mandate that covers 76,000 health care facilities and their 10.4 million employees. Now medical employers have […]

Posted inThe Heist

Season 2: trailer transcript

Listen to the trailer for Season 2 of The Heist. Subscribe on Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google | Stitcher | Pandora[Sound of door knocking] RESHONDA YOUNG: Hello, hello!  NEIGHBOR: How are you? RESHONDA YOUNG: I’m good, how are you? ​​ReShonda Young is at a front door in Waterloo, Iowa. She’s holding a clipboard, but this is no visit about politics or religion.  RESHONDA […]

Posted inInside Public Integrity

Pratheek Rebala recognized among ‘25 Under 35’ journalism leaders

Center for Public Integrity news developer Pratheek Rebala has been recognized as one of Editor & Publisher magazine’s 25 Under 35 leaders in the journalism industry.  Rebala, 26, was honored alongside editors, publishers, audience specialists and revenue leaders from newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Arizona Republic, Boston Globe, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Columbus Dispatch, as […]

Posted inElections

A battleground fight over polling places and voting rights in Georgia

As a half-dozen voting rights advocates filed into the Lincoln County Board of Elections to deliver a petition that temporarily halted plans to shutter polling places, the tension between them and elections director Lilvender Bolton was nearly palpable. This story also appeared in Georgia Public Broadcasting and NPR After spending the afternoon anxiously watching the […]

Posted inHousing

Home lending remains unequal

Mortgage lenders aren’t making headway on longstanding racial disparities in home lending, according to a new analysis. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition, tapping federal data, found that Black and Latino borrowers were still receiving loans to purchase homes in 2020 at lower rates than white borrowers.  And the boom in refinancing touched off by falling […]