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Donna Ladd

JFP Editor and co-founder Donna Ladd is a Neshoba County native.

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My current reporting focus is the perhaps-unintended consequences of “Broken Windows,” quality-of-life policing, stop-question-and-frisk, and other strong policing methods on communities of color. I’m exploring the possible links between policing strategies and the deaths of unarmed people, especially in non-violent encounters, which I’ve long studied and written about before the advent of the smartphones that are now, in some ways, forcing police and the community to have a long-overdue, if contentious, conversation. Through a John Jay College “Preventing Violence” fellowship, and a Solutions Journalism Network grant, I’m specifically examining police and community strategies for reducing violence among young people of color in New York City compared to other cities in the U.S...

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Credit to: Donna Ladd

Donna Ladd is an old-fashioned muckraking journalist with a sharp modern voice. She helped create Mississippi’s The Jackson Free Press, and her columns and reporting make national news as she takes bold stances that contrast typical Southern stereotypes. In addition to being a writer, she’s a speaker and a teacher with particular focus on children in vulnerable situations, race relations, and police reform.

Credit to: Southern Living

Donna Ladd is the editor of the Jackson Free Press, which is a publication highlighting the good in Jackson. While attending Columbia, she came back to Mississippi to work on a Masters project and eventually decided to stay. Focusing on the younger generations, Donna hopes that the JFP could inspire someone to stay in the state.

“You know, I have a chip on my shoulder as a Mississippian about what people think about Mississippi. If there’s anything us Mississippians have in common, it’s that chip on their shoulder of what people think of Mississippi whether or not you agree on anything else…So my thing is that if you can get native Mississippians to really believe that they can go the distance, you know, and that they can not just be okay, not just be good, but to be really good… I think what we will continue to see more and more are Mississippians, these young people especially, come out of Mississippi thinking—not but not in a defensive way—that I’m from Mississippi, and I’m great, and there great people in Mississippi, and I’m going to change the reputation of Mississippi.”-Donna

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