Shereen Marisol Meraji

Shereen Marisol Meraji tries to find the humor and humanity in reporting on race for the NPR Code Switch team.

Her stories center on the real people affected by the issues, not just experts and academics studying them. Those stories include a look at why a historically black college in West Virginia is 90 percent white, to a profile of the most powerful and most difficult-to-target consumer group in America: Latinas.

Prior to her time with Code Switch, Meraji worked for the national business and economics radio program Marketplace, from American Public Media. There, she covered stories about the growing wealth gap and poverty in the United States.

Meraji's first job in college involved radio journalism and she hasn't been able to shake her passion for story telling since. The best career advice Meraji ever received was from veteran radio journalist Alex Chadwick, who said, "When you see a herd of reporters chasing the same story, run in the opposite direction." She's invested in multiple pairs of running shoes and is wearing them out reporting for Code Switch.

A graduate of San Francisco State with a BA in Raza Studies, Meraji is a native Californian with family roots in Puerto Rico and Iran.

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3:28am

Tue August 13, 2013
Business

Why Modern Latinas Are A Challenge To Marketers

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 5:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Hispanic American are an increasingly important consumer demographic to woo. That's according to a new study from the market research firm Nielsen. The report says that most of today's Latinas are the primary decision makers when it comes to household spending.

But marketing to them is a real challenge, as NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji reports.

SHEREEN MARISOL MERAJI, BYLINE: Welcome to the home of the contemporary Latina consumer.

PAMELA MARIA WRIGHT: Hi.

MERAJI: Hi. How are you?

Good. How are you?

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4:44am

Tue July 9, 2013
Author Interviews

Comedian Aisha Tyler Talks About Flipping Off Failure

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 10:50 am

Tyler says as a kid she stood out because of her height, her glasses, and her vegetarian lunches.
Aisha Tyler

Comedian and actor Aisha Tyler brews beer, plays video games, tells dirty jokes, drinks fancy booze and ... writes books.

She has a new one out this week: Self-inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humilation. We sat down in the NPR studios over a mug of 18-year-old scotch to talk about her most embarrassing moments on the road to success. (No, really, we did. Listen to us toast.)

For those of you wondering who Aisha Tyler is, here's a quick breakdown (to be read quickly):

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6:28am

Sun June 30, 2013
Code Switch

A Look At Three Types Of Lawyers Who Defend The Poor

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 10:43 am

In Gideon's Army, Brandy Alexander defends a 17 year old on trial for armed robbery who she believes is innocent. He faces a 10 year mandatory minimum if convicted.
Dawn Porter

This year marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark Supreme Court decision: Gideon v. Wainwright in which the justices ruled, unanimously, that defendants in criminal cases deserved legal representation in state courts. If defendants could not afford counsel, the state would have to provide it. Those lawyers are known as public defenders. A new HBO documentary, Gideon's Army, follows three black public defenders working in the Deep South. It airs on Monday.

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3:33pm

Fri June 7, 2013
Code Switch

Black Americans Give Entertainment Options Failing Grades

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 6:29 pm

A poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that African-Americans are unhappy with their local entertainment venues.
Corbis

All this week on Code Switch and on air we've been digging into the findings of a survey of African-American views of their communities, finances and social lives. We conducted the poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

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9:53am

Wed May 8, 2013
Code Switch

USC Students Allege Racial Profiling By LAPD

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 9:43 am

Mark Jones, a USC freshman, protests on Monday.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

The Los Angeles Police Department is under scrutiny again. This time it's for sending almost 80 officers to break up a college house party. Most of the partygoers were African-American students from the University of Southern California.

USC senior Nate Howard organized the party that was shut down by the police. At a protest on campus Monday he condemned the response.

"Seventy-plus officers?" he said. "What else was going on at that time in the community that you needed to be at a party of students getting ready to graduate?"

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