Senior Fellows

E.J. Graff is best known for helping to pioneer the gender and sexuality beat, as distinct from the “women's” beat. She specializes in analytic reporting into the systemic underpinnings of social justice issues, examining news from every angle: sociological, historical, constitutional, legal, and human.

Lottie Joiner is an award-winning journalist who covers race, social justice, civil rights and culture. Her work focuses on issues of health disparities, poverty and inequality.

Phillip Martin is an award-winning investigative reporter for WGBH Boston Public Radio. He appears regularly as a panelist on WGBH-TV’s “Basic Black” and occasionally on WGBH’s “Beat the Press.” He is an adjunct professor at Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.

Erin Siegal McIntyre’s acclaimed book “Finding Fernanda” (Beacon Press 2012) was the basis for an hour-long CBS special investigation that won a 2015 News Emmy. She has also worked as an on-camera investigative reporter and producer, reporting on illegal adoption and aggravated felony deportations. She is based along the U.S-Mexico border.

Sonia Paul is an independent journalist, radio producer and contributing editor at Her work focuses on culture, corruption, and identity politics and media, with an emphasis on revealing injustices and challenging assumptions.

Seth Freed Wessler is an independent investigative reporter based in New York who has reported from across the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean on immigration, the social safety net, and criminal justice.

Race and Justice

March for justice during Assembly 2014 in Louisville, United Methodist Women

Several thousand United Methodist Women were joined by local community activists as they marched from the Kentucky International Convention Center to Baxter Square Park in Louisville, Kentucky, demanding racial and economic justice. Credit: Paul Jeffrey for United Methodist Women.

In every field of endeavor, in every system of power, people of color disproportionately face stiff headwinds. Race often influences where someone can own a home, who is hired or promoted, how personalities are perceived, rates of arrest and incarceration, quality of medical care, and much more. Past discrimination accumulates, as Ta-Nehisi Coates has so eloquently explained, and continues affecting health, wealth, and well-being today.

We invite you to explore our enterprise reporting on topics related to Race & Justice:


Loving Day. Schuster Institute partnered again with WGBH to co-produce a three-part radio series on interracial marriage for Loving Day 2017. Visit our microsite to learn more about the landmark Loving v. Virginia case and the evolution of interracial marriage.

Busing and desegregation remembered

Brown v. Board, North and South. For the fortieth anniversary of busing in Boston, the Schuster Institute partnered with WGBH to explore desegregation in Boston, Massachusetts and Jackson, Mississippi. 

america-renegade-retirees America’s Renegade Retirees,” Erin Siegal McIntyre, U.S. News & World Report, May 3, 2017. More and more U.S. retirees are living south of the border without documentation.

Which version of Indian history do American school students learn?” Sonia Paul, PRI, April 27, 2017. After more than a year of reporting, Paul's first full-length podcast episode for Public Radio International’s "The World in Words" was released. It focuses on the South Asian community’s fight for truth about their history and representation in California middle school textbooks.

No Factions in Foxholes

No Factions in Foxholes,” E.J. Graff, The American Prospect, April 5, 2017. Graff traces the "all for one" efforts of various progressive advocacy groups that have led the charge against the Trump administration, starting with the Women's March on Jan. 21.

MLK Vietnam

King’s Vietnam speech still holds true 50 years later,” Lottie Joiner, The Undefeated, April 4, 2017. Joiner recaps a speech by Bernice King at the National Press Club honoring the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s acclaimed speech against the war in Vietnam. "(He) saw the injustice of sending young poor black men to fight for rights that they didn’t have in their own country," said Bernice King, the youngest child of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

Voice is the next big platform

Voice Is the Next Big Platform, Unless You Have an Accent,” Sonia Paul, Backchannel, March 2017. In the age of a “voice revolution” taking over digital wearables, entertainment systems and even vehicles, Paul looks at how voice recognition software fails to serve the immigrant accent.

Soccer and Refugees

"For These Refugees, The Road To College Begins On A Soccer Field," Erin Siegal McIntyre, WBUR, "Here and Now," Feb. 15, 2017. Soccer gets them in the door at Yalla in El Cajon, California, and once in, these refugee kids, mostly Iraqi, get immersed in academics, too.

Marcus Garvey Pardon Family of Marcus Garvey seeks pardon in the waning days of Barack Obama’s presidency,” Lottie Joiner, The Undefeated, Jan. 13, 2017. The family of Marcus Garvey, the black nationalist movement leader convicted in 1923 on mail fraud, has been attempting for years to get his name cleared and sought to get a posthumous pardon. Critics say the  conviction was a move designed to stall the civil rights movement in the 1920s.

Walmart White Resentment

White Resentment on the Night Shift at Walmart,” Tracie McMillan, New York Times, Dec. 17, 2016. McMillan went undercover as a Walmart employee to investigate America’s food system, but along the way she observed in her working white class colleagues a sense of frustration and loss in reaching dead ends toward the American dream. 

Diversity, Inclusion, and Freedom of Speech at US Universities

Senior Fellow E.J. Graff was a senior researcher of the PEN America report "And Campus For All: Diversity, Inclusion, and Freedom of Speech at U.S. Universities," PEN America, Oct. 17, 2016. PEN America looks at the debate of free speech and issues of race across college campuses.

Rio Olympics Social Justice

"Black Lives Matter In Brazil: Boston Delegates Protest In Rio Ahead of Olympics," Phillip Martin, WGBH, July 25, 2016. Black Lives Matter activists flooded the streets of Rio de Janeiro to bring media attention to Brazil’s high rate of police shootings of black men.

Boston Latin School Federal Investigation

"Federal Investigation of Boston Latin School Puts Carmen Ortiz In The Spotlight, Again," Phillip Martin, WGBH, July 12, 2016. Boston Latin School was under investigation for alleged racial harassment and discrimination. Carmen Ortiz, US Attorney for Massachusetts, answers why she decided to open the case.

Defining Domestic Terrorism

"Defining Domestic Terrorism," a three-part series examining hate groups online and on campus, plus the legal meaning and politics of the term "terrorism," Phillip Martin, WGBH, Feb. 18, 2016.

Somali Youth Navigating Culture

"Somali youth in one Maine city are learning to navigate several cultures," Phillip Martin, PRI, “The World,” Jan. 26, 2016. The people of Lewiston, Maine clash in their opinions on assimilating with their neighbor Somali immigrants.

Black Deaths Matter

Black Deaths Matter,” Seth Wessler, The Nation, Oct. 15, 2015. While Confederate memorials still receive public funding, historic southern black cemeteries lay to waste.

Native American Children Removal

Forced Removal of Native American Children From Parents Exposed in 13 Minutes,” Phillip Martin, WGBH, Oct. 12, 2015. Martin reports on the documentary about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated the resulting cases of the “one third of Native American children separated from their families between 1947 ad 1967.”