Written Work

Featured Articles

Explore a featured selection of my writing work below.

Getting to the roots of trauma

Afiya Mbilishaka struggled with a conflict during her college years: Should she try to make a career in hair styling or psychology? Her aunt gave the answer: “Well, why can’t you do both?”

So she did.

Today, Mbilishaka is at the forefront of a global mental health and hair movement known as “PsychoHairapy.”

PsychoHairapy is “the use of hair as an entry point into mental health care,” Mbilishaka said.

She said she wants people to “understand your curls” and the heritage story they tell. And s

Idaho Attorney General Sued Over Misleading Ballot Titles

WASHINGTON — Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador is being sued over an initiative he filed June 30 to replace partisan primaries with open top-four elections for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the state Legislature and other offices.

The initiative was filed last month by Idahoans for Open Primaries, a coalition group that includes the citizen advisory group Reclaim Idaho, to make the state’s primary elections more accessible by implementing ranked-choice voting in general

President, Advocates and Educators Slam High Court Ruling on Affirmative Action

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden strongly criticized the Supreme Court’s Thursday ruling against using race-based affirmative action in college admissions, saying the decision “walked away from decades of precedent.”

“We cannot let this decision be the last word,” Biden said in a White House address. “The court can render a decision, but it cannot change what America stands for.”

According to the court’s ruling, the affirmative action policies implemented by Harvard University and the Universi

High Court Strikes Down Race-Based Affirmative Action in College Admissions

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down affirmative action admissions policies at Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a ruling that will have wide-ranging implications for academia.

The 6-3 decision effectively overturns decades of court precedent by establishing the universities’ affirmative action policies violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

In addition to last year’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, today’s ruling m

Supreme Court to Weigh In on Veterans’ Education Benefits

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a case that could significantly revise federal benefit regulations and potentially provide millions of veterans with additional funding for their education.

The case revolves around how the Department of Veterans Affairs has distributed educational aid under the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI Bill programs. The former provides eligible veterans with 36 months of financial support, including tuition payments, housing stipends and other

Panelists Confront Anti-LGBTQ+ Stigma and Discrimination Crisis in Uganda

WASHINGTON — Uganda’s long history of legally-sanctioned violence and stigmatizing of homosexuals and those in same-sex relationships is not just a crisis of human rights, but poses real dangers when it comes to addressing health emergencies and HIV response, according to panelists at a recent symposium on the situation.

In May, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni became the object of global outrage when he signed into law the world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ+ bill, which imposes life imprisonment for

Supreme Court Rules Against Navajo Nation in Water Rights Claim

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled against the Navajo Nation Thursday in a 5-4 vote, saying the Navajo Treaty of 1868 does not require the United States to take affirmative steps on the water rights of the tribe regarding the Colorado River.

The treaty of 1868 designated the reservation, which covers an expansive area of 27,000 square miles across Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, as the tribe’s “permanent home,” a commitment that the Navajo Nation asserts encompasses an ample water supply.


GOP House Leaders Vow to Press Biden Probe Despite Plea Deal

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill vowed on Tuesday to continue to press their investigations into Hunter Biden, despite the plea deal on tax crimes and unlawful possession of a weapon that will shield the president’s son from further criminal prosecution.

In court documents filed Tuesday, Biden, long the object of GOP scrutiny, pleaded guilty to misdemeanors related to the late payment of his taxes for 2017 and 2018.

As part of the deal, the Justice Department will charge but n

Justices Uphold Law Aimed at Keeping Native American Children With Tribal Families

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law that prioritizes reuniting Native American children in foster care or the adoption system with members of their families and tribes.

In a 7-2 ruling, the justices both affirmed the act’s overarching goal of remedying the nation’s woeful history of removing Native American children from their communities, and held the 1970’s era law does not unlawfully impose federal authority in areas traditionally reg

Transgender Rights Advocates Shed Light on Trans Youth Experience

WASHINGTON — Following an unprecedented spike in anti-LGBTQ+ measures sweeping state houses this year, five transgender rights advocates gathered at a panel on Thursday afternoon to discuss the impact of anti-trans laws and rhetoric.

“It certainly feels like a state of emergency,” said Rose Montoya, a social media influencer and public speaker. “I constantly get messages from transgender youth, especially in states such as Florida, where there are so many attacks against trans and other LGBTQ+

New House Caucus Seeks to Address Renter Woes

WASHINGTON — Responding to a growing number of constituents whose rents are outpacing their ability to pay them, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., on Wednesday established the first-ever Renters Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“As the burden of rent has increased significantly, far outpacing the increase in real wages, it’s become clear that we need a strong, coordinated effort in Congress to advocate for the millions of renters in our country,” Gomez said at a morning press conference o

Meet Your Sports Team's Newest Player - Sports Technology

The soundtrack of an athlete training in an empty gymnasium has typically been composed of the ball pounding on the wooden court, the ball swishing through the net, the athlete’s sneakers squeaking, and, if you’re close enough, the athlete panting.

Now a lonely night in the gym has a new soundscape: beeps, clicks, chimes, and chirps emitting from cellphones, plus hums and buzzes from automatic rebounding machines and wristwatches.

This phenomenon is not limited to the court; it can be found at the field, track, or pool. Meet your sports team’s newest, brightest, and strongest player, trainer, and coach, all in one- technology.

Emerson alum Cerise Castle awarded American Mosaic Journalism Prize

After Cerise Castle was struck by a rubber bullet while reporting on Black Lives Matter protests in Los Angeles on May 30, 2020, her doctors advised her to stay on bed rest for six months. That meant no going to work and no reporting in the field. However, for Cerise, the nation’s response following the murder of George Floyd was a call to action—sitting out was not an option.

Castle’s perseverance led her to win the Heising-Simons Foundation’s American Mosaic Journalism Prize on Feb. 14.


Christian students observe Ash Wednesday with non-denominational service

The Emerson Christian Fellowship and the Center for Spiritual Life hosted an interdenominational Ash Wednesday service in the Reflection Room of 172 Tremont on Wednesday, allowing Christian students to experience the yearly observance without leaving campus.

Eight attendees sat in a small circle for scripture readings and a litany of penitence. Although the center didn’t have any ashes to distribute, students bonded over their differing Christian observances of the holiday and bowed their heads

Students handle exotic wildlife in ‘Animal Adventures’ event

“Animal Adventures” family zoo and animal rescue center brought live creatures to the Student Performance Center in the Little Building on Jan. 21.

College students lined the stairway to the Student Performance Center on Jan. 27 for a chance to meet a variety of exotic animals in the college’s second hosting of “Animal Adventure” night.

“Animal Adventures,” a Boston-based family zoo and animal rescue center, brought 11 creatures for a visit to the Little Building Friday night, thanks to the or