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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9:59am

Tue August 13, 2013
Code Switch

Latinas Drive Hispanic Purchasing Power In The U.S.

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 11:05 am

Latina pop star Thalía holds a toddler playing a tumbadora during a Pampers promotional event launching Mi Música, Mi Herencia (My Music, My Heritage).
Marc Serota AP

Meet Pamela Maria Wright — the "contemporary Latina consumer." She has two kids — Nico and Rita — whom she hopes will be bilingual, as she is. She's a tech-savvy working professional with a master's degree, but she's also very traditional and family-oriented. (While I was visiting her home, her father showed up for a surprise visit. "How much more Latino can you get?" Wright asked.)

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3:47am

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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5:03am

Sat June 29, 2013
Code Switch

What [BLANK] Folks Don't Understand About Rachel Jeantel

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 12:36 pm

Witness Rachel Jeantel continues her testimony to defense attorney Don West during the trial of George Zimmerman on Thursday.
Jacob Langston AP

Rachel Jeantel. Her hourslong testimony spanned two days of the George Zimmerman trial, and I bet you'll be talking about it with your friends over the weekend. She's the 19-year-old key witness for the prosecution who had a cellphone conversation with Trayvon Martin moments before he was killed.

And she most definitely touched a nerve.

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4:04pm

Wed June 26, 2013
Code Switch

What Would A 2013 Voting Rights Act (Section 4) Look Like?

Ryan P. Haygood, director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, talks outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday about the court's opinion in Shelby County v. Holder.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

You've probably heard the news. But just in case it was a crazy day at work, you just came home from a backpacking trip in the remote wilderness, or you couldn't pull yourself away from a Keeping Up with the Kardashians marathon — the Supreme Court has ruled that a key provision of the Voting Rights Act (Section 4) is unconstitutional.

To follow me, you have to know five things:

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