Amethyst J. Davis, Founder
Amethyst J. Davis is responsible for spearheading the growth and development of the HWH, including outlining the editorial trajectory and content. She also produces “The Renaissance Letter,” our biweekly email newsletter, edits content, and fact-checks stories prior to publication Amethyst was an administrator at New York University before launching her journalism career. She is also a member of the Sounding Board, the community advisory board for Chicago Public Media, which includes WBEZ Chicago and the Chicago Sun-Times.
In 2022, Amethyst was a Casey Fellow with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Black News & Views, where she covered health and COVID-19 for the NABJ’s newly launched digital news service. She is a sought after speaker on community journalism and has given talks at institutions like DePaul University and the University of Kansas. Amethyst is a regular guest on City Cast Chicago.
She was invited by Harvard University to submit a 2023 Nieman Lab prediction, which taps the smartest in media and journalism nationwide to offer thoughts on the future of digital media. Under her leadership, the HWH has become one of the nation's most-watched hyperlocal newsrooms. The HWH has received national coverage in publications like Poynter, Harvard University's Nieman Lab, the National Press Journalism Club Institute, and Editor & Publisher.
Amethyst is a Brooks Middle School ('11) and Thornton Township High School alum (‘15) and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from NYU (BA'19). She is an alumni of the Data and Policy Summer Scholar program at the University of Chicago.
Maureen Dunne, Freelance General Assignment Reporter
Maureen Dunne is a freelance reporter with the Harvey World Herald. She holds a journalism degree from DePaul University ('22).
As a lifelong Chicagoan and Chicago Public Schools graduate, her reporting focuses on Chicago's cultures and communities, city politics and the judicial system. As part of DePaul University's Center for Journalism Excellence and Integrity, she has reported on Cook County's electronic monitoring system as well as abortion access in Illinois in stories airing on WTTW's Chicago Tonight.
When not typing furiously into a Google Doc, she's a cello player in an Irish band, bartender, urban gardener and recovering political organizer. Her work has appeared in Injustice Watch, City Bureau's Documenters program, Vocalo Radio, 14 East Magazine and the DePaulia.
Kristin McKee, Freelance General Assignment Reporter
Kristin McKee is a freelance reporter for the Harvey World Herald. Kristin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies from Roosevelt University (BA'21). During her studies, Kristin was an editor for Roosevelt University's student newspaper, The Torch, where she managed their digital platforms and edited stories that covered campus news and events. She also interned at the Illinois Journalism Education Association where she managed their social media platforms and curated their e-newsletters.
Jahaura Michelle, Freelance General Assignment Reporter
Jahaura Michelle is a graduate of Hofstra University with a Master's degree in Broadcast Journalism. As a journalist and freelance writer with over five years of experience, she knows how to report the facts and remain impartial. Jahaura enjoys writing about food, culture, sports, and the issues that continue to plague Black and Brown communities. Her work has been featured in FM Hip Hop, Hip Latina, CafeMom, & Sister 2 Sister Magazine.
Corey Schmidt, Freelance General Assignment Reporter
Corey Schmidt is a freelance reporter whose work focuses on the Chicagoland area. He holds an undergraduate degree from DePaul University and is pursuing his graduate studies at Yale University. His byline can be found in the Chicago Tribune, Pioneer Press, Milwaukee Magazine, Ozaukee Press, South Side Weekly and more.
Amina Sergazina, Freelance General Assignment Reporter
Amina Sergazina is a journalism student at the Columbia College Chicago. Her articles have been featured at The Columbia Chronicle, Austin Fit Magazine and the Chicago Reporter. She got into the journalism because I loved writing, but stayed because they want to amplify voices of the people who are not being heard in our society. Sergazina is passionate about local reporting and connecting with the community around her.
Lauren Sheperd, Freelance General Assignment Reporter
Lauren Sheperd (she/her) is a sophomore at DePaul University, originally from Cleveland, OH. At DePaul, she majors in journalism, and minors in public policy and Italian. Her stories can be found in 14 East Magazine, the Organization for World Peace and The Shakerite. Lauren has a passion for fairness and inclusion, and she tries her best to bring that into every story she writes.
Sonal Soni, Freelance Race, Equity, & Culture Reporter
Sonal Soni (they/them) is a queer, non-binary Indian-American multimedia journalist. They returned to Chicago, their birthplace, after moving around the midwest. Soni has covered various topics including race, class, climate change, and Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community. While at DePaul University, they covered trans-inclusive housing policies on college campuses for the school’s student-led online magazine, 14 East.
They also covered protests on social media, earning an honorable mention for an Associated Collegiate Press award. Soni interned at WBEZ reporting on the daily news. That coverage consisted of monkeypox cases in Chicago and a feature story about what Evanston’s revised public nudity ordinance would mean for queer Chicagoans. Most recently, Soni was a reporting fellow for City Bureau, where they covered housing cooperatives in Chicago.
Soni runs a jewelry business in their free time, carrying on a family tradition that is generations strong, and they love to spend time with their many pets including their tortoise Rodrigo.
Olivia Stovicek, Freelance Fact-Checker
Olivia is a freelance fact-checker at the HWH. Olivia's experience as an editor and fact-checker includes serving as a senior editor at South Side Weekly and as a team leader for City Bureau's Civic Reporting Fellowship in 2021.
Izzy Stroobandt, Freelance General Assignment Reporter
Stroobandt is a freelance general assignment reporter at the HWH. Her work has been published by Block Club Chicago, Borderless Magazine and The Daily Line Chicago. She also works as a Documenter for City Bureau Chicago, live-tweeting local government meetings. She was previously an intern at Los Angeles' National Public Radio affiliate KCRW for the Morning Edition and All Things Considered shows. Stroobandt holds a Bachelor of Arts in Loyola Marymount University in L.A. and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill Graduate School of Journalism.
Anushuya Thapa, Freelance General Assignment Reporter
Anushuya Thapa is a Chicago-based freelance reporter with a love for fiction, latin social dancing, and the outdoors. She splits her time between Chicago and Kathmandu and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University. When she's not writing, she's either at a Salsa club or trying (and failing) to get better at chess. You can read her work in Crosscut, InvestigateWest, or The Daily Northwestern.