Julia Craven writes about race and health for Slate. Prior, she spent five years reporting at HuffPost, centering her work on the intersection of race and politics. She’s a born, bred and educated North Carolina Tar Heel who appreciates good whiskey, good memes, and women rappers. Her work, “It’s Not Too Late To Save Black Lives,” which focuses on the ways that public officials can lessen the impact of COVID-19 on Black folks, will be featured in the 2021 edition of The Best American Science and Nature Writing. She was also a finalist for a Writer’s Guild award.
Where is your work featured/what organizations are you affiliated with?
Right now, you can read me exclusively on Slate.com where my work focuses on racism, health, wellness and politics. Prior to this job, I was HuffPost. And, if you really want to get into it, you can read the work I produced for USA Today College and The Daily Tar Heel. That’s the work that laid the foundation for the journalist I am today.
Where did you go to school?
I attended UNC Chapel Hill where I received a B.A. in global studies with a focus in international politics and social movements. And I minored in African American Diasporic Studies. I considered going to journalism school, but my GPA wasn’t high enough to meet the requirement and I didn’t apply. It all worked out in the end, though.
How many years have you been in journalism/related field?
I’ve been a professional journalist since 2015, but my first journalism gig began in 2012 with The Daily Tar Heel. Before that, I focused on my personal writing but, at the time, I didn’t think it to be a viable career path for me.
What are you doing now? (i.e. any projects you’re working on; partnerships; advancements; or noteworthy stories)
I’m currently covering racism and health. And what a year it’s been covering those topics. That work is so critical and timely, and I am very interested in issues around access to vaccines, preventative healthcare, and more. So if you have any ideas you’d like to see covered, email me.
What pushes you to keep doing the work?
Improving the well-being of my community. The work that we do as journalists, particularly during this pandemic, has tangible results outside of being nominated for awards or being featured in an anthology. People in my inbox telling me that my work convinced them to get vaccinated, to advocate for themselves in the doctor’s office, or even to wear sunscreen—I’m so adamant about that—is what motivates me. When I reflect on my work, I want to confidently say that the information I put out, and the stories I tell, help convince someone to make the best decision they could for their well-being. That’s what matters to me.