Today, Civil Eats is pleased to welcome three new senior reporters to our editorial team. Wesley Brown, Kalen Goodluck, and Anne Marshall-Chalmers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience about food and agriculture to our publication.
Based in Little Rock, Arkansas, Wesley Brown is a veteran business and political reporter whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal; the Reuters and Dow Jones international newswires; the Associated Press; and dozens of top U.S. newspapers. Most recently, he worked as publisher and executive editor of the Daily Record, a business journal covering Central Arkansas. Prior to that, Brown was the senior political and business reporter for the online news organization Talk Business & Politics, where he led coverage of the Arkansas state capitol.
As a teen in rural Arkansas whose first summer job was working at a Tyson Foods processing facility and later “picking” and hauling watermelons with migrant workers, Brown has always had an interest in writing about the rural economy. In fact, it was the tough, low-paying summer jobs he held in rural Arkansas that led him to choose a career as a journalist.
Brown enjoys mentoring young reporters, especially people from marginalized communities, and founded Arkansas’ first Black-owned news startup, BlackConsumerNews.com, to provide a platform for minorities and women to gain experience covering public policy, business, and legislative matters in the state.
“I am excited to join Civil Eats as the news industry goes through this important period to try and remain relevant. With the nation’s supply chain and environment at a critical juncture, I believe our reporting on food policy, climate change, food-related health, and farming puts us at the forefront of independent journalism,” says Brown. “But the best part is that Civil Eats is a new frontier of learning for me, and that’s when I am at my best as a journalist.”
A long-time elite distance runner, Brown captained the cross-country team at Arkansas State University in the early 1980s, and between 1980 and 1999, he won more than 150 road races and set records for everything from five kilometer to marathon distances. He is still involved in personal training and coaching endurance athletes and marathoners. He is also chairman of deacons at Christway Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock.
His first story for Civil Eats explored the proliferation of Dollar Stores across the U.S.
Kalen Goodluck is a Diné, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Tsimshian journalist and photographer currently based in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico. His reporting has been featured in The New York Times, Popular Science, National Geographic Traveler, Mother Jones, WIRED, the Pulitzer Center, NBC News, and more. Goodluck has also reported for High Country News, where he once served as Indigenous Affairs Contributing Editor.
Goodluck received a B.A. in Human Rights at Bard College in 2016 and an M.A. in Journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism (now Craig Newmark School of Journalism) in 2018. He specializes in reporting on topics such as climate, far-right extremism, and Indigenous affairs. He proudly shot photos of stolen Indigenous land for a two-year investigative project on the land-grant university system for High Country News, which won numerous awards, including a George Polk and Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) Award.
“I’m so thrilled to join an amazing roster of reporters and editors at Civil Eats,” says Goodluck. “Food justice and food security are some of the most important issues of our time, and I’m honored to be a part of an outlet devoted to such coverage.”
When he’s not reporting, Goodluck prints photographs in his makeshift home darkroom, binges on too many horror movies, and takes long walks with his dog along the dusty irrigation canals in the north valley of Albuquerque.
A California native, Anne Marshall-Chalmers spent several years working as a general assignment reporter, writer, and audio producer in Tennessee and Kentucky before returning to the Bay Area to earn a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She reports on climate change, agriculture, public health, injustice, and the spaces where these topics intersect.
Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Atlas Obscura, USA Today, Bay Nature, Earth Island Journal, NPR, Cal Matters, Inside Climate News, and Louisville Magazine. In 2019, she was nominated for a national City and Regional Magazine Association award in the category of civic journalism for a piece on Louisville’s eviction crisis, and in 2012 she won a national Alt Weekly award for her reporting on economic inequality.
While she was thrilled to move back to California for grad school in 2020, she also noticed how challenged her home state had become. She woke to an eerie, orange-hued morning smothered in wildfire smoke, and began reading, asking questions, and writing. She has since reported on the new normal of extended droughts, limited water in the Klamath Basin igniting racial tensions, Central Valley’s dependence on pesticides, discrimination within California’s giant agricultural bureaucracy and the rapid disappearance of biological diversity.
“It’s easy to despair,” Marshall-Chalmers says. “But I strive to tell stories that illuminate and point towards a more sustainable path. That’s a big part of what I hope to accomplish with Civil Eats.”
An avid runner and baker, she’s happiest on sunny days spent outside with her husband, her two kids, and their dog, Peaches. Her first piece for Civil Eats, about California’s new groundwater rules, is out today.
Civil Eats is thrilled to have Brown, Goodluck, and Marshall-Chalmers join our team. These three outstanding journalists will enable us to deepen and expand our coverage in new, exciting ways. Follow them on Twitter at @BrownOnBusiness, @kalengoodluck, and @marshall_anne, and look for more of their stories in the coming weeks.
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