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Fresno's Economic, Racial Inequalities Explored in 'Unequal From Birth'

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Editor's Note: The following multimedia project, Unequal From Birth, was produced by second-year students in the new media program at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. The stories were the students' master's theses, culminating their studies at the school. They chose to report on what they consider one of America's most pressing problems, inequality, and after some research decided to focus on Fresno, the poorest major city in California. The students spent the entire 2017-2018 academic year exploring how racial and income inequality affects Fresno and how some residents are working to improve life in their community. The resulting collection of photographs, videos, audio stories, animations, data visualizations and writing shows the face of a city struggling to overcome the legacy of its past and build a promising future for all its residents. As part of our commitment to telling stories about the Central Valley, KQED is sharing this work.


Some of the nation's starkest inequalities lie among the rich fields of California's Central Valley. By Reis Thebault and Margaret Katcher

Justice for Who?

On its streets, in traffic stops, searches and arrests, who’s locked up and for how long — unequal treatment is the norm in Fresno. By Reis Thebault and Alexandria Fuller


Unaccompanied migrant children in the heart of the Central Valley face more challenges than their coastal counterparts as they fight to remain in the country. By Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou


A pregnant woman is torn between drugs and the baby growing inside her. By Rachel Cassandra


A victory was declared when a new pesticide regulation banned chemical use around schools. But what happens when the children go home? By Sawsan Morrar

A Status-Driven Life

When one sibling grows up undocumented and the others as American citizens. By Briana Flin

Motherhood & Meth

Soaring methamphetamine addiction in Fresno County is driving an increase in child abuse and neglect. By Mary Newman

Bearing the Burden

Fresno’s mothers of color are suffering, and the city wants to help. Why is that so hard? By Margaret Katcher

The California Report Magazine featured two of the stories above, "Dependence" and "Bearing the Burden," as radio broadcasts. Listen to them below.

'It Controls You’: 9 Months With a Fresno Mother Battling Addiction and Homelessness

Amanda is a sex worker addicted to heroin. She’s also a mother struggling to stay off the street. Reporter Rachel Cassandra spent nine months interviewing her and documenting her life.

A Fresno Mom's Faith in Her Child, Despite What the Doctors Said

'I just want to cry, not because I'm sad but because I'm just so proud and so happy of everything that he's accomplished in his life.' By Margaret Katcher


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