About us

Our mission

Scalawag sparks critical conversations about the many Souths where we live, love, and struggle. We amplify the voices of organizers, artists, and writers to reckon with Southern realities as they are: complex, but ever running towards justice. In print, online, and in person, Scalawag reimagines the roots and futures of the place we call home.

The stories we tell matter and move conversations forward. Our programs create rich connections among Southerners and throughout the South: between writers and readers, changemakers and communities; from urban to rural, from local to state. Together, we lay the groundwork for social change.

Cover image from Scalawag's first issue. Image by Julian Plowden.

How we work

Scalawag is committed to community-supported, nonprofit journalism. As a 501(c)3, we depend on individual donors and foundations to support our work. Subscription sales cover the costs of our ongoing journalism, but donations and grants are essential for the expansion of our work.

Until 2017, we did this work with less than $50,000 a year. The entire Scalawag team worked as volunteers, even as we have paid every writer and photographer. Our team is now beginning to be paid—even as we expand and many of us work on part-time basis. We work with partners of all kinds—journalists, local community organizations, and national networks like the Institute for Nonprofit News and the Media Consortium.

Scalawag's impact is not only in its journalism. We believe that Scalawag can be a home that mentors and supports a new generation of Southern writers, editors, and nonprofit leaders committed to an equitable and just South. With support from donors who give $5 and institutional support from places like the AJ Fletcher Foundation and the Emerson Collective, we're growing Scalawag's impact—and punching above our weight.

Learn more about our donors and our commitment to transparency.

And you can meet our fabulous Board of Directors here.

You can mail inquiries, donations, or pitches to Scalawag, PO Box 129, Durham, NC 27702, or email us at team@scalawagmagazine.org.

Zaina Alsous

Zaina Alsous is a contributing editor for Scalawag focused on the "Arts and Soul" vertical and holds a MFA in poetry from the University of Miami. Born and raised by immigrants in North Carolina, most of her writing and community work focuses on labor, Arab diaspora, and decarceration.

Lovey Cooper

Lovey Cooper is a journalist from small-town North Carolina who was educated in Appalachia and cut her teeth in Washington. She’s Scalawag's Managing Editor and the voice behind "This Week in the South".

Alysia Nicole Harris

Alysia Nicole Harris is a performance artist, poet, and linguist from Virginia. Religion, travel and the arts make her heart go thud thud. She makes up part of Scalawag's Atlanta-based editorial crew serving as Scalawag's "Arts and Soul" editor.

Cierra Hinton

Cierra Hinton has an undying love and passion for the complicated South, which she brings to her work at Scalawag. She has found community across the South, including in Tennessee and Mississippi, but calls North Carolina home. She is Scalawag's Executive Director-Publisher.

Ellis Johnson II

Ellis Johnson II is a Business Operations Fellow who combines a love for data and clear processes to improve and maintain efficient business operations. He is currently a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying public administration and city and regional planning.

Chika Ota

Chika Ota is creative director of Scalawag. Over the past decade she has initiated and advised numerous multimedia projects focusing on sociopolitical and environmental issues.

Danielle Purifoy

Danielle Purifoy is a lawyer and Ph.D candidate in environmental policy at Duke University. She studies how structural racism creates environmental inequality in the South and brings these interests to her work as an editor for Scalawag. Danielle is Scalawag's "Race and Place" editor.

Anna Simonton

Anna Simonton is the "State Politics" editor for Scalawag based in Atlanta, where she was raised. She is a freelance writer.