Rochelle Riley’s columns have appeared in the Detroit Free Press and at freep.com since 2000. She also blogs at rochelleriley.com and makes frequent television and radio appearances, especially on NPR and MSNBC. Rochelle writes passionately about responsible government, community responsibility, public education, pop culture, race, film, and Michigan’s reading crisis. She has worked at The Dallas Morning News, The Washington Post, and The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky. Her columns on the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption scandal were part of the entry that won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting; she won the 2013 National Headliner Award for best column writing, the inaugural Will Rogers Humanitarian Award for community service from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists (2011), and first-place column-writing honors from the National Association of Black Journalists (2014). The Michigan Press Association has named her Michigan’s best local columnist four times.
Project description: Muslim Man Builds Homes, Trust, Legacy in Detroit and A Metro Muslim Wants to Change Your Mind tell the story of Ullah, a Muslim trying to change the narrative about all Muslims and show that he and his family, while helping to create a black Muslim neighborhood, are a part of the city’s comeback. It also recounted the reclamation of something lost: the spirit of Black Bottom, a vibrant, working-class, black neighborhood that was the location of the city’s first black mosque and was paved over six decades ago to build an interstate.