Defender Network participates in Advancing Democracy initiative
Advancing Democracy Getty Images

For the past four months, the Defender Network has participated in a national initiative, the Solutions Journalism Network’s Advancing Democracy project. The Defender is one of 10 newsrooms across the United States that has been tasked with deep reporting projects which consider how to make this nation’s democracy better. 

Contrary to what most people believe, democracy is not infallible. It is only as strong as the people who uphold it. Through hard-hitting, solution-oriented stories produced by the Defender’s editorial team of Managing Editor ReShonda Tate, Education Reporter Laura Onyeneho and Associate Editor Aswad Walker, the Defender has strived to place a spotlight on areas where democracy is currently under attack, while also presenting tested and theorized solutions to those challenges.

The hope has been that through this work, the Defender has and will continue to inspire, educate and enlighten our print edition readers and website visitors in a way that equips them to better protect this nation’s fragile democracy so we can all be protected politically and otherwise in our efforts to enjoy “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Here are the articles written by the Defender towards that end:

Black Women & Voting Strength
How Underpaying Women Destroys Democracy
Student Loan Debt Crisis
Gen Z & Voting: Mayor Turner on Young People Shaping Elections
Texas is Ground Zero for Demise of Democracy
Let the People Be Heard: What Issues Matter to Gen-Z
Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker on Voter Suppression, LGBTQ members in Politics

Aswad Walker

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...