Leoneda Inge

Race and Southern Culture Reporter

Leoneda Inge is WUNC's race and southern culture reporter. She is the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position, which explores modern and historical constructs to tell stories of poverty and wealth, health and food culture, education and racial identity.

Leoneda's most recent work of note includes the series “When a Rural North Carolina Clinic Closes,” produced in partnership with the USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism. Other recent work includes “50 Years of the Ebony Fashion Fair,” the debate surrounding “Race, Slavery & Monuments,” and the “Rebuilding of Princeville” after Hurricane Matthew.

In 2017, Leoneda was named Journalist of Distinction by the National Association of Black Journalists. Leoneda is a graduate of Florida A&M University and Columbia University, where she earned her Master's Degree in Journalism as a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics. In 2014, she traveled to Berlin, Brussels and Prague as a German/American Journalist Exchange Fellow.
 

 

Ways to Connect

NCCU, HBCU, Confederate Monument, North Carolina Central University
Leoneda Inge

North Carolina Central University officially unveiled the new name of its administration building Wednesday. The name of former North Carolina governor, Clyde Hoey, a known segregationist, is no longer on the building at the historically black institution.

Courtesy Dreamville Festival

Some 40,000 people are expected to gather in Raleigh on Saturday for the chance to inhabit a one-of-a-kind music and cultural world – Dreamville.

Juana Luz Tobar Ortega stands outside St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greensboro, where she is living in sanctuary.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Nearly 100 documentary films from around the world will be shown this week and weekend in downtown Durham. It’s the 22nd annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, with this edition highlighting the stories of laid off autoworkers, the last male northern white rhino and musical greats like Miles Davis. But there are a small group of documentaries I have especially been waiting for.

NCCU freshman T'ona McBride attends her university's "Passport Caravan" and talks about why she wants to study abroad. NCCU junior Christian Allison, left.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

This is the season when many college students are preparing to study abroad for the summer. But numbers show the percentage of African American students taking advantage of these educational trips remains low.

N.C. Central University in Durham is working to change that.

Taraji P. Henson on red carpet in Durham.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

In 1970s Durham, N.C., two of the most unlikely people became what we would call today – “frenemies.” The relationship between a Ku Klux Klan leader and a civil rights activist would go down in history and is now on the big screen.

NCCU, Quiz Bowl, HBCU, Honda Campus All Star Challenge
Leoneda Inge

For 30 years, Historically Black Colleges and Universities have gone head-to-head in a special competition to prove who can answer tough questions quick and hit buzzers fast.

Leoneda Inge / WUNC

You may have heard of the four college students in Greensboro, North Carolina who sat at a segregated lunch counter at a Woolworth's and helped spark the Civil Rights Movement in 1960. Thursday in Chapel Hill, community and town officials are celebrating the Chapel Hill Nine – nine high school students who also sat down, to stand up.

Sickle Cell Disease, Public Health
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Editor's Note: WUNC Race and Southern Culture Reporter Leoneda Inge shares a personal account of her son, Teemer Barry, and his journey navigating sickle cell disease during his first year of college.

Sickle cell disease afflicts about 100,000 people in the United States, many of them African Americans. It is an inherited blood disorder that can cause frequent infections and chronic pain.

Census 2020, Census, Carolina Demography, NC Counts Coalition
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Preparations for the 2020 Census are underway in North Carolina, one of the fastest growing states in the nation poised to get another congressional seat after the decennial count.

St. Augustine's University, HBCU
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

After leading the historically black school for five years, Saint Augustine’s University President Everett B. Ward has announced he plans to retire.

Lennon Lacy, Bladenboro, NC NAACP, Hanging
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The tragic story of a black teenager from North Carolina will be featured during this year’s Sundance Film Festival in Utah. It's called “Always in Season.”

St. Augustine's University, HBCU, Higher Education
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh reports raising a record amount of money for the school at the end of 2018. University officials say much of the support had to do with the effort by the small, historically black institution to regain full accreditation. But the news comes at a time when another HBCU in the state is struggling to meet fundraising goals.

EPA, Volunteer, Government shutdown
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The partial government shutdown is in its third week. While thousands of furloughed federal workers are affected in North Carolina, some from the Environmental Protection Agency are keeping busy as volunteers.

Bennett College, HBCU
Bennett College

Bennett College in Greensboro has embarked on a new campaign to build support and help raise millions of dollars to preserve its accreditation and the future of the school.

North Carolina Zoo, Chimpanzee, Heart Disease
NC Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo has lost one of its oldest mammals.  Ruthie, a chimpanzee, was euthanized last week after suffering from heart disease. Ruthie was brought to the zoo in 1980 for its grand opening. She was one of the first chimps to make up the new "Kitera Forest" habitat. Staffers think she was about seven years old when she arrived at the zoo.

St. Augustine's University, Everett Ward, HBCU
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

While one of North Carolina's historically black colleges and universities learned on Tuesday it will retain its accreditation, another college 80 miles away faces the loss of its own accreditation.

On Tuesday, officials at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh learned the university would retain its accreditation following a two-year probationary period for the small historically black university.

NC Sheriffs, Sheriffs, Law Enforcement
Paula Dance for Pitt County Sheriff

North Carolina now has 20 African-American sheriffs across its 100 counties. The state sheriff’s association says it does not keep numbers on race, but it is believed to be the largest number of black sheriffs at one time ever for the state. And several of the new black sheriffs won in big upset victories during the midterm election.

Anita Earls, a candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court, talks with a group of black women during a Sister to Sister salon conversation at the Chesterfield in Durham on Friday, October 26, 2018.
Madeline Gray / For WUNC

In downtown Durham, a group of African-American women spent a recent Friday night at a Sister to Sister salon conversation, talking politics, polling and power. Attorney Mavis Gragg helped organize the event and said it was long overdue.

St. Augustine's University, HBCU, Higher Education
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh is one of the oldest historically black universities in the country. It was started by the Episcopal Church soon after the end of the Civil War.

Georgia O'Keeffe, NCMA, Female Artists
Permission granted NC Museum of Art

More than 35 of Georgia O’Keeffe’s works make up “The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art” exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art opening Saturday. O'Keeffe lived for nearly 100 years, and was one of the most iconic artists of the 20th century.

St. Augustine's University, HBCU, Rooms to Go
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

One of the largest furniture companies in the country has dropped off more than $20,000 in new furniture at St. Augustine’s University in Raleigh. Rooms to Go is helping to establish the university’s Reading for Excellence Center.

Duke University School of Medicine, Duke Integration
Duke University School of Medicine

One of the most revered doctors at Duke University died Sunday. Dr. Brenda Armstrong will be remembered for the impact she made in her community and at Duke University School of Medicine, where she spent more than 20 years.

Questions remain over the shooting death of NCCU student DeAndre Ballard
North Carolina Central University

Students at North Carolina Central University are expressing frustration at the shooting death of a fellow student. They are also concerned about the living conditions at the off-campus apartment complex where 23-year-old DeAndre Ballard was shot and killed.

Ballard was a senior at NCCU and lived at Campus Crossings at Durham, on E. Cornwallis Road. Ballard allegedly got into a confrontation with a security guard there last month, which led to his death.

DeAndre Lee is a sophomore at NCCU. He says students don’t know what to think.

At RDU, Ben Akroyd helps pilot Martin Fessele pack his Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft with supplies for victims of Hurricane Florence.  Fessele came from New Jersey to help with "Operation Airdrop."
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

During natural disasters like Hurricane Florence, we mostly hear about big relief agencies like FEMA and organizations like The Red Cross. But smaller groups are also working hard to help in the aftermath.

Beatriz Jerlen Covarrubias-Rivera relaxes on a Red Cross cot with her four sons, ages 2 to 10, while staying at a shelter operated by the Red Cross at E.B. Aycock Middle School on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.
Adam Jennings / American Red Cross

Governor Roy Cooper is reminding North Carolinians to find a safe place to stay as torrential rain and flooding continues to pummel parts of the state. For some, that safe place to stay may be another night at a shelter far away from home, like the UNC shelter in Chapel Hill.

File photo of Maya Little, a UNC graduate student arrested at a Silent Sam rally earlier this year.
Gabriella Bulgarelli / WUNC

Activists and students who support the toppling of the Confederate Silent Sam statue at UNC Chapel Hill say they have been abused and assaulted by police. Pepper spray was used at one of the last demonstrations to disperse a crowd.

Silent Sam, UNC, Duke Chapel, Confederate Monuments
Leoneda Inge

Two prominent universities have removed Confederate statues on their campuses – but in very different ways – as campuses grapple with race and relics of the past.

NC Zoo, Rhino, Mammals, Breeding
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro has been celebrating the births of two southern white rhinoceroses this summer. It’s part of a breeding program to help preserve the large mammals. But don't hold your breath waiting for a rhino to be born – it has taken more than 40 years for these rhino calves to be born in North Carolina.

Mike Mangum and Jack Kochel handle a large watermelon during the 2018 Watermelon Day contest at the N.C. State Farmers Market.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Watermelon Day at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh is no average day at the market. Families pack the gazebo area for the big show. On this steamy 90-degree day, folks came to see some big watermelons. North Carolina is in the peak of its watermelon season.

National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a new memorial to honor thousands of people killed in racist lynchings,
Brynn Anderson / AP

It’s hard to count the exact number of African Americans who were lynched by white mobs during the years following slavery. Numbers show most of these brutal, deadly acts occurred in the South, between the 1870s and the 1950s.

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