Naomi Prioleau

Greensboro Reporter

Naomi Prioleau joined WUNC in January 2017 as the station's Greensboro Bureau reporter.

She moved from Tampa, Florida where she worked at NPR station WUSF 89.7 News covering everything from eight-hour long transportation meetings to Afro-Latinas struggling to identify themselves.

She began her journalism career as a teen reporter at the Kansas City Star. Her work has been published in The Tampa Tribune, the Florida Courier, the online magazine for the National Association of Black Journalists and the Marshall News Messenger in Texas.

When she’s not reporting, Naomi spends her time cooking delicious vegan food, traveling, working out or reading.

Winston-Salem State University basketball
WSSU Photography / via Flickr

2020 was a banner year for fundraising at Historically Black Colleges and Universities as HBCUs received a number of high-profile corporate and private gifts.

At the top of the list: philanthropist Mackenzie Scott, who gave more than $4 billion to organizations and HBCUs.

East Laurinburg's current population is roughly 279 people. It's peak was 890 just before World War II. The town mayor blames the lack of employment for its current state.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

Marshall Stevens is a simple man.

He's one of 279 people who call the Scotland County town of East Laurinburg home. Last election, he won the race for mayor. Stevens received 15 total votes, beating an "unnamed write-in candidate" by two.

A "Latinos for Biden-Harris" sign hangs on a building in Milwaukee during a get-out-the-vote effort.
Milwaukee Teachers Education Association via Flickr

Latino voters were a significant factor in electing President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

A report by UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative showed that they helped flip two states — Arizona and Georgia — where they collectively make up about 80% of the nation’s Latino electorate, along with 11 other states.

Dozens of cars wrapped around Burlington's makeshift vaccine center as people in Phase 1B waited to get vaccinated. There was a two to three hour wait time for most people.
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

As some places in North Carolina enter the next phase of COVID vaccinations, people who are wanting to get vaccinated are experiencing long wait times.

North Carolina is currently in Phase 1B of its vaccination plan, meaning those who are 75 or older are able to get vaccinated.

BEN MCKEOWN / FOR WUNC

  

Since August, 23 kids have called a three-bedroom, three-bathroom house in Greensboro home. It's spacious, quiet and full of toys, books and has a fully stocked fridge and a playground. And it's the first of its kind in North Carolina.

brayan guevara
Lynn Hey

In the midst of a year fraught with racial injustice and an ongoing pandemic, there has been a glimmer of hope for Brayan Guevara and his mother, Nodia Mena: Joe Biden is now president-elect.

niversity researches have developed a software to address the mental health challenges the Hispanic community faces amid the COVID19 pandemic.
Courtesy of Francisco Gonzalez / NCSU

Researchers at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T University have found that Hispanic communities are at a greater risk for mental health challenges during the pandemic.

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

Greensboro-based Cone Health operates in two of the state's red zones for COVID-19 numbers.

Charles Lucas rest on a 1940's tractor inside a greenhouse on his farm in Montgomery County Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Jackson Springs, N.C.
Lynn Hey / For WUNC

It's a beautiful and crisp autumn day on the Lucas Farm in Montgomery County.

The sounds of cars whizzing by and birds chirping disturb the quiet peacefulness that Charles Lucas has grown accustomed to, living alone in Jackson Springs.

Courtesy Craven County Government

Craven County Commissioner Johnnie Sampson Jr., has died after a battle with COVID-19. The 87-year-old had been a county commissioner for 24 years.

Photo courtesy of Saint Augustine's University

The Saint Augustine's University community is mourning the death of its president.

Irving McPhail died this week from complications of COVID-19. Officials said he did not contract the virus from the campus.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Despite the pandemic, the furniture market in High Point, N.C., opened this week. Each year, it's one of the biggest showcase events for the industry and draws people from around the world. As Naomi Prioleau of member station WUNC reports, furniture manufacturers are experiencing a real boom.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Forty-one years ago next month, a group of Ku Klux Klansmen and members of the American Nazi Party shot and killed five people at an anti-Klan march in Greensboro.

Since that day — Nov. 3, 1979 — community members, survivors and family members of the victims have called for an official apology from the city.

gso massacre
Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

Updated at 3:50 p.m. on October 7, 2020

The Greensboro City Council has voted to apologize for the city's role in one of the most violent events in its history.

In a 7-to-2 vote Tuesday, the Council's resolution formally apologized for the Greensboro Police Department's role in the shooting deaths of five people on Nov. 3, 1979 — a day often referred to as "the Greensboro Massacre."

Olga Lopez, department superior, blowing and stuffing department, turns the material right sided before it is stuffed at Piedmont Furniture Industries Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Ramseur, N.C.
Lynn Hey / For WUNC

Business is booming for the furniture industry — especially home furnishings.

It's a stark contrast to the number of businesses that have had to permanently close and lay off staff as the world is in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Realtor.com

Raul and Sandra Torres of High Point wanted to give themselves a retirement gift back in December 2019, so they purchased the Mendenhall-Blair House, a rustic, 200-year old farmhouse, for $460,000.

Nodia Mena

It's March 31, 1992, and then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and California Governor Jerry Brown Jr. are both at Lehman College in the Bronx, New York, debating education in urban America and sparring over tuition affordability — and gun control — just before the Democratic Party's presidential primaries.

Protesters in downtown Graham on July 12, 2020. Among other demands, they wanted the Confederate monument in front of the courthouse removed.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Protesters are drenched with sweat as they make the mile-and-a-half walk from Burlington to Graham on a hot July day.

These Black Lives Matter protesters are heading to the town square where they’re greeted with insults and Confederate flags from a group of mainly white counter protesters.

Led by Reverend Greg Drumwright, he advises them to ignore the counter protesters. He said it's more important to get their message out to the masses.

UNCG, UNC-Greensboro
Jason Simmons, via Flickr / https://bit.ly/34V3jS7

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is partnering with Native American tribes and two national organizations to increase access to literary resources.

Lynn Hey / For WUNC

In the time before COVID-19, people could go to the pool or a waterpark to cool off from the summer heat. But in the midst of a pandemic, those are no longer viable options. To make up for the lack of water-related activities, some cities are offering alternative ways to cool off this summer.

Vanecia Boone, left, and Brandy Hamilton prepare Boone's booth, Herbin Herbals for  Bountiful Land Food for All Farmers Market on Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Greensboro, N.C.
Lynn Hey / For WUNC

On a hot Saturday morning in east Greensboro, customers loaded their vehicles with potatoes, herbs, corn, peaches, watermelon and other fresh produce after visiting a local farmers market.

The difference with the people purchasing these goods and the farmers selling them, is that they're all Black.

Cheesecakes by Alex
Cheesecakes by Alex / Cheesecakes by Alex

With indicators of the COVID-19 outbreak in North Carolina trending in the wrong direction, Governor Roy Cooper hit pause on the state's reopening last week.

Some restaurants and eateries in Guilford County, where COVID-19 cases are on the rise, are closing their dining rooms again.

next gen america
Rachel Weber / Next Gen America

Registering to vote is usually an interactive, interpersonal effort, where organizations host registration events at college campuses or churches. But in the time of pandemic, it's changed the way nonprofit organization are reaching potential voters.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper sits for an interview with WUNC in the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Cooper addressed the opiod crisis affecting the state.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

A new state criminal justice panel formed in the wake of George Floyd's killing had its first meeting this week. The North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice is charged with finding solutions to racial disparities in North Carolina's criminal justice system.

Protesters in downtown Graham hold a Black Lives Matter flag on July 1, 2020.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

On July 1, a warm and muggy evening, a group of about 50 people gathered in downtown Graham to protest police brutality and racism. Most who drove by raised a clenched fist or thumbs up in support. Some flashed a different finger and had a different message.

This group of protesters followed very specific instructions. They stayed only in their designated corner of the small downtown square, located about halfway between Durham and Greensboro. And they stayed behind orange cones that police said were there for their protection.

brayan guevara
Lynn Hey

Some people choose their life's path. For others, it’s seemingly chosen for them. For 19-year-old Afro-Latino Brayan Guevara, his career goals can clearly be traced to his family.

Guevara comes from a long line of educators; his mother is a college instructor and his grandparents were teachers in Honduras.

Courtesy alamance-nc.com

Residents of Snow Camp, an unincorporated community in southern Alamance County, have taken legal action to demand that the county enforce the Heavy Industrial Development Ordinance. The ordinance regulates industrial land use for the health and safety of residential and commercial areas.

Gerry Dincher / Wikimedia Creative Commons

A street mural with an anti-racist message will make its debut in Fayetteville after council members changed their minds about what slogans should be used.

Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

A group of faith leaders in Greensboro, known as the Pulpit Forum, has demands for its city amid protests against police brutality.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners recently approved the use and purchase of a tactical vehicle for the Guilford County Sheriff's Office.

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