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 includes the series, "Perils and Promise," an in-depth series focused on the challenges of rural education in Vance County. Leoneda has also featured reports on "Organic Tobacco," "Rebuilding Slave Cabins" and traveled to Tokyo, Japan tracking the importance of North Carolina’s pork industry to that country.

Leoneda is the recipient of three Gracie Awards from the Alliance for Women in Media and several awards from the Associated Press, the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2006, she and a team of WUNC journalists won an Alfred I. DuPont Award from Columbia University for the series "North Carolina Voices: Understanding Poverty."

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, Leoneda traveled to Berlin, Brussels and Prague as a German/American Journalist Exchange Fellow with the RIAS Berlin Commission/RTDNF.

Ways to Connect

Lennon Lacy, Bladenboro, NC NAACP, Hanging
Leoneda Inge

Two years ago today, 17-year-old Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a swing set in a Bladenboro, North Carolina trailer park.

Durham, Black Banking, Cicely Mitchell, Art of Cool
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

From Atlanta to Chicago, black-owned banks in big cities across the country have reported a rise in new accounts during the past month. One of the oldest black-owned banks in the country is based in Durham, where bank officials report a rise in new accounts and in a new movement to keep the momentum going.

American Underground
www.americanunderground.com

African-American startup companies are vying for a coveted spot in Durham's Black Founders event.

Durham-based American Underground, along with the Google for Entrepreneurs Exchange Program, is organizing the week-long event later this year as a way to encourage diverse business startups, according to Jessica Averhart, American Underground's Director of Corporate Partnerships. 

Southern Season, Food, Gourmet Food, Chapel Hill
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Chapel Hill-based gourmet food retailer Southern Season was auctioned off today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Greensboro, before Judge Benjamin Kahn. 

Calvert Retail of Delaware acquired specific assets of Southern Season stores for $3.5 million.  The acquisition includes all of Southern Season's intellectual property, its website and the Chapel Hill store.

Durham CAN, Durham, Jerome Washington, Fayette Place
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

A couple hundred people gathered in a historic African American Durham neighborhood Wednesday to bring attention to one of the last, undeveloped plots of land near downtown.

Bettie Murchison
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

About 100 people gathered in downtown Raleigh Thursday evening to mark a "Black Lives Matter National Day of Action."

In Durham, another seven people chained themselves to a railing outside the Durham Police Department to protest the recent shooting deaths of African American men by police.

The protests were among several demonstration across the country in the weeks after recent shootings by police of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana.

Protestors said they wanted to bring attention to local issues related to police accountability, according to Rukiya Dillahunt.

East Durham, Durham, Police, Poverty, EDCI
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Editor's note: This story is part of an occasional series on what area community leaders and residents are doing to balance "peace and pride" in their neighborhoods.

Every Friday in the basement of the Maureen Joy Charter School on South Driver Street in Durham, families get a bag of food packed with oatmeal, fruit bars, noodles, tuna, fruit boxes and more.

Neal Moore checks on the next batch of blueberry crop to be harvested soon.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

At the Ivanhoe Blueberry Farms in Sampson County, many of the blueberry bushes are close to eight feet tall now, with plants so close, visitors can hardly see from one row to another.

two 23-year-old women play Pokemon GO
Elizabeth Baier / WUNC

Hundreds of Pokémon Go fans swarmed the Durham Bulls Ballpark and nearby American Tobacco on Tuesday, intent on using their phones to catch as many of the exotic monsters as possible.

NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber, left, and Ervin Farmer Jr., Grand Knight Director for the Eastern and Coastal Region of The Prince Hall Masons, bow their heads in prayers with children to honor the victims of recent police shootings.
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Flanked by a group of children from the North Carolina Prince Hall Mason Youth Assembly in Raleigh, the president of the state's NAACP spoke poignantly Friday morning about the recent deaths of two black men and five police officers thousands of miles away.

Durham, Durham Rescue Mission, Golden Belt Historic District
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Despite opposition, it’s looking more like the Golden Belt Local Historic District will include a controversial block of property owned by the Durham Rescue Mission.

Durham’s Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Commission support protecting the last of the old mill houses near the historic Golden Belt manufacturing factories.

Ann Atwater, Durham, Civil Rights, Ku Klux Klan
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

Durham Civil Rights activist Ann Atwater – best known for the relationship she forged with her biggest enemy, a member of the Ku Klux Klan – has died. She was 80.

Atwater's fight for justice began at home where she lived in dilapidated housing with no electricity. She tirelessly fought for better housing for blacks in Durham.

Civil War, HB2, Race, Bennett Place
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

When you look closely, what does the face of North Carolina look like?

 Some say North Carolina, one of the fastest-growing states in the nation, is facing an identity crisis. And the controversy surrounding House Bill 2, the new state law that limits transgender access to bathrooms, hasn’t helped the state’s changing identity.

RuPaul's Drag Race, HB2, Equality NC, Race
Courtesy of Salima Al-Ismaili

Big name entertainers have canceled several North Carolina concerts and shows because of their opposition to House Bill 2.  But not RuPaul’s Drag Race, which performed Sunday in Durham.

Lots of fans for RuPaul’s Drag Race at DPAC came to see their favorite queen—men dressed as flamboyant women, for entertainment.

NC NAACP, Voter ID, Ben and Jerry's
Leoneda Inge / WUNC

North Carolina Central University was the back-drop for the unveiling of a new flavor of ice cream by Ben and Jerry’s.  It’s called “Empower Mint.”

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield stood side-by-side with North Carolina NAACP’s the Reverend William Barber to reveal the new flavor, with a voting rights theme.

Corn, Agriculture, AgTech Accelerator
Leoneda Inge

It used to be hard to convince blue chip investors to put millions of dollars into agricultural technology startups.

But times are changing. Last week, a new business accelerator launched in Research Triangle Park with $11.5 million.

RDU, Paris, Delta Air Lines
Leoneda Inge

The new non-stop Delta Air Lines flight to Paris, France from Raleigh-Durham International Airport took off without a hitch Thursday night.

Community and business leaders celebrated along with Delta staff.  They say the Paris flight is a sign North Carolina’s economy has rebounded since the recession, and is growing.

The Delta Air Lines, RDU, Paris party consumed at least four gates. There were balloons, sweets from Cary’s La Farm Bakery and lots of pictures.  But the real action was at gate C-15 as passengers prepared to board their flight to Paris.

Stethoscope
jasleen_kaur / Flickr Creative Commons

A new collaboration between SAS and the Duke Clinical Research Institute will provide researchers from around the world with an enormous database of patients who have suffered from heart disease.

Matt Gross is Director of Health and Life Sciences Global Practice at SAS.  He says the database is the largest cardiovascular database around and will eventually help find new ways to treat heart disease.

Krispy Kreme, JAB Holding Company
Leoneda Inge

A German conglomerate is buying Winston-Salem-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in a billion dollar deal that will take the company private.

JAB Holding Company is buying Krispy Kreme for about $1.35 billion. Several experts say it’s a sweet deal. The German conglomerate is paying $21 a share, a 25% premium over what Krispy Kreme was worth at market close on Friday.

Bennett College for Women, Wells Fargo, Financial Advisors
Bennett College

There’s a national movement to make sure the nation’s financial advisors look like the clients they serve.

But before that can happen, there needs to be a larger number of financial advisors in the pipeline.

A new partnership between Wells Fargo and Bennett College for Women sets out to help solve the problem.

HB2, House Bill 2, Chambers of Commerce
New Media Campaigns

The state legislature begins its short session today. Regardless of the official calendar, the issue on many people’s minds is North Carolina’s new law limiting discrimination protections.  Local business groups are calling for its repeal.

Raleigh Police Shooting, Akiel Denkins
Leoneda Inge

No charges will be filed against the white Raleigh police officer who shot and killed a young black man he was trying to arrest back in February.

The Wake County District Attorney’s office has ruled that police officer D.C. Twiddy shot Akiel Denkins in self-defense.

Reginald Askew
Kartemquin Films

Thousands of documentary film-lovers are in Durham this week for the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.  Close to 100 films from around the world will be featured, but one film in particular hits close to home.

The documentary “Raising Bertie” will have its world premiere at the festival.  It follows the lives of three struggling young men in Eastern North Carolina.

Robert Wagner, Bragg N East, Raleigh Police
WagzFilm.com

The shooting deaths of black men by white police officers over the past few years has brought about much tension in city neighborhoods across the country.

They're raising questions like, “What happened to community policing?”

Perils And Promise, Vance County Schools, Carolina College Advising Corps
Carolina College Advising Corps

Trying to find the best path to success can be tough for students who don’t have enough support at home or at school.  This has been found to be true in many rural school districts, across the state, including Vance County.

To help address the problem, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill established the first college advising corps in the state, to reach those hard-to-reach students.  We take a closer look at the advising corps in our series, Perils & Promise: Educating North Carolina’s Rural Students.

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