Vann R. Newkirk II

Vann R. Newkirk II

Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy.

Surgeons doing a procedure in an operating room

Puerto Rico's Dire Health-Care Crisis

Over a month after Hurricane Maria, citizens are still facing limited access to medical help and the increasing threat of illness.

The flooded exterior of the paper mill and proposed incinerator site in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

After Environmental Catastrophe, Can Puerto Rico Chart a Sustainable Future?

Hurricane Maria has exposed and intensified the island’s ecological crisis and its human consequences.

A barbed-wire fence encircles a pit of muddy-looking water and felled trees

The Looming Superfund Nightmare

As unprecedented hurricanes assault coastal U.S. communities, residents and experts fear the storms could unleash contamination the EPA has tried to keep at bay.

A house with a Confederate flag is pictured.

Growing Up in the Shadow of the Confederacy

Memorials to the Lost Cause have always meant something sinister for the descendants of enslaved people.

Members of Charlottesville's Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church pray on Sunday after the "Unite the Right" rally.

Black Charlottesville Has Seen This All Before

The return of violent white-supremacist rallies to the city is a special threat to its African American community, but not a new one.

An illustration of a woman and two boys

The Poisoned Generation

The story of a decades-long lead-poisoning lawsuit in New Orleans illustrates how the toxin destroys black families and communities alike.

Where's the Best Place to Live Under the American Health Care Act?

New data shows just how arbitrary premium increases might be for Americans if the GOP plan becomes law.

The Forgotten Providers

Home-care workers are increasingly vital to the future of our healthcare system, but they face obstacles rooted in racism and sexism.

How a Museum Reckons With Black Pain

The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture is at once triumphant and crushing.

Voter Fraud Laws Are All About Race

Courts are recognizing that the intent of many new voter laws is not to improve democracy, but to discriminate.

Mayors vs. Trump

City leaders across the U.S. see the Republican nominee’s rhetoric as a threat to their diversity and inclusivity.

Why Virginia's Restoration of Voting Rights Matters

By re-enfranchising people with felony convictions, the state confronts its Jim Crow legacy.