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, and the host of the podcast Floodlines.

Senators Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren talk in a Senate room.

The Racial Wealth Gap Could Become a 2020 Litmus Test

With black votes in the balance in the Democratic primary, would-be candidates are already developing aggressive policies to target inequality.

An envelope from the United States Census Bureau

It’s Time to Worry About the Census

From cybersecurity issues to administrative problems to a legal drama over a possible citizenship question, the decennial head count is in trouble.

Sacramento demonstrators protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, on March 31, 2018

Police Shootings Are Also Gun Violence

Emphasizing policing as the primary means of addressing shootings will only lead to more deadly confrontations between officers and the citizens they’re sworn to protect.

Trump's EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real

A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency finds that people of color are much more likely to live near polluters and breathe polluted air—even as the agency seeks to roll back regulations on pollution.

Two people stand at a podium in Ohio

An End to Gerrymandering in Ohio?

A bipartisan compromise that just passed the state Senate would require minority-party support for political maps, and would limit the number of communities that could be splintered.

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.