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Casey Parks

Casey Parks is a staff reporter covering New Orleans and Mississippi. Prior to joining The Hechinger Report, she spent a decade at The Oregonian, where she wrote about race and LGBTQ issues and was a finalist for The Livingston Award. She was the assistant editor of The Jackson (Mississippi) Free Press and the inaugural winner of the New York Times' Win a Trip to Africa with Nicholas Kristof contest. In high school, she worked before and after classes at The Alexandria Daily Town Talk in Central Louisiana. There, she fielded angry calls on the circulation desk in the morning and retyped press releases in the afternoon. The editors rewrote her first story, but she still keeps a copy of it in her desk. She earned a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where she also studied race, poverty and education.

Recent Stories

From prison to dean’s list: How Danielle Metz got an education after incarceration

Just 4 percent of formerly incarcerated people have a bachelor’s degree. Now, a movement to raise that number is gaining momentum as Congress reconsiders a ban on Pell grants for prisoners, and some states seek to prevent universities from barring felons

With white students becoming a minority, public universities push harder to diversify

In Louisiana, a flagship university president argues the lack of black students on campus isn’t just a moral problem; it’s bad for the financial future of the university

Girls Coach Katie Lucky-Heard (left, white shirt) delivered a half-time pep talk to her team. “Tú puedes,” she said. You can do it.

Immigrant students once barred from sports can now play in Louisiana

The state’s athletic association lifts a rule requiring social security numbers after an outcry by educators and activists

Girls Coach Katie Lucky-Heard (left, white shirt) delivered a half-time pep talk to her team. “Tú puedes,” she said. You can do it.

Immigrant students find hope in soccer, but some states won’t let them play

A charter school’s teachers discover sports help them reach struggling students, but the state athletic association won’t let them play without social security numbers

The new convocation center at Xavier University is seen in New Orleans, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. Student Landan Moore says Xavier is his dream school.

A college scholarship meant to help low-income, black students now serves mostly white, middle-class kids

Not TOPS anymore? Louisiana may cut scholarship program that used to be a national model