Code Switch host and executive producer Shereen Marisol Meraji. Hide Nolwen Cifuentes caption
To the code switch family,
We are thrilled (and frankly devastated) that Shereen Marisol will be leaving Meraji Code Switch in August to open up some amazing new opportunities.
Initially, she will join the newest cohort of Nieman Fellows in September. The Nieman Scholarship brings together some of the most brilliant journalists in the world to study at Harvard, work on a journalism project, and think deeply about the world and the industry. She said the 22 journalists that make up the cohort will “focus their work on some of the most pressing issues the industry is facing, from racial justice to disinformation”. Shereen’s project will focus on issues that have always been close to her heart: creating media relevant and accessible to communities of color, working with young people, and reporting on Latin American communities in deeper and more nuanced ways.
She then goes to the University of California, Berkeley, where she becomes an Assistant Professor of Race in Journalism. In this role, she will train the next generation of journalists to tell compelling, nuanced and profound stories about race and identity.
If you know anything about Shereen, you know that in addition to being a great journalist, she’s also a mentor through and through. When she joined Code Switch as a founding member in 2013, she made sure that part of the team’s mission would be to nurture young colored journalists and empower them as storytellers and news editor. Countless journalists across the country can testify to how she helped them find their voice.
We will miss the grace, courage, sharp analysis, and deep sense of humanity that Shereen brought to her roles as host, reporter, and executive producer at Code Switch. In her time here, she helped turn the podcast from a sloppy team of storytellers who have no idea how to podcast (shhh!) To the premier show on race and identity in the United States. We have won numerous awards, including being named Apple Podcast of the Year in 2020, and have helped educate millions of people about how race shapes and influences every aspect of American life.
Shereen was a leader in conversations about Latinx identity, the changing demographics of the US and how this is affecting how we call ourselves and how we see ourselves, how history affects our present, the crucial role of language in the Identity building, the role of student activism in the pursuit of racial justice and how we express our identity through art. And she has many more stories ahead of her: She promised to return to Code Switch with special projects and series – so she will always be our founding mother and part of the Code Switch family.
For these and many other reasons, we look forward to her new adventures and the experience and expertise she will bring to both.
Speaking of her upcoming position as a professor at Berkeley, Shereen said, “I’m coming home to the bay where I grew up. My bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University laid a strong foundation for my understanding of race and identity, which I did I’ve built up over many years as a journalist. It’s a dream to come full circle, from a gator to a bear, and share what I have learned with the students at J-School in Berkeley. What I am Most I am excited about the potential to create groundbreaking journalism with the brilliant students and faculty I work with. We are about to take the podcasting world by storm! “
We’ll be here with updates on what this means for the future of Code Switch in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. But in the meantime, please congratulate Shereen on some amazing new starts.
And we’d love to hear from you: please email us at [email protected] to let us know what Shereen’s coverage has meant to you over the years. We’re determined to celebrate (and, OK, deeply embarrass her) before she ventures into new horizons.