Valerie is part of a team of reporters writing about race, gender, identity and values.

Latest Stories

Philadelphia councilmember introduces bill to ban discrimination based on natural hairstyles

If Cherelle Parker's bill passes, Philadelphia would become the first municipality in Pennsylvania to ban discrimination against African Americans who wear their hair in braids, dreadlocks, and twists, or ornamented with beads and barrettes.

Mildred V. Jackson, former Rosie the Riveter at Navy Yard, and retail worker, dies at 96

Mrs. Jackson attended public schools and graduated from Germantown High School. During World War II, she worked as a “Rosie the Riveter,” the nickname given to women who joined the war effort, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, said her daughter, Alma Reese.

A new generation of black female economists revives a Philly lawyer’s legacy with the Sadie Collective

They may not face the same racism and discrimination that Sadie T.M. Alexander encountered at Penn, but for young women in a field like economics, it can still be a lonely pursuit.

From indentured servant to university benefactor: This man’s $10,000 gift helped Villanova survive

Until Angelina Lincoln began researching the remarkable lives of William Moulden and his wife, Juliana, for her master’s degree, nearly everything that university administrators knew about them fit into a blurb on Villanova’s website.

Julia M. Perez, former nurse and mental health worker, known for her generosity, dies at 87

Mrs. Perez died Friday, Feb. 7, 2020 at the Edgehill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. “If all my mother had was $5, and you needed money, she would give you every penny of it,” her daughter, Lonna Evans, said. “She never cared about material things. She wanted to help people."

Arden Elizabeth Hill, a former teenage opera singer, and devoted wife and mother, dies at 83

Mrs Hill sang opera on a live radio show, ''Parisian Tailor's Colored Kiddie Hour.' She was the grandmother of Bobby Hill who sang for Pope Francis in 2015.

Felix M. Torres-Colon, executive director of New Kensington CDC, dies at 62

Felix M. Torres-Colon, who had been executive director of the New Kensington CDC for nearly three years, died Wednesday Feb. 5, 2020 at 62. He lived in Willingboro, NJ. He was known for promoting affordable housing and home ownership and neighborhood development.

Jackiel Emerson Irwin-Diehl, 17, a Kensington CAPA dance student, dies in a hit-and-run accident

A dance major at Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Mr. Irwin-Diehl loved ballet. “He was a lifelong ballet dancer,” said his mother, Rebecca Irwin-Diehl. "He had added hip-hop and modern and jazz as part of his major. But ballet was his heart."

Walk in Harriet’s shoes on two tours of Philly’s antislavery history

It's more than just Harriet Tubman: Philadelphia was an important stop on the Underground Railroad, and in the fight against slavery. And you can learn this history by walking it.

Russell J. Haskins, former Sony Pictures executive and real estate broker, dies at 59

“He was a very strong personality. He was a very intelligent, bright person. He didn’t try to pander to the expectations of others," said Attorney Douglas Jenkins of Haskins, a childhood friend.