Cassie M. Chew is a writer, editor and video producer who covers politics and policy. A Chicagoan living in D.C., she will drop almost everything to screen a good documentary film. Follow her on Twitter @indiefilmfan.


Posts By This Author

To ‘Insure Domestic Tranquility,’ We Must Establish Justice, Preaches Rev. Barber

by Cassie M. Chew 01-22-2021

Rev. Dr. William Barber III preaching in 2016

President Joe Biden’s inaugural address emphasized the need to foster unity in the U.S. The next day, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber III challenged the country to go a step further: to become what Isaiah 58:12 calls “repairers of the breach.”

The ‘People's Inauguration’ Swears Allegiance to Dignity, Justice, Joy

by Cassie M. Chew 01-21-2021

Photo by Cody Pulliam on Unsplash

Valarie Kaur, Simran Jeet Singh, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, and other interfaith leaders team up to heal their communities.

Handcuffs, Tear Gas, and Spy Planes

by Cassie M. Chew 01-15-2021
Nonviolent activists like Rev. Graylan Scott Hagler have been more forcefully detained than Jan. 6 rioters.

Law enforcement officials prepare to detain protesters gathered in D.C. in 2018. Rachael Warriner /

Less than a week into the new year, the country watched in shock as hundreds of rioters used metal pipes and tear gas against police to gain entry into the U.S. Capitol, ransacking congressional offices for several hours while the nation’s elected leaders, who had convened to certify electoral votes, huddled for cover. But faith-based communities and other justice advocates saw something like this coming.

From the Pulpit to Politics: Why Clergy Run for Office

by Cassie M. Chew 01-05-2021

Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Ga., in 2014. Jaime Lee / Public Broadcasting Atlanta / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

With five ministers elected to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives in the newly sworn-in 117th Congress, the pathway from serving in a house of worship to public office hasn’t been uncharted. But it is unique.

The U.S. Undercounts People In Poverty—By 106 Million, Advocates Say

by Cassie M. Chew 12-15-2020

Belongings on the lawn of an evicted house in Detroit. Peek Creative Collective /

“There are a lot more people who are poor, but living above the poverty line,” said Anne Price, president of the Insight Center, an economic justice advocacy group based in Oakland, Calif. “The measure that we use is so antiquated, not just in how it calculates a household budget and what's left out, but also because it doesn't reflect real, contemporary lived experience, different household types, or regional differences.”

Is Obama’s ‘Promised Land’ Still Possible in This Divided Nation?

by Cassie M. Chew 12-04-2020
The cover of Barack Obama's new memoir, A Promised Land.

The cover of Barack Obama's new memoir, A Promised Land.

The scripture-inspired title of Obama’s latest book comes from the idea that a better America ― one that lives more fully into its democractic promise ― is still possible. “[E]ven if we experience hardships and disappointments along the way, that I at least still have faith we can create a more perfect union. Not a perfect union, but a more perfect union,” Obama told CBS 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley in a Nov. 16 interview.

Trump Touted the First Step Act to Win Black Votes. Did It Work?

by Cassie M. Chew 11-18-2020

Calvin Williams canvasses in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 28, 2020 for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRCC), an organization led by formerly convicted people dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions. REUTERS/Octavio Jones

“We understand that this policy is being used to distract us from the fact that you are policing us at a greater rate than ever before,” said Brittany White, who spent five years at an Alabama correctional facility after being convicted of drug trafficking and now works to engage newly enfranchised voters. “We are not fooled by this First Step Act and the other minor policies that have been implemented.”

Have White Christians Changed Since 2016? Not Much, Early Data Says

by Cassie M. Chew 11-05-2020

President Donald Trump attends a service at the International Church of Las Vegas in October 18, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Preliminary exit polling indicates that religious voters maintained many of the political allegiances they have kept for the past several decades — with one possible exception: white Catholics. About two-thirds, or 68 percent, of voters who identify as Christian cast their ballots for President Donald Trump while 31 percent voted for Joe Biden, according to the latest numbers from Edison Research, which conducts a national exit poll for the news media.

To Reach 100,000 New Voters, This Chicago Pastor Turned to Film

by Cassie M. Chew 10-28-2020

Elijah Moss, Rev. Otis Moss Jr., and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III are pictured filming for Otis' Dream. Image courtesy Otis Moss III.

In an effort to call faith-based communities to action during the 2020 election season, his grandson Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, shares his family’s story in the 14-minute film, Otis’ Dream.