Dawn Cherie Araujo’s love of writing began at the age of 12 with her first novella, and her love for magazine journalism blossomed in high school where she served as editor of the school magazine and co-editor of the school’s literary magazine.
In 2010, she graduated from Ball State University’s magazine journalism program where she served as assistant editor of Ball Bearings magazine. She will complete her master’s degree in urban and intercultural studies from Cincinnati Bible Seminary in December 2012. Dawn is a member of the Religion Newswriters Association and the International Association of Religion Journalists, and her favorite journalists are Gay Talese and Christiane Amanpour.
When she’s not geeking out about journalism and religion, Dawn is passionate about human rights (particularly as it relates to food workers and child soldiers), Russian literature, and yoga. Dawn is a recent Pinterest convert and likes making her own organic beauty products.
Posts By This Author
Journalism and the Sacred Work of Disseminating Knowledge
There’s an old adage in journalism that if it bleeds, it leads. It sounds kind of savage and it’s often that principle people quip when complaining about excessive violence in the news.
That criticism isn’t wrong. Just watch 10 minutes of nightly news, and you’ll probably see nothing but murders and robberies, as if that’s the only thing that happens on a daily basis.
But what I think we forget when criticizing the bleed/lead principle is the inherent value it places on human life. The way I learned it in journalism school, “if it bleeds, it leads” means that people matter. It means that the loss of human life should never be something we consider a banality and that if there’s bloodshed, we, as journalists, have an obligation to report it.
In a perfect world, that would work. (Well, actually, in a perfect world, there would be no bloodshed for journalists to report, but you know what I mean.) But the problem that Gareth Higgins identifies in “A Newsfeed of Fear” (Sojourners, May 2015) is not so much the excessive coverage of suffering, but the callous coverage of it.
Instead of promoting the sanctity of life as I think it was originally intended, media coverage of crime and violence has been twisted into a formulaic script that serves only to create the must-watch, must-read news that brings in advertising dollars. And it can be hard to stomach that much disingenuousness.
Yet the solution is not a positive-news only model. There are media outlets — largely Christian ones — trying this, but I don’t think this approach adequately addresses what’s wrong with the mainstream media. For one thing, it does nothing to fix the problem of formulaic, disingenuous stories. People can fake happiness, too, you know. Furthermore, there are times when we actually need more bad news — like, for example, when black women disappear or when migrant farmworkers are being abused.
With gun violence on the rise in Indianapolis, local churches are responding with prayer and a ministry of presence.
AUDIO: Kathy Kelly's Defiant Peace Activism
As Ramzi Kysia writes in "The Song Remains" (Sojourners, August 2013), after decades of work, Kathy Kelly’s commitment to peace and nonviolence remains strong. When Sojourners editorial assistant, Dawn Araujo, caught up with her in June, Kelly was between visits to Afghanistan and her work with the Afghan Peace Volunteers. She was spending her “down” time protesting drones, nuclear weapons, and organizing a U.S.
Four Questions for Khaipi
Khaipi, a peace studies professor in Thailand and a Chin religious freedom activist
AUDIO: The Cosas, an Iraqi Christian family
An interview with an Iraqi Christian family
Five Questions for Susan Burton
Susan Burton, founder of A New Way of Life Reentry Project
No Room at the Inn: Women's Facility Loses Battle With Fortune 500 Company
It’s a hard truth that, in the real world, Goliath sometimes beats David.
In the July issue of Sojourners, I wrote about the battle to save the Anna Louise Inn and how Cincinnati’s faith community has come together for the fight. Run by Cincinnati Union Bethel, a small non-profit, the Inn has provided safe and affordable housing for women in the city for 104 years and is one of Cincinnati’s most revered institutions.
But last Monday, Cincinnati Union Bethel announced it was selling the Anna Louise Inn to Western and & Southern Financial Group after a two-year legal battle.
“The needed resources, time and energy to this litigation has diverted focus from our other successful programs,” they wrote on their website. “This settlement and purchase agreement allow us to dedicate ourselves to our mission of serving women and children.”
Cincinnati Union Bethel owns both the Inn and the land on which it sits, but Western & Southern – a Fortune 500 company located across the street – wanted the property to build high-end real estate. So, when Cincinnati Union Bethel received $13 million in federal tax credits to renovate the Inn, Western & Southern sued them and the city of Cincinnati.
AUDIO: The Battle for the Anna Louise Inn
As Sojourners editorial assistant Dawn Araujo recounts in “No Room at the Inn,” from the June 2013 issue, Christians in Cincinnati have stood up to a corporate giant trying to bully the Anna Louise Inn—a small, local nonprofit that provides affordable housing to single women.
But Christians aren’t the only ones fired up.
PHOTOS: A Historical Look at the Anna Louise Inn
The Anna Louise Inn first opened in 1909. Built on the Taft family’s front yard, the Inn provided safe and affordable housing for women in Cincinnati. Since then, the Inn has become a revered Cincinnati institution. Click on the gallery below to view some images of the Inn’s history.
No Room at the Inn
Cincinnati's faith leaders cross denominational lines to standup to a corporate bully.
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