Tanya Ballard Brown

Tanya Ballard Brown is an editor for NPR. She joined the organization in 2008.

As an editor, Tanya brainstorms and develops digital features; collaborates with radio editors and reporters to create compelling digital content that complements radio reports; manages digital producers and interns; and, edits stories appearing on NPR.org. Tanya also writes blog posts, commentaries and book reviews, has served as acting supervising editor for Digital Arts, Books and Entertainment; edited for Talk of the Nation and Tell Me More; and filed on-air news reports. She also has laughed loudly on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast and Facebook Live segments.

Projects Tanya has worked on include Abused and Betrayed: People With Intellectual Disabilities And An Epidemic of Sexual Assault; Months After Pulse Shooting: 'There Is A Wound On The Entire Community'; Staving Off Eviction; Stuck in the Middle: Work, Health and Happiness at Midlife; Teenage Diaries Revisited; School's Out: The Cost of Dropping Out (video); Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty; Living Large: Obesity In America; the Cities Project; Farm Fresh Foods; Dirty Money; Friday Night Lives, and WASP: Women With Wings In WWII.

Tanya is former editor for investigative and longterm projects at washingtonpost.com and during her tenure there coordinated with the print and digital newsrooms to develop multimedia content. She has also been a reporter or editor at GovExec.com/Government Executive magazine, The Tennessean in Nashville and the (Greensboro) News & Record.

In her free time, Tanya fronts a band filled with other NPR staffers, sings show tunes, dances randomly in the middle of the newsroom, takes acting and improv classes, teaches at Georgetown University, does storytelling performances, and dreams of being a bass player. Or Sarah Vaughan. Whichever comes first.

General Motors workers made big concessions to help pull the automaker out of its 2009 bankruptcy. Now, the company is making record profits.

But, the Warren Transmission plant in Michigan shut its doors at the tail end of June, and most of the workers have been placed at other plants. It's a ghost factory.

An annual survey that asks Americans about crimes they've experienced showed that the rate at which those surveyed said they had been raped or sexually assaulted nearly doubled from 2017 to 2018.

The 2018 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), released Tuesday, is managed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Justice Department, and asks people if they've been victims of crimes — even if they didn't report them to police.

Jury selection is set to begin Friday for the white former Dallas police officer who shot and killed her unarmed black neighbor in his apartment last year. Amber Guyger said she entered the apartment by mistake and thought 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean was a burglar.

Police officers involved in a shooting that left a 31-year-old Minneapolis man dead on June 23 won't face charges, the district attorney announced on Monday.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill said on Friday he would not resign and instead demanded an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against him.

In the lead-up to Independence Day, Oregon state Rep. Janelle Bynum — a black woman — was out canvassing her constituents in Clackamas, as she is up for re-election this fall.

But according to Bynum, her door-to-door stops raised alarm bells for someone, who called the police.

Next week, Bill Cosby goes to court again to face three counts of aggravated indecent assault for allegedly drugging and molesting Andrea Constand more than a decade ago.

Last June, a jury couldn't decide whether to convict or acquit the 80-year-old celebrity on these allegations, resulting in a mistrial.

Now, there's a new jury, new defense attorneys and, with the #metoo movement, a new era of accountability for sexual assault. If found guilty, Cosby faces up to 10 years behind bars for each count.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed legislation tightening gun restrictions in the state. Among other things, the legislation raises the legal age for gun purchases to 21, institutes a waiting period of three days, and allows for the arming of school personnel who are not full-time teachers.

In a statement, Scott's office highlights mental health provisions in the bill:

New York City is one step closer, as part of a larger plan, to shutting the doors on the Rikers Island jail complex. On Wednesday, city officials announced an agreement to start a public review process of proposed sites for smaller jails in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.

"This agreement marks a huge step forward on our path to closing Rikers Island," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "In partnership with the City Council, we can now move ahead with creating a borough-based jail system that's smaller, safer and fairer."

As the year draws to a close and the news cycle continues to reset every day, let's pause and revisit some of the most important news events from 2017.


The Inauguration

If you've been convicted of marijuana-related crimes in California, you might be able to have your record wiped clean or the charges greatly reduced under a provision in the state's new marijuana law, Prop 64. More than 4,000 people have already petitioned the courts about their records and sentencing.

The police response to the Pulse nightclub massacre in 2016 followed protocol, but more training and better coordination are needed moving forward, according to a new 200-page review from the Justice Department and the Police Foundation.

Afshin Shahidi misses Prince.

"Nothing seemed impossible, everything was possible for him," he says. "And that's just the way he lived his life and the way he communicated and wanted us to live our life."

The Iranian-born Shahidi grew up in Minneapolis and met Prince in 1993 when he got a call to come to work on a music video shoot as a film loader. Shahidi didn't know how to load film. But, it was for Prince(!) so like a true fan, he jumped at the opportunity to bask in the royal purple glow, and decided to sort out the film loading stuff on the fly.

As investigations continue into the terrorist truck attack in New York City that left at least eight people dead and several more injured on Tuesday, officials are shoring up security for Sunday's kickoff of the New York City Marathon.

With more than 51,000 runners expected, the annual 26.2-mile race is one of the largest in the world. As many as 2.5 million spectators could be along the race route.

Two weeks ago he locked arms and knelt with his players before the national anthem, then stood with them as it played. Now, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says players who "disrespect the flag," won't take the field.

In the 1990s, Johnny Holmes was head of security at a high school in Blue Island, Ill., when he met Christian Picciolini, a teenage student who was the leader of a local neo-Nazi group.

"I put you through hell," 43-year-old Picciolini said to Holmes during a recent visit to StoryCorps. It was the first time in 18 years the two had sat down with each other to talk. "I mean there were fights, there were words that we had those years that I was there."

Holmes, who is 71 and a school board member now, agreed, describing Picciolini as rough at the time.

When police entered 64-year-old Stephen Paddock's 32nd-floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo says, they found "in excess of 10 rifles."

William Weaver was 14 and a rising high school sophomore in the fall of 1964.

He was also one of 14 black students integrating the all-white West High School in Knoxville, Tenn.

"As soon as we got into the school, the principal was calling the roll. He said, 'Bill Weaver,' and I said, 'My name is William.' And he said, 'Oh, you're a smart N-word.' I'd been in school maybe 30 minutes and he suspended me," Weaver, 67, says, while recounting his first day at school during a recent visit to StoryCorps.

Though the violence has ended in Charlottesville, Va., debates and protests continue and Confederate statues and monuments are being removed all over the country.

Wally Funk has spent her life in pursuit of a dream. The pilot, flight instructor and almost-astronaut longs to go to outer space.

In 1961, she was part of a group of female pilots who took part in tests to determine whether women were fit for space travel. The project was run by the same doctor who developed tests for NASA astronauts and the women became known as the Mercury 13.

While college campuses struggle with consent, and when and how "no means no," a nearly 40-year-old court case in North Carolina says a person can't be charged with rape if their partner revokes consent during sex.

Mass shootings in Orlando, Fla., Alexandria, Va., and San Francisco during the first two weeks of June — two of them on the same day — have once again put America's complicate

A year ago, a gunman opened fire in Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Deonka Drayton was one of the 49 people killed that night, in what was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Drayton was 32 at the time, and had a son with Emily Addison.

"She had a beautiful voice, the most amazing smile, and she smelled so good all the time," Addison said during a recent visit to StoryCorps.

The two moved to Florida together in 2012, and Drayton hated the heat.

When Anthony Planakis was going through the New York Police Academy, they told him to write his interests down on a little card.

"Beekeeping, of course I put that down," says 54-year-old Planakis, who is a fourth generation beekeeper. "And the very first job, the sergeant comes right up to me and I just look up and go, 'Hey, Sarge,' and he goes, 'Bees?' and I go, 'Yeah, where?' 'Harlem.' And I go, 'Cool.' That was it, that was the first job I handled," he says.

Pages