NEW YORK — The Associated Press has hired two veteran journalists to join its national reporting team that covers race and ethnicity.

Katrease Stafford and Aaron Morrison will join the AP's Race and Ethnicity team and write about how race intersects with topics such as politics, criminal justice, government federal policies, climate change, religion, entertainment and sports. They will work closely with AP journalists around the country and world to deliver smart and impactful journalism on the issues of race and inequality, with a sharp focus on the 2020 campaign.

Stafford is currently an enterprise and investigative reporter at the Detroit Free Press, and Morrison is a senior reporter at The Appeal, a national nonprofit criminal justice outlet where he covers policing, incarceration and criminal justice reform.

"These two hires are significant and exciting steps that are central to the AP's goal of expanding coverage of race and themes of inequality, especially as we get deeper into the 2020 campaign season," said Noreen Gillespie, the AP's deputy managing editor for U.S. news. "Kat and Aaron are outstanding reporters who from day one will help the AP broaden our coverage in this area."

"The impressive journalism that Aaron and Kat have done — and will continue to do — aligns well with the visions of the Race and Ethnicity team and AP," added Andale Gross, news editor for the AP's Race and Ethnicity team. "Both are strong at breaking news, delivering first-rate investigative journalism and uncovering compelling stories on topics that help drive the conversation about race in America."

Morrison previously worked at The Record in Bergen County, New Jersey, and at Mic, and was an intern for the AP in Baltimore. He has written extensively about race in America, including civil rights reform, police shootings, the Black Lives Matter movement, racial disparities in the criminal justice system and the case of a white supremacist convicted of killing nine churchgoers in South Carolina.

He is an Oakland, California, native, a longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a 2008 graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism.

As an investigative reporter at the Free Press, Stafford has exposed rampant problems with Detroit's demolition program since it was launched in 2014 to combat blight, including environmental and equity concerns in the predominantly African American city. Her reporting has led to congressional inquiries, proposed city legislation and a pending federal audit of the program.

Stafford, a Detroit native, is a 2019 Ida B. Wells Investigative Fellow. She graduated in 2012 from Eastern Michigan University with a degree in journalism.

The Associated Press

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