Explorations

In the spirit of the Out of Eden Walk, students from the University of Richmond set out to report on their city using the techniques of slow journalism. This spring the students focused on Jackson Ward, a historic African-American neighborhood in the heart of downtown Richmond. Their storytelling projects are presented below.
Go to Sunday Culture

Sunday Culture

Sunday is a special day in Jackson Ward, where people from the community fill more than 15 churches with song and prayer. In all corners of the neighborhood, people rely on church leaders and their fellow congregants to provide a source of strength through good times and bad.

Go to Fault Lines

Fault Lines

The streets of Jackson Ward are vital arteries that bring new life and prosperity flowing into the community. They also show the lasting effects of a manmade impediment, and how Jackson Ward and Gilpin Court, once integrally connected, were split by an interstate highway into two very different communities.

Go to Neighbors

Neighbors

Jackson Ward today is in transition, from a historically African-American community to one that includes white professionals, students, immigrants, and many others. A walk through this changing neighborhood reveals the individual identities that make communities like Jackson Ward so complex and interesting.

Go to Rejuvenations

Rejuvenations

Jackson Ward’s rich legacy has roots in a distinctly African-American Southern culture, including fine food and entertainment. Two Jackson Ward institutions–the Hippodrome Theater and Mama J’s Kitchen–embody the community’s commitment to both preservation and rejuvenation.

Go to Doing Business

Doing Business

Once a thriving center for African-American commerce symbolized by banker Maggie Walker, Jackson Ward suffered a decline in the 1960s and 70s that persisted for decades. Today the neighborhood is enjoying a commercial renaissance of sorts, primed by a diverse business community and new types of customers.

Go to The Far Side of 95

The Far Side of 95

Gilpin Court lies on the far side of Jackson Ward, isolated since the 1950s by an interstate highway, I-95, that divided this once-thriving community. Today, Gilpin Court is mostly known as a sprawling complex of low-income housing projects. Still, there is culture and life in even the most forgotten places.

walk, report, share.

Student reporting at the University of Richmond
Slow Journalism

Our class, like the Out of Eden Walk, is designed to explore the creative frontiers of Slow Journalism, a movement away from the super-fast, superficial coverage that dominates modern news media, and towards a more in-depth, deliberate, mindful approach to narrative storytelling using the latest tools of digital technology.

Field Dispatches

Student reporting from the streets of Richmond, Virginia.