Acid Attack in Milwaukee, Wis., for The New York Times

I met with Mahud Villalaz for two minutes outside his home in Milwaukee, Wis. as he was healing from being attacked with acid. Villalaz, a U.S. citizen, received second-degree burns to his face and recalled his attacker saying, “You came here to invade.”

Read the article by John Ismay in The New York Times

BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing Communities) in Milwaukee, Wis.

BLOC (Black Leaders Organizing Communities) Executive Director Angela Lang and her team discuss their strategies for informing the public about the upcoming local and presidential election at their office in Milwaukee, Wis. Photographed for Zora.

Student Loan Debt, for Buzzfeed News

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LAKE MILLS, WIS. – Dec. 6, 2019: Ethan James at home in Lake Mills, Wis. Dec. 6, 2019. James works multiple jobs in an effort to pay down crippling student debt. Photo by Lauren Justice for Buzzfeed News
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LAKE MILLS, WIS. – Dec. 6, 2019: Ethan James at home in Lake Mills, Wis. Dec. 6, 2019. James works multiple jobs in an effort to pay down crippling student debt. Photo by Lauren Justice for Buzzfeed News
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LAKE MILLS, WIS. – Dec. 6, 2019: Ethan James at home in Lake Mills, Wis. Dec. 6, 2019. James works multiple jobs in an effort to pay down crippling student debt. Photo by Lauren Justice for Buzzfeed News
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LAKE MILLS, WIS. – Dec. 6, 2019: Ethan James at home in Lake Mills, Wis. Dec. 6, 2019. James works multiple jobs in an effort to pay down crippling student debt. Photo by Lauren Justice for Buzzfeed News

New Rules for Bats Leave Youth Baseball Parents With the Bill, For The New York Times

James Card and Joe Drape wrote about the change in bat standards for USA Baseball. I went to a little league practice in Waupaca, Wisconsin to see the bats and meet some of the players and families affected by the expensive requirements.

WAUPACA, WI-MAY 20, 2018: Ryder Vergauwen, 10, yells in excitement while holding a new USA Baseball approved bat after hitting a home run in home run derby at the end of practice. Players on the 10U Waupaca baseball team practice Sunday, May 20 at Swan Park in Waupaca, Wisc. USA Baseball has created a new standard for baseball bats that requires a specific barrel size, rendering most previously approved bats unacceptable for play. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
WAUPACA, WI-MAY 20, 2018: Assistant Coach Brian Hoezel hits balls with a bat that is no longer approved for play by USA Baseball. Players on the 10U Waupaca baseball team practice Sunday, May 20 at Swan Park in Waupaca, Wisc. USA Baseball has created a new standard for baseball bats that requires a specific barrel size, rendering most previously approved bats unacceptable for play. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
WAUPACA, WI-MAY 20, 2018: John Zeamer, 10, poses for a portrait with his new USA Baseball approved bat Sunday, May 20 at Swan Park in Waupaca, Wisc. USA Baseball has created a new standard for baseball bats that requires a specific barrel size, rendering most previously approved bats unacceptable for play. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
WAUPACA, WI-MAY 20, 2018: Austin Aclanczak, 10, in the batting cage with a new USA Baseball approved bat. Players on the 10U Waupaca baseball team practice Sunday, May 20 at Swan Park in Waupaca, Wisc. USA Baseball has created a new standard for baseball bats that requires a specific barrel size, rendering most previously approved bats unacceptable for play. Lauren Justice for The New York Times

Ben Franklin Store Closing, For Isthmus

The Ben Franklin store in Monona was a community staple on a month-to-month lease. The new owner of the building decided not to renew their lease. Read the story here.

 

MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Customers buy what they can in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. Tom Retzlaff, one of the owners, checks out a customer at the counter. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Customers leave notes of encouragement and love in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Donna Birchfield, 50, has found a cart full of items to purchase in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. Birchfield is saddened by the loss of the store, and the nostalgia that comes with a community staple like this. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Aisles are being cleared out in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JUNE 11, 2018: Customers buy what they can in the last days of business at The Ben Franklin store in Monona Monday, June 11, 2018. The business’ landlord is not renewing their month-to-month lease. Lauren Justice for Isthmus

Police Relations on a Wisconsin Reservation, for Buzzfeed News

I spent a week in the winter of 2017 with reporter John Stanton on the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin to meet and talk with people affected by the shooting of 14-year-old Jason Pero by Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich.

Stanton writes, “The lack of information since Jason’s shooting has only compounded tensions here, laying bare the deep-rooted, systemic racial divisions between the Bad River tribe and the white community of Ashland. ‘This has been going on for generations and generations, and it’s not going to stop,’ Bigboy said.

Read the piece here and view published and unpublished images below.

 

ODANAH, WI-NOV. 27, 2017: The sun rises over The Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin Nov. 27, 2017. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-NOV. 27, 2017: A memorial has been set up and tended to by neighbors on The Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin. Jason Pero, a 14-year-old, was shot and killed by Ashland County Sheriff’s Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich on Nov. 8, 2017. Flowers, photos, candles, and messages have been placed against the water tower next to Pero’s home. Pero was killed while walking down the street next to his home. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ASHLAND, WI-NOV. 28, 2017: Sandra Gokee, a family member of Jason Pero, was placed on paid administrative leave after posting what Ashland Superintendent Keith Hilts describes as defamatory and inflammatory posts on social media. Pero, 14, was shot and killed by Ashland County SheriffÕs Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich on Nov. 8, 2017. Gokee is holding her daughter, Ali Nevala, 1, on her lap. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-NOV. 29, 2017: Mike Wiggins Jr, Bad River Tribal Chairman, poses for a portrait at The Chief Blackbird Center on the Bad River Indian Reservation. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ASHLAND, WI-NOV. 30, 2017: The Ashland County Law Enforcement Center in Ashland, Wis. Ashland County Sheriff’s Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich shot and killed Jason Pero, 14, on the Bad River Indian Reservation on Nov. 8, 2017. In August of 2016, Corrections Officer Christopher Bond killed himself after he was caught sexually assaulting female inmates at the jail. There are currently five women filing lawsuits against Ashland County, the county sheriff and the county jail administrator sexual assault and harassment. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ASHLAND, WI-NOV. 28, 2017: Jason Pero’s grandmother, Cheryl Pero. Jason Pero, 14, was shot and killed by Ashland County Sheriff’s Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich on Nov. 8, 2017 on the street outside of his home. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ASHLAND, WI-NOV. 28, 2017: Pictures and a poem written by Jason Pero. Pero, 14, was shot and killed by Ashland County Sheriff’s Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich on Nov. 8, 2017. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ASHLAND, WI-NOV. 30, 2017: Councilman Richard Ketring poses for a portrait at his business in Ashland, Wis. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-DEC. 02, 2017: Jason Pero’s eighth grade classmates organized a community unity walk from outside Pero’s home on The Bad River Indian Reservation where he was shot to downtown Ashland for a total of 12 miles. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-DEC. 02, 2017: Jason Pero’s eighth grade classmates on US Highway 2 during a unity walk. Pero’s eighth grade classmates organized the community unity walk to begin outside Pero’s home on The Bad River Indian Reservation where he was shot and continue to downtown Ashland for a total of 12 miles. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-DEC. 02, 2017: Vinny Bender, 13, one of Jason Pero’s best friends, speaks into the megaphone during the start of the walk. Jason Pero’s eighth grade classmates organized a community unity walk from outside Pero’s home on The Bad River Indian Reservation where he was shot to downtown Ashland for a total of 12 miles. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-DEC. 02, 2017: Supporters of Jason Pero run on the side of US Highway 2 during the community unity walk. Jason Pero’s eighth grade classmates organized a community unity walk from outside Pero’s home on The Bad River Indian Reservation where he was shot to downtown Ashland for a total of 12 miles. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-DEC. 02, 2017: Sandy Gokee, Jason Pero’s cousin, during the community walk. Jason Pero’s eighth grade classmates organized a community unity walk from outside Pero’s home on The Bad River Indian Reservation where he was shot to downtown Ashland for a total of 12 miles. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-DEC. 02, 2017: Family, friends, and community members stop for a break during the 11 mile walk to Ashland. Jason Pero’s eighth grade classmates organized a community unity walk from outside Pero’s home on The Bad River Indian Reservation where he was shot to downtown Ashland for a total of 12 miles. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-DEC. 02, 2017: Drummers welcome the walkers into Ashland. Jason Pero’s eighth grade classmates organized a community unity walk from outside Pero’s home on The Bad River Indian Reservation where he was shot to downtown Ashland for a total of 12 miles. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News
ODANAH, WI-NOV. 27, 2017: Jason Pero’s neighborhood, Maple Street, on The Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin. Pero, a 14-year-old, was shot and killed by Ashland County Sheriff’s Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich on Nov. 8, 2017 while walking down the street next to his home. Lauren Justice for BuzzFeed News

Group Exhibit at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC.

For the last two years I have participated in a three-year mentorship program led by Jim Estrin and Ed Kashi. There are 15 of us in the group, and we have all been working on personal passion projects. On February 1, Johns Hopkins hosted the opening night of our group’s first exhibit together. Roughly 200 people attended the opening to view our work.

Sharing pieces of their projects, mentorship participants, friends, and colleagues Kara Frame (NPR), Griselda San Martin (documentary photographer), and Salwan Georges (Washington Post) were joined by our mentors Ed Kashi and Jim Estrin to discuss the impact that photojournalism can have on policy. Please click the link to hear the conversation.

(courtesy iPhone photo of the panel discussion)

Women’s March on Madison, for Isthmus

As many as 100,000 people participated in the Women’s March down State Street to the Wisconsin State Capitol on January 21, 2017. I was there for Madison’s local alternative weekly, Isthmus.

MADISON, WI-JAN. 21, 2017: People gather for the Women’s March in Madison, WI Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JAN. 21, 2017: People gather for the Women’s March in Madison, WI Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JAN. 21, 2017: People gather for the Women’s March in Madison, WI Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JAN. 21, 2017: People gather for the Women’s March in Madison, WI Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JAN. 21, 2017: Sagashus Levingston of Infamous Mothers cries as she addresses the crowd that gathered for the Women’s March in Madison, WI Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JAN. 21, 2017: People gather for the Women’s March in Madison, WI Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JAN. 21, 2017: People gather for the Women’s March in Madison, WI Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JAN. 21, 2017: Token Minority, a local band, performs for the crowd during the Women’s March in Madison, WI Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Lauren Justice for Isthmus
MADISON, WI-JAN. 21, 2017: Joan Jacobson, 58, center, a social studies teacher in Madison, stands on the steps of the State Capitol. People gather for the Women’s March in Madison, WI Sat. Jan. 21, 2017. Lauren Justice for Isthmus

Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese, For Eating Well Magazine

Located in the driftless region of Wisconsin, Uplands Cheese has won more awards for their Pleasant Ridge Reserve Cheese than any other cheese in American history, according to their website. I photographed Andy Hatch, co-owner, for an article Eating Well Magazine was doing on him and their farm.

DODGEVILLE, WI -AUG. 17, 2016: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese August 17, 2016. Lauren Justice for Eating Well
DODGEVILLE, WI -AUG. 17, 2016: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese with cheesemaker Andy Johnson, left, August 17, 2016. Lauren Justice for Eating Well
DODGEVILLE, WI -AUG. 17, 2016: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese August 17, 2016. Lauren Justice for Eating Well
DODGEVILLE, WI -AUG. 17, 2016: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese August 17, 2016. Lauren Justice for Eating Well
DODGEVILLE, WI -AUG. 17, 2016: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese with cheesemaker Andy Johnson, left, August 17, 2016. Lauren Justice for Eating Well
DODGEVILLE, WI -AUG. 17, 2016: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese August 17, 2016. Lauren Justice for Eating Well
DODGEVILLE, WI -AUG. 17, 2016: Andy Hatch of Uplands Cheese August 17, 2016. Lauren Justice for Eating Well

Fighting Compulsive Gambling: Sandra Adell, for The New York Times

Sandra Adell, 70, a literature professor in the Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, spoke with The New York Times about her gambling addiction late in life. Adell, originally from Detroit, chronicled the struggles she encountered and survived coming of age in Michigan, the move to Madison, WI and the addiction that she never expected to have in her book “Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen.”

I photographed her in her office at the University.

MADISON, WI-APRIL 26, 2017: University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Sandra Adell sits for a portrait Wed. April 26, 2017 in her office. Adell is in recovery from an addiction to gambling, and is the author of the book, Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen. Lauren Justice for The New York Times
MADISON, WI-APRIL 26, 2017: University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor Sandra Adell sits for a portrait on campus Wed. April 26, 2017. Adell is in recovery from an addiction to gambling, and is the author of the book, Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen. Lauren Justice for The New York Times