Defend democracy in the South.

Makaelah Walters

Julian Bond Fellow

Makaelah is the 2022 Julian Bond Fellow. She previously worked as a reporter for the Watauga Democrat and interned as an editorial assistant for the nonprofit advocacy group Appalachian Voices.

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Articles by Makaelah

NC hog farm buyout failure leaves vulnerable communities at risk

July 21, 2022 - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) pushed for the new state budget to allocate millions of dollars to close hog farms, which are concentrated in environmental justice communities in the state's increasingly flood-prone east. But the Republican-controlled state legislature, where the industry is a powerful force, passed a budget without the funds — and Cooper signed it.  

NEPA restoration buoys Gulf Coast enviros' fight with Big Gas

May 13, 2022 - With almost 20 new natural gas projects slated to open this year alone in Louisiana and Texas, environmental health and justice activists in the region say the Biden administration's recent restoration of transparency provisions in the National Environmental Policy Act, rolled back by its predecessor, will provide a critical shield for them in their battle with the industry.  

Democratizing Mississippi's electric cooperatives

April 8, 2022 - Facing South talked with three organizers in the nation’s poorest state who are part of a movement to bring greater democracy to rural electric cooperatives. Founded during the New Deal to power communities the big private utilities refused to serve, co-ops today stand accused of a lack of inclusivity and transparency, which organizers are working to change.

Commemorating Bloody Sunday at a crucial moment for civil rights

March 11, 2022 - Thousands of people gathered recently in Alabama for the 57th anniversary of the historic Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights, which was met with police violence as peaceful demonstrators tried to cross a bridge named for a Klan leader. This year’s event took place as state legislatures across the South are passing bills to limit voting and protesting.