From prom to deportation
January 31st, 2013
08:32 AM ET

From prom to deportation

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

(CNN) – Even three years after the fact, Fredi Alcazar Dominguez still trembles thinking about his deportation.

[3:35] "They put you on a bus to the border and then at the border they just leave you at your own risk."

Alcazar Dominguez spent five days in Mexico before crossing the border illegally back into the United States. Then and now he has found himself in a kind of limbo.

The 23-year-old was brought to this country illegally by his parents when he was just eight years old. Deported just shy of his high school graduation, he doesn't qualify for the deferred action enacted by President Barack Obama last year.

Hear the full story on CNN's Soundwaves blog
'Endangered' Atlanta historic district seeks rebirth
At Wheat Street Gardens, farmers see a line connecting their work with that of Auburn Avenue's most famous residents.
August 25th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

'Endangered' Atlanta historic district seeks rebirth

By Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - Monday through Saturday John Harris holds court at the Silver Moon Barber Shop on Auburn Avenue. There, amid the whirring fans and TV soaps, he greets clients, many he's known for decades.

Cutting hair is a family trade, one he took up after serving in the Army. It puts food on the table, he says, but more important, it affords Harris the opportunity to visit with people. In between clients, he sits reading the paper, looking up to share words with passers-by.

Silver Moon opened in 1904. It was one among many businesses run by African-Americans, for African-Americans, along Auburn Avenue. During the period of segregation this street was called the "richest Negro street in the world." The street existed because of the bleak realities of segregation, but in those days the corridor had a vibrant feel.

"This was a street full of people on Friday and Saturday nights. If you were in a car it would take you perhaps 15 or 20 minutes to go a block," recalls Wellington Cox Howard, a small-business owner on Auburn Avenue.

When Howard first arrived in Atlanta in the 1960s he made a beeline for the street. He had his first meal on Auburn, resided on the street, and when he graduated from college in 1970s, he decided to open his insurance business there.

But by that time, change had already arrived on Auburn. Howard recalls telling a friend about his decision to open up shop there.

"He said why do you want to go to Auburn Avenue? He said the city has integrated. He said we've all left."

Before integration, Howard says, Auburn was a city unto itself. African-Americans would come here for doctor's appointments, they'd come for entertainment, they'd come for banking and to start large construction projects. When integration came, African-American businesses spread throughout the city and the corridor lost much of its vibrancy.

This year, for the second time, the Sweet Auburn District was listed as endangered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a private nonprofit organization. This designation does not mean automatic funding for improvements, but the group says the attention often galvanizes efforts at preservation.

Read the full story

Embed America: Wide open spaces but reservation residents don't feel free
Calvin "Hawkeye" Waln says raising allegations of abuses against his reservation's police department cost him his job.
August 9th, 2012
12:35 PM ET

Embed America: Wide open spaces but reservation residents don't feel free

By Lisa Desjardins and Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN

Listen: Native Americans confront police brutality on reservation

Rosebud, South Dakota (CNN) – They are watchwords of both parties: freedom and liberty.

But when Embed America went to South Dakota we found a place where many say that both are threatened and the problem is ignored. The Rosebud Sioux Reservation includes one of the poorest counties in the nation, but residents talked with us more about their concerns that the tribal police force is part of a broken justice system.

We spoke with Calvin “Hawkeye” Waln, a recently fired police officer who made some serious charges.

[3:14] “You're talking violations of civil rights, excessive use of force is one. You’re talking spraying handcuffed suspects with pepper spray to physical police brutality where the officers end up injuring or breaking bones from assaulting somebody.”

Waln says his reporting these problems led to his ouster. The police department would not comment on why he was fired.

This comes after years of upheaval in the Rosebud police force. Two chiefs of police were fired in the past four years amidst corruption allegations, then the second chief was reinstated in the past few weeks.

Read the full story on CNN's Soundwaves blog

Moms discuss 'My 12-year-old son knows he could be Trayvon'
The mothers of these boys talked to CNN about how they discuss race in their homes.
April 12th, 2012
11:41 AM ET

Moms discuss 'My 12-year-old son knows he could be Trayvon'

By Gavin Godfrey and Emma Lacey-Bordeaux, CNN Radio

(CNN) - Christy Oglesby’s column, “My 12 year-old-son knows he could be Trayvon Martin,” stirred a lot of conversation when it published last month. It drew more than 8,000 recommendations on Facebook and 1,400 comments on the In America blog.

While her son is fearless the way only 12-year-old boys can be, she wrote that she warns him not to run, not to speak too loudly, not to fight back. Because he is black, she worries he will always be a victim and a target.

“His race gives me much more to fear than his fearlessness,” she said.

But we felt like there needed to be even more dialogue about it. We invited Oglesby and her friend, Sandra Bemis, to our studio. Oglesby’s son, Drew, and Bemis’ son, Slater, are best friends; their photo was atop Oglesby's column. We wanted to have a conversation about how their mothers were raised and how they’ve talked to their kids about race since Trayvon Martin’s death.