The AJC’s RE: Race team

The RE: Race team is dedicated to fostering a community discussion on race in Georgia. For general comments about our coverage, or to submit an idea for our First Person series or our Ask Us Anything feature, please email us at

Ernie Suggs 

A reporter at the AJC since 1997. Suggs has long covered civil rights and the many manifestations of race in politics, public safety and culture. He has covered racial tension in the streets of Ferguson and racial harmony at the Smithsonian African-American Museum. Suggs is the former national vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists. He asserts that his appreciation for Prince and the New York Yankees is unmatched. 

Bo Emerson 

Atlanta native and a longtime AJC feature and news writer. (At his first newspaper job, in South Carolina, Emerson claims to have used typewriters, copy paper and glue pots.) He has covered everything from Prince’s Purple Rain tour to the Olympic bombing. Emerson is also an accomplished musician who composes and performs the music for the AJC’s “Breakdown” podcast series. He is married to columnist Maureen Downey, and they have four children. 

Rosalind Bentley 

An award-winning writer, Bentley has been a reporter at the AJC for 13 years but began her career on the frozen tundra at the Minneapolis StarTribune. Her coverage has ranged from allegations of police brutality to the election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, to arts and culture. Though proficient in stories of 140 characters — @rozrbentley on Twitter — she’s a practitioner of long-form narratives and her work has recently been anthologized in the book Best American Newspaper Narratives. She was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist for race coverage during her time on the tundra. 

Willoughby Mariano 

An investigative reporter at the AJC on assignment with the RE: Race team, Mariano specializes in housing and criminal justice issues. She currently serves as national board representative for the local chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. Past recognition includes a National Headliner Award in investigative journalism, but her proudest achievement was that she lasted two months as a singer at an Italian restaurant. 

Helena Oliviero 

A features writer for the AJC for 15 years. Oliviero has written nearly 20 Personal Journeys, an award-winning AJC series spotlighting extraordinary individuals in our community. She grew up in Vermont and graduated from the University of San Francisco. Before joining AJC in 2002, she worked as a foreign correspondent in Mexico for Knight-Ridder. She writes compelling feature stories with health, relationship and lifestyle themes. She lives in Avondale Estates with her husband Brian and two daughters. 

John Perry 

Award-winning data specialist on The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s investigative team. Before joining the newspaper staff in 2008, Perry was the senior Computer-Assisted Reporting Fellow at the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative journalism organization based in Washington D.C. He performed the exhaustive data analysis that exposed widespread cheating in Atlanta Public Schools. 

Erica A. Hernandez 

A multimedia journalist and part of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution visuals team. Hernandez first came to the AJC during her undergraduate studies, as a summer sports intern. After graduating from the University of Florida in 2015, she was hired at the AJC via Cox Media Group’s Digital Talent Program. A Cuban-American from Miami, Hernandez is constantly searching for the perfect croqueta in Atlanta. 

Pete Corson 

An audience specialist for the AJC’s RE: Race and Enterprise teams. Corson designs digital presentations and produces AJC web pages – with a design pedigree that extends back more than 20 years to his work as a graphic artist and page designer. He was an award-winning page designer for the AJC’s opinion sections and has since developed a vast range of digital design, analysis and production skills. He has worked at the AJC since 1998. 

María Alejandra Bastidas 

Editor of MundoHispánico, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in Georgia. Bastidas manages a team of reporters, editors, photographers and video producers covering topics of interest to Latinos in the U.S., including immigration, politics and entertainment. Bastidas began her journalism career in the United States 17 years ago, covering the Latino community in Georgia. She was born in Caracas, Venezuela. 

Marcelo Wheelock 

Senior Editor of MundoHispánico. Wheelock manages the Atlanta newsroom on a daily basis and has been involved in the transformation of the newsroom from print to digital. He has been covering local and national news for more than 2o years and has been an editor for the past 13 years. He was born in California. 

Richard Halicks 

A senior editor at the AJC who is supervising the RE: Race team. Halicks was an intern at The Atlanta Journal in 1976. For most of the past 25 years he worked mainly as a line editor, supervising reporters and coverage, but he also spent three years in the late 1990s designing and then launching, which debuted in 1998. 

Leroy Chapman 

Deputy managing editor of the AJC with overall responsibility for the RE: Race initiative. Chapman, a native of Greenville, S.C., who previously worked at the State newspaper in Columbia, supervises local news, business, politics and local, state and federal government at the AJC.

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