Mary Jackson

Mary is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute mid-career course and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and four children. Follow Mary on Twitter @mbjackson77

Mattel

Wrestling with death

Media | Increasing interest in Día de Muertos reveals a cultural desire to reckon with mortality
by Mary Jackson
Posted 9/20/19, 12:35 pm

The sugar skull, an emblem of Mexican folk holiday Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is this year’s must-have Halloween decor, plastered on succulent vases, wreaths, mugs, and pillowcases. Mattel recently announced its new Day of the Dead Barbie, adorned with a floral dress and a skull-painted face, and Nike released a tennis shoe in honor of the holiday, with colorful piping and ever-so-faint sugar skulls.

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Associated Press/Photo by Jacquelyn Martin

Leveling the playing field for faith-based HBCUs

Education | Trump opens funding to religious schools, citing recent Supreme Court decisions
by Mary Jackson
Posted 9/18/19, 03:05 pm

Despite comprising only 3 percent of the nation’s four-year colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) have produced 80 percent of the country’s African American judges, 50 percent of its African American doctors, and 27 percent of African Americans with STEM degrees, according to the Department of Education. Until last week, the federal government excluded more than 40 HBCUs that are faith-based from a program that loans out money for campus improvements.

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YouTube/TBN

Bob and Larry ride again

Media | Phil Vischer talks about the return of VeggieTales and what he learned from failure
by Mary Jackson
Posted 9/13/19, 05:10 pm

Sixteen years had elapsed since Phil Vischer wrote a VeggieTales episode, and he didn’t know how easily he could bring the characters back to life. But Vischer decided to try after the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) approached him last year and asked him to present Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and the rest of his botanic, Bible-teaching creations from the 1990s to a new generation.

“I started writing, and Larry walked through the door,” Vischer told me. “It was surprisingly easy for them to start talking to me again.”

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