Clara Morris (MSJ94)

Masked person holding child.

The coronavirus crisis gets personal with the recently completed COVID-19 Writers Project (C19WP), a multimedia archive by Medill graduate Clara Zawadi Morris.

The COVID-19 Writers Project is a nod to the Federal Writers Project (FWP) conceived by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) that produced the Slave Narrative Collection. These first-person narratives are archived in the U.S. Library of Congress and are considered some of the most important historical records to date.

Similarly, C19WP is a hyperlocal examination of the pandemic through first-person narratives (10 videos, and 10 written and photos essays) from inside one of the virus’s early hotspots – Brooklyn, NYC. The COVID-19 Writers project was supported by The National Geographic Society’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists, ThePulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and The American Medical Association. From the formerly incarcerated, to the struggling college student to the emergency room doctor, these first-person narratives offer an inside view of the pandemic’s diverse impact on America’s everyday citizens, ultimately helping to answer: What is the crisis telling us about who we are as a society today?