The Trace is excited to announce the arrival of four new members to the staff of the only nonprofit media organization dedicated to covering America’s gun violence crisis. Three newsroom hires will expand our reporting in Philadelphia and on public health and helm our newsletters. Our first director of people and operations will support our organization as we continue to grow our journalism.
Mensah Dean is our new staff writer in Philadelphia, where he covered education, courts, and City Hall over more than a decade at the Philadelphia Daily News. After the News merged with The Philadelphia Inquirer, he became an enterprise staff writer, covering justice and injustice in the city. In 2022, Mensah and several of his colleagues were named Pulitzer Prize Finalists for Explanatory Reporting for their coverage of gun violence.
Fairriona Magee joins as The Trace’s first full-time reporter devoted to covering gun violence through the lens of public health. Fairriona recently earned a master’s degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, where she concentrated on science writing. Her reporting has primarily examined health disparities in marginalized communities and environmental justice. She is also the creator of the Tropes & Stereotypes newsletter, which explores her areas of expertise with a focus on race, class, politics, and culture.
Sunny Sone will serve as associate newsletter editor, taking over the writing of both our daily Bulletin and weekly emails, as well as developing new offerings. Sunny previously worked as a copy editor at The Intercept and served as both digital and engagement editor at the Texas Observer. They graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and were a co-publisher of Preachy, a publication about religion and spirituality, as part of the Brick House media cooperative.
Candace Anderson is The Trace’s first-ever director of people and operations. An experienced and accomplished nonprofit leader, Candace served as Director of Human Resources, Diversity, Inclusion & Culture at Depaul USA, a growing organization that provides housing and services to people experiencing homelessness. Candace’s former colleagues praise her empathy, her knack for spotting potential and supporting professional development, and her ability to just make good things happen. Earlier in her career, Candace ran operations for a department of Catholic Charities of Chicago and managed grantmaking for the Chicago Foundation for Women. She received a bachelor of arts in Nonprofit Management and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from DePaul University, and in addition to her full-time work, runs a resume-writing service dedicated to unlocking opportunities for the people she serves.
Candace started at The Trace in August, and Mensah and Fairriona began in early September. Sunny begins September 20.