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Mensah M. Dean

Before joining The Trace, Mensah was a staff writer on the Justice & Injustice team at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he focused on gun violence, corruption and wrongdoing in the public and private sectors for five years. Mensah also covered criminal courts, public schools and city government for the Philadelphia Daily News, the Inquirer's sister publication. A native of Washington, D.C., Mensah began his career at The Washington Times. His freelance work has appeared in People and Vibe magazines. In 2022, Mensah was part of a team of Inquirer reporters who were Pulitzer Prize finalists for explanatory reporting for their yearlong chronicling of the impact of gun violence on Philadelphia. In 2019, he was named print journalist of the year by the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. In 2017 he received the Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalistic Excellence and a $10,000 prize from Morgan State University's School of Global Journalism and Communication for writing a series of articles about a man who, at the time, had spent 37 years in solitary confinement. He graduated from Bowie State University in Maryland.