Emily Cureton

Born and raised in Texas, Emily Cureton found her way to the West Coast as a print journalist. She joined JPR’s team in April 2015.
A lifetime student of history, her own background spans various media and cultures, from wrangling Russian ballerinas in New York City to road tripping through Mexico and Central America in a van. 
Emily graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, followed by stints in New York City, Marfa, Texas and Crescent City, California. 
She’s a fan of impactful journalism, pushing buttons and surfing. Emily is responsible for booking guests on the Jefferson Exchange and is always looking to hear from community members about interesting events and important topics.

Editor's note: This story contains descriptions that may be offensive.

Objects from the past fill every corner of the Farmers Co-op Antiques Mall in central Oregon: decoy ducks nested among the rusty typewriters, musky clothes and toys made for children who grew old long ago.

The floorboards creak as customers wander this maze of booths. A couple of months ago, one glass display case looked a lot like dozens of others full of knickknacks. But something inside the well-lit case made 15-year-old Lily Gallentine do a double take.

Shortly after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, 28-year-old Josie Stanfield organized a Black Lives Matter protest in the Central Oregon town of Prineville, home to about 10,000 residents. Fewer than 1% are Black.

"The reason I did this was because I went to high school here, and I didn't have a good time in the community. I've always been targeted for being Black since high school," Stanfield said.

She remembers classmates throwing food at her or whispering the N-word in the hallways.

Updated on March 23 at 12:21 p.m. ET

Orders to stay home leave many people glued to their screens. In rural Oregon, some people are turning their time on social media into tangible help for neighbors coping with coronavirus.

"I never thought I would say this, but we're using Facebook to express love to our neighbors in really meaningful ways," said Morgan Schmidt, moderator of a group for Bend, Ore. residents, where housebound people can crowdsource help with daily tasks.

Some rural Oregonians are so frustrated by Democratic politics that they want to leave the state.

But not by moving elsewhere.

Instead, a group is seeking to change the map itself, so that most of Oregon and a chunk of Northern California would break off and join Idaho, a Republican-majority state. Move Oregon's Border For a Greater Idaho succeeded in getting petitions approved for circulation in two rural Oregon counties this month.