Series documents diabetes in the Mississippi Delta and helps spark community change

Kaitlyn Wright, 22, pictured at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

In the multi-part series, “Diabetes: The Rising Storm,” Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting founder and reporter Jerry Mitchell, working with a team of students and photographers, exposed the human cost of this killer disease. With a grant from the Fund, the series highlighted the Mississippi Delta, which has the greatest frequency of diabetes of any community in the United States. This story chronicled how the community is fighting back, spurred by the center’s reporting, by putting in place systems for testing blood sugar and establishing programs to aggressively treat prediabetes before the disease becomes diabetes. While Mitchell led the reporting, he worked with students who comprise the center’s “immersion team,” and with photographers Rory Doyle and Blair Ballou.