DJ Simmons reports on communities of color for the Athens Banner-Herald in Athens, Georgia. He has worked as a reporter for the Westport News, where he covered local government and education in Westport, Connecticut. Simmons reported the news of Darien, New Canaan and Wilton, as well as statewide environmental issues, for Hearst Connecticut Media, a network of newspapers and websites. His work has earned him several awards from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. Simmons was editor-in-chief of the student-run Southern News at Southern Connecticut State University. While in college, he helped document descendants of World War I veterans for the Connecticut State Library. His hometown is Columbia, South Carolina.