Rebecca E.J. Cadenhead

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism

Reporter Profile

Rebecca E.J. Cadenhead covers youth and juvenile justice for MLK50. Cadenhead graduated from Harvard University in 2023, where she studied Philosophy and African American Studies. Cadenhead has served as a Puffin Fellow at The Nation and a Ledecky Fellow at Harvard Magazine. She has also held several editing positions, including Associate Editor at The Harvard Crimson and Features Editor at the Harvard Advocate. Her work, which spans long-form journalism and narrative nonfiction, has been awarded a 2023 CASE Award and a 2022 Pushcart Prize.

Beat: Juvenile justice and Memphis youth

The reporter follows the lives of the 380,000 Memphians under 34, connecting with youth-led and youth supporting organizations. They talk to young people in the places they gather, virtually and in real life. They capture them as they mark milestones and navigate their city, cautiously and joyfully. They examine the policies and laws that shape young people’s experiences in Memphis, and spend time at juvenile court proceedings. They follow the various child welfare systems.