Betsy Shepherd

Coastal Reporter

Betsy Shepherd covers environmental news and is producing a podcast on the Civil Rights Movement in small-town Louisiana. She won a regional Edward R. Murrow award for a feature she reported on Louisiana’s 2016 floods.

Before joining New Orleans Public Radio, Betsy served as the managing producer of American Routes and online content coordinator at Indiana Public Media. She received her undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University and earned two master’s degrees in journalism and ethnomusicology from Indiana University.

In addition to her work at WWNO, Betsy is a freelance radio producer and reporter for the BBC and The Southern Foodways Alliance.

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Mark Roudané

Louisiana’s civil rights movement was spearheaded by two pioneering Black-owned newspapers published in New Orleans during the 1860s. L’Union and the New Orleans Tribune advocated for the abolition of slavery and voting rights for people of African descent during Union occupation of the city and the early Reconstruction era.

Betsy Shepherd

Hundreds marched through downtown New Orleans and flooded the interstate Tuesday night during the fifth consecutive day of protests organized in response to the police killing of George Floyd. 

Library of Congress 

New Orleans inherited its red beans and rice, Creole cottages and Caribbean drum rhythms from the people of San Domingue, the French colony now known as Haiti.

Patrick Madden / WWNO

Before the coronavirus, people would line the block waiting to get a table at Willie Mae’s Scotch House, a Treme neighborhood restaurant that serves world-famous fried chicken. Now the block sits quiet — the dining room closed indefinitely and line-forming a dangerous act.

Nicolas Henderson / Flickr

The New Orleans Police Department broke up large crowds of people gathered at two establishments on Magazine Street — Tracey’s and the Bulldog Uptown — on Saturday, the first day New Orleans businesses were allowed to reopen.