Living Downstream


NC image web SMChicken Country, North Carolina: Justice on the Factory Floor, was reported and produced by Victoria Bouloubasis. Audio editing and mixing by Bridgette Cyr; the story editor was Claire Schoen.

The partners who made this story work include Northern California Public Media, Mensch Media, Southerly Magazine, and Enlace Latino N.C. Additional support provided by National Geographic COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists.

Steve Mencher is the host and senior producer for Mensch Media.

The Living Downstream theme music is by David Schulman. Other music from Kokura Station, Dorica, Origami and Fjell via Blue Dot Sessions.

Special Thanks to Esmeralda, Marta and her family, Lariza Garzon, Shorlette Ammons, Leah Douglas, Tracey Simmons-Kornegay, Lauren Vied Allen, Von Diaz, Yesenia Cuello, Melissa Bailey Castillo and Jon Gregory.

Thanks also to Gray Media Group and WBTV; and Melissa Henry of WITN.

Follow or subscribe to Living Downstream on Apple Podcasts; comment on it and rate it there, and find it wherever you get your podcasts. Lately a lot of you have been connecting via Spotify. Thanks! You'll also find more about us on NPR One.

Living Downstream thanks our sponsors who make this podcast possible. A list is available at

Later this summer, we're heading out to California for a story from the Salton Sea. We'll see you then!

[PHOTO: Esmeralda. CREDIT: Bridgette Cyr] 

Multiple times a week at vaccination clinics for food industry workers in eastern North Carolina, Esmeralda runs the show. She is seen training other women at the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry how to organize Latinx neighbors to get vaccinated in their rural communities.

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