Walking Richmond is a Slow Journalism project by the University of Richmond students in the city of Richmond, Virginia. During my time in the project, I was part of a team covering the Jeff Davis Corridor.
Located just south of the James River, Jefferson Davis Highway Corridor is a part of U.S. Highway 1, once the primary north-south road corridor serving the eastern United States. For decades, dating to the completion of I-95, this area has been synonymous with social decay, and, more recently, with large-scale immigration from Latin America. With help from friends at the Sacred Heart Center, we set out to illuminate the challenges of living in Jeff Davis in 2017 while highlighting the rich, nuanced culture that has emerged with its changing demographics—a strong immigrant community, trailer park cities and one last attempt at revitalization.
At the time, President Trump had just moved into the White House and launched a war against Sanctuary cities, so the most challenging part was to get people to talk.