Megan Sweas

Writer, Editor, Student of Life


Featured Work

Cuba’s gay rights revolution

Published by GlobalPost, June 29, 2012

HAVANA, Cuba — Niurka says she is “halfway out of the closet” as a lesbian in Cuban society. She doesn’t talk about her sexuality in public, and she’s thankful nobody asks at work. But with her curly cropped hair and more masculine dress — most notably gym shoes on an island where most women prefer sandals — she says she can’t conceal it. Continue reading “Cuba’s gay rights revolution”

Nigerian Student Finds Her Faith in Dialogue

Radio profile aired by The California Report as the second story in the 20Something series, May 25, 2012

SWEAS: The sun has yet to rise over her beige suburban house an hour east of Los Angeles. But Ajarat Bada is up, Quran in her lap, practicing her Arabic. Continue reading “Nigerian Student Finds Her Faith in Dialogue”

The Fire Next Time: Tibetan Protests Spread

Published by Religion Dispatches, March 28, 2012

DELHI—Shibayan Raha had worried that this would happen. At a protest against the upcoming visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, a 27-year-old Tibetan exile lit himself on fire and ran past the podium before police and other activists could douse the flames. Continue reading “The Fire Next Time: Tibetan Protests Spread”

Big Chef, Little Food Court

This project was produced for Annenberg’s Specialized Journalism multimedia boot camp, but it also may be the start of a bigger project telling the stories of Mercado La Paloma. Thanks to the instructors at USC, my partner Cara Rifkin, and our project advisor Rachel Neubeck

Summary: Chef Ricardo Zarate is having a tremendous 2011. He became one of Food & Wine‘s Best New Chefs, opened a restaurant, and is planning the opening of another. While he expands his business, the Peruvian chef is staying true to the roots with his cuisine and his first restaurant, Mo-Chica. Continue reading “Big Chef, Little Food Court”

Roads less traveled: An interview with Rick Steves

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, June 2011

As a tour guide, Rick Steves directs travelers to hotels, restaurants, and museums in Europe, but he points them to God in the developing world. Continue reading “Roads less traveled: An interview with Rick Steves”

Muslim on Main Street: An interview with Akbar Ahmed

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, May 2011

Once an international diplomat, anthropologist Akbar Ahmed now seeks to build bridges between American Muslims and their neighbors. Continue reading “Muslim on Main Street: An interview with Akbar Ahmed”

How not to talk about God: An interview with Karen Armstrong

Edited interview published in U.S. Catholic, January 2010

The current debates about God’s existence hardly lift us up to transcendence. Karen Armstrong shares a vision of faith that is less about proofs than practice. Continue reading “How not to talk about God: An interview with Karen Armstrong”

Under the gun

Published in U.S. Catholic, July 2009
Second for feature, Catholic Press Association
Honorable mention for feature, Associated Church Press

Urban violence takes a toll on children, but in Chicago, the Catholic Church is there to support them.  Continue reading “Under the gun”

Kenya rising

Photo story published in U.S. Catholic, March 2009

The growing Kenyan church responds to the challenges of a young democracy.

“Our mother, Kenya, we love you so much; we need you again,” sing the students at St. Joseph Freinademetz Primary School in Ruai, outside of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

In early 2008 Kenya abandoned her children. Continue reading “Kenya rising”

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