Juana Summers

Juana Summers is a political reporter for NPR covering demographics and culture. She has covered politics since 2010 for publications including Politico, CNN and The Associated Press. She got her start in public radio at KBIA in Columbia, Mo., and also previously covered Congress for NPR.

She appears regularly on television and radio outlets to discuss national politics. In 2016, Summers was a fellow at Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service. Summers is also a competitive pinball player and sits on the board of the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA), the governing body for competitive pinball events around the world.

She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and a native of Kansas City, Mo.

Lizzie Bond was just shy of being old enough to vote in the 2016 presidential election.

She supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz during the primary. But when Donald Trump became the Republican Party's presidential nominee, Bond made a different choice: She supported Hillary Clinton's campaign instead.

"You know, it was actually a harder decision to decide who I wanted to support within the lineup of Republican candidates than it was to decide whether to support Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton," said Bond, who is now 21 and a senior at Duke University.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Last week's Republican National Convention offered direct appeals to a new generation of voters. It showcased figures like Madison Cawthorn, a congressional candidate in North Carolina.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

A couple of years before California Sen. Kamala Harris announced that she would run for president, she returned to Howard University to speak to the graduating class.

"First, to lead and to thrive, you must reject false choices. Howard taught me, as it has taught you, that you can do anything and you can do everything," Harris told the 2017 graduates.

After attending elementary school in Berkeley, Calif., and high school in Montreal, Harris decided on Howard and was focused on becoming a lawyer.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

As the coronavirus pandemic has upended normal balloting, more than half of voters under the age of 35 say they don't have the resources or knowledge they need to vote by mail in November, according to a new poll.

The poll was conducted by Global Strategy Group for NextGen America, a group that is focused primarily on engaging and turning out young voters.

When Timothy Berry decided to attend the U.S. Military Academy West Point, patriotism was one of his driving factors. He describes it as an active verb, not merely "a flag waving."

"I have always had a profound appreciation for what this country has said its ideals are," Berry said. "But being a Black American, in particular, one that served in uniform, I've quickly realized that there were just a lot of contradictions in there."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The doors of Greater New Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit have been closed for weeks.

The 95-year-old church's pews are empty. Ministry continues, with no in person presence. What Pastor Kenneth Flowers says he misses most are "holy hugs."

"When church is dismissed, I say, 'Give someone a holy hug and everyone turns and we always hug each other,' " Flowers said. "I thrive off of the physical contact of being able to hug my members, to hug my families, to hug my friends, to hug visitors. I miss that so very much."

Former President Barack Obama delivered a virtual commencement address on Saturday, urging the tens of thousands of graduates from historically black colleges and universities to "seize the initiative" amid what he described as a lack of leadership from leaders in the United States to the coronavirus pandemic.

Four years ago, Joe Biden took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to the Rocky theme, looking out over a crowd of delegates waving red and white signs that bore his name. He encouraged fellow Democrats to unite and rally around Hillary Clinton.

Now, as Democrats plan to hold the convention that will nominate Biden, the chances that he'll bask in the same kind of scene this year seem ever more distant, as the Democratic Party faces the possibility of a limited in-person presence or virtual gathering.

Pages