Who We Are

Voices Beyond Borders is a collaborative effort by Andrea Hart and Courtney Brooks, two journalists who met while working in South Africa. They together covered the 2008 xenophobic attacks which saw more than 60 foreigners living in South Africa’s townships killed. They also covered the ensuing refugee crisis in which tens of thousands of foreign nationals were shunted to hastily-constructed camps around the country. Andrea also led a reporting project on Zimbabwean refugees which unearthed an illegal holding center where South African police were abusing orphaned immigrants.

Want to contribute? Email borderlessvoices@gmail.com or share your pictures and thoughts through Instagram (VoicesWithoutBorders) or Facebook. You can also follow our work on Twitter.

While we are focusing on the situation of immigrants in New York City and Chicago, we are open to submissions from anywhere in the U.S., as well as occasional stories from abroad.

Since then, Andrea returned to South Africa to report on the youth voting population during the country’s 2009 elections. After graduating from Northwestern University she served as the assistant news editor for Circle of Blue and recently worked as a local editor for AOL/Huffington Post’s Patch.com. She is currently a Chicago-based multimedia journalist exploring how online media gives voice to the voiceless by putting issues in the context of people. She experiments with community journalism that empowers youth and utilizes citizen reporting at Radio Arte, Yollocalli, Mikva Challenge, Digital Youth Network and Young Chicago Authors.


Courtney returned to South Africa twice, first working as an intern at Agence France Presse in Johannesburg and then as The Associated Press’ Cape Town correspondent. After graduating from Northeastern University in Boston she worked as a correspondent for GlobalPost in Cape Town during the 2010 World Cup. She then moved to Prague for a year-long fellowship at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, where she covered immigration, human rights violations and politics in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. She was hired by RFE/RL in late 2011 and now serves as the company’s United Nations and New York correspondent.

This is an independent blog and in no way connected to our present or past employers.

Voices Beyond Borders documents the experiences of immigrants and migrants from all walks of life in New York City and Chicago. Our central aim is to foster a greater understanding of these communities in our two cities.

We want to foster a democratic exchange of storytelling — open, honest and sincere.

We encourage submissions from anywhere in the U.S, as well as abroad. Please contact us if you would like to contribute: borderlessvoices@gmail.com.

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Who We Are