Liz Jones

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2006

Liz reports on immigration and emerging communities for KUOW. Her work covers issues within our region’s growing immigrant and refugee populations, as well as stories connected to minority groups with a longer history in the area.

She comes to KUOW after several years at an online news startup, which was later bought by Oxygen Media in New York.  Her last position there was health editor for the network’s website.

Liz has also lived in Spain and Peru and speaks Spanish. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, with a degree in communications.

Liz’s work for KUOW has taken her to Mexico and India. Both those reporting trips produced award-winning documentaries. In 2009, Liz received a regional Murrow award for a documentary about indigenous Mexicans who migrate to the Seattle area. In 2014, she won a national Gracie award and RTNDA’s Kaleidoscope Award for a series that focused on immigration-related links between India and the Puget Sound region.

Her work has also been heard on national shows including NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, PRI's The World, Latino USA, Marketplace, The Takeaway and BBC News Service.  

Ways to Connect

Osman Mohamed of Somalia.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

He thought it would be paradise.

Instead, he found guns, violence and struggle. 

Osman Mohamed, of Somalia, and his three daughters, ages 2, 4 and 5. Osmon hoped to find paradise in Seattle, but in his first year, his family witnessed a shooting and he was hit by a car.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

For many refugees, the first year can feel like a race against the clock to set up a new life.

You get a little cash up front and a few months of help from a social worker.

Then, you’re mostly on your own.


A large tree prevented this tent, next to the deceased's, from also being run over.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

An investigation continues into the death of a homeless teenager in Seattle. The man was camped in his tent near an Interstate 5 off-ramp when a car struck him early Monday morning.  

Tu Tu – people from Burma don't have last names – at his cousin's two-bedroom apartment in Kent. His arrival upped the number of people living there to nine.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Tu Tu is his full name, because Burmese people don’t use last names.

He is 20 when he arrives in Seattle. With his long bangs and torn jeans, he looks American.

It terrifies him that he can’t speak English. How will he get by if he can’t communicate? It’s a fear he pushes out of his mind. He’s not supposed to be a kid anymore.

Audio Pending...

The couple won't say why they left Iran.

Did something bad happen?

"Yes," Peiman Karimi, the husband, says. "Not me. To Neda.”

Neda Sharifi Khalafabadi says she doesn’t feel comfortable to talk about it because it would bring everything back. All she says is her case is religious. The rest is confidential.

The U.S. defines a refugee as someone with a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country. Iran is a majority Muslim country. Religious minorities face discrimination, surveillance and arrest.


Tu Tu on his first shopping trip.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW's race and culture reporter Liz Jones about her series about refugee resettlement in the Puget Sound region.  Jones tracked three refugees from the moment they arrived in this country until about eight months in, which is when their federal benefits run out and they’re on their own to make it in America.  

The goal was to show what their lives are like, the obstacles they’re up against as they race against the clock to start a life here.

Sean Conner (left) speaks about his fear of a police encounter while driving.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Anger, fatigue, frustration, resolve.

Those were some emotions that surfaced at a community gathering Thursday with Seattle police. It was a meeting of SPD’s African American Advisory Council, on the heels of a string of tragedies and tension across the country. 


Mount Calvary member Vera Brooks greets a newcomer at Sunday service.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

After a week of tragedy and racial tensions, Sunday church services gave people a place to talk about it, especially within black congregations in the Seattle area

KUOW's Liz Jones visited the morning service at Mount Calvary Christian Center in Seattle’s Central District.

An appeals court in Seattle heard arguments Thursday in a far-reaching immigration case. The central question is whether minors who face deportation should be appointed lawyers at the government's expense.


Activists and anarchists lived at 1643 King Street for at least 40 years. They called it the King Street Collective.
Courtesy of Ronni Tartlet

If this house could talk, what stories would it tell?

About the Irish-American couple that first owned it?

And the Japanese family sent to an internment camp?

Or the anarchists that played drums during the WTO protests?


Eli Tinoco, mother of two American children, would have qualified for the DAPA program, which remains blocked after a split court decision.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Immigrants and advocates around the Seattle area say their fight is far from over. The recent Supreme Court ruling is a setback, they say, and also a catalyst to focus on the presidential election. 

New Census numbers out Thursday reinforce a trend a you’ve probably noticed: The state’s population is booming. Washington ranks fifth for states that added the most new residents in the past year.

Idriss mosque near Northgate, Seattle.
Flickr Photo/J Brew (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/3JRdMf

A man accused of making threats against a Seattle mosque was arrested Tuesday afternoon after a short standoff, police said.

Seattle police said an out-of-state friend provided information that led to a 37-year-old man. He surrendered to a SWAT team around 3:30 p.m. at his apartment in the Greenwood neighborhood.

Middle school students at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound attend a press conference concerning a recent threat following the Orlando shooting.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A mosque in Redmond, Washington has added extra security patrols due to a recent threat.  It came just hours after the Orlando shooting.

Redmond police say they received an anonymous call Sunday night. The individual was not making the threat, but passing on information he had overheard.

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