I have worked as a freelance journalist since 2003, focusing on religion and spirituality, trails and travel, social justice and politics, civil rights, and public speaking. I recently began focusing on nature and the environment, and was selected for the Solutions Journalism Network’s mentorship program to pursue work exploring the decline of the pollinator population and measures being taken to stop or slow the decline.
From 2006 to 2015 I wrote the The Straight Path blog for the Houston Chronicle. I have also contributed to the paper’s Belief and Gray Matters sections as well as the opinion pages. I have written on politics and civil rights for the MuslimMatters online magazine. I have been a regular contributor to Religion News Service, Azizah, Islamic Horizons, The Trek, The Lily, American Muslim Today and Toastmaster.
From 2013 to 2017 (with a break to finish working on my MFA manuscript), I served as Communications Coordinator for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. In that position I was responsible for sharing the chapter’s message, our goals and activities, through print and online media as well as press appearances and interviews.
From 2008 to 2011, I managed Light of Islam, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit bookstore and educational center which I conceived, created and executed. Its mission was to share accurate information about Islam and Muslims. The store carried books, CDs and DVDs that covered everything from Qur’anic studies to modern fiction. Light of Islam offered classes in Islam 101, Qur’anic studies, and events and club meetings. It served as a comfortable space for anyone to come in, have a seat in a comfy armchair, grab some coffee and read or ask questions.
In December 2003, I completed a Master of Arts degree in journalism from Emerson College, where I received the school’s Presidential Fellowship. My capstone project profiled drug offenders going through the Roxbury, Massachusetts drug court system.
I followed the journalism degree with a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in 2015. My final manuscript is a combination of reported writing and memoir examining the experience of minority religions in the United States.
I am president of the Society of Professional Journalists Houston Pro chapter and a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Writers League of Texas and Religion Newswriters Association. I served in a volunteer capacity as communications director for Houston Women March On’s 2020 Women’s March. Before the COVID-related restrictions took effect, I volunteered with Team Brownsville, providing humanitarian aid to asylum seekers on the southern border.
I also lead workshops on writing skills, the most recent being a workshop on writing about religion, held at the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow. My next two presentations will be at the Hippocamp literary conference in August 2021, and at the Appalachian Trail Long Distance Hiker Association’s annual Gathering, where I will lead a workshop on “Creative Writing for Hikers.”
I am a New Jersey native based in Houston, where I have lived since 2003.
Contact me at ruthmiriam (at) protonmail (dot) com.
See my full list of publications on LinkedIn.