"Be a human first and a journalist second," Donna De Cesare once told me.
Even before she became my professor at the University of Texas, Austin, I had been well aware of De Cesare’s work and the recognition it had earned her — like a Fulbright fellowship and the Dorothea Lange prize from Duke University — so I was pretty daunted by the time I enrolled.
As a photojournalist, De Cesare has spent decades documenting the effects of war and gang violence on youth in Central America, from former child soldiers to imprisoned gang members, as well as the war-related diaspora in Los Angeles.
"We don’t think about the long-term effect war has on people, especially children," she says on the phone. "Once a war ends, we are thinking about the next war."
Photo Credit: Donna De Cesare/University of Texas Press