May 24, 2024 - News

New book by ABC News journalists documents Uvalde's resilience

The blueish book cover for "One Year in Uvalde" on a dark green background.

The book was released earlier this month. Photo: Courtesy of ABC News

The new book by ABC News journalists John Quiñones and María Elena Salinas, "One Year In Uvalde: A Story of Hope and Resilience," chronicles how the tragedy-struck community transformed its pain into a powerful force for change.

Why it matters: The book aims to provide an intimate look at Uvalde, capturing not just the aftermath of the tragedy, but a yearlong journey of activism and strength told through the lens of the community's culture and history.

What they did: ABC News set up a satellite news bureau in Uvalde. Salinas tells Axios she remembers the decision happening almost immediately after the school shooting two years ago today that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

  • The satellite team consisted of correspondents, producers and writers who documented the lives of the victims' families, community response, local and state meetings and congressional hearings for a year.
  • Salinas says the rare opportunity for journalists to immerse themselves in the community for a year allowed intimate and sensitive reporting.

Between the lines: Quiñones, born and raised in San Antonio, says he and Salinas have a deep connection to the mostly Latino town.

  • "We're both Latino, we both grew up in neighborhoods very similar to the neighborhoods around Robb Elementary [...] we understand the culture, the customs. We know that often these folks can be withdrawn and shy and don't want to open up to just anyone and that's why we devoted that time," he previously said.
  • "It shows the importance of giving life to the stories and not just taking them as another story, another headline and moving on to the next thing," Salinas says.

What they're saying: Salinas wants to remind readers that Uvalde has always been a home to "fighters," even before the mass shooting. In 1970, students boycotted school for weeks after a popular Latino teacher was fired, marking a significant moment in civil rights history.

  • "I want people to know how strong (Uvalde residents) are. Even though they want to live their life in peace, when they feel that they have been maligned or disrespected, they take action," she tells Axios.
  • "The people of Uvalde should not be defined by this tragedy — this is a vibrant community who have given me a renewed sense of belief in the human spirit," Quiñones told Axios.

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