A young Black girl wearing a white robe and black tennis shoes holds a tall gold cross while standing inside an ornate church.
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Alter server Miracle Adah awaits the start of Ash Wednesday Mass on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Columbia, Mo. Our Lady of Lourdes has a parish school that, in the face of a nationwide decline in church attendance of teens and young adults, “keeps a lot of families connected,” according to Father Chris Cordes, who led Mass on Ash Wednesday.

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Alter server Miracle Adah awaits the start of Ash Wednesday Mass on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Columbia, Mo. Our Lady of Lourdes has a parish school that, in the face of a nationwide decline in church attendance of teens and young adults, “keeps a lot of families connected,” according to Father Chris Cordes, who led Mass on Ash Wednesday.

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A young Black boy with a blue mask looks into the light at a Black Lives Matter protest.
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Eighth grader Taylor Baugh watches a speech at the Rally for Black Lives protest June 1, 2020 on the lawn of the Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Mo. The protest was one of two events that day held in the memory of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

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Eighth grader Taylor Baugh watches a speech at the Rally for Black Lives protest June 1, 2020 on the lawn of the Capitol Building in Jefferson City, Mo. The protest was one of two events that day held in the memory of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

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An old man in a blue shirt sits in front of a set of blue curtains and a blue door, streams of light are coming through the door.
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My grandfather Joe, Christmas Day 2020. During the first year of the pandemic, every interaction we had was tinged with risk and guilt. He and my grandmother made an informal pact with my family. To them, at this stage in their lives, losing a year of seeing their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was worse than death. So, guiltily, we risked it. A few weeks after I made this picture, my grandparents both received their vaccines. In a year full of risk and guilt, my worst fear never came to pass.

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My grandfather Joe, Christmas Day 2020. During the first year of the pandemic, every interaction we had was tinged with risk and guilt. He and my grandmother made an informal pact with my family. To them, at this stage in their lives, losing a year of seeing their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was worse than death. So, guiltily, we risked it. A few weeks after I made this picture, my grandparents both received their vaccines. In a year full of risk and guilt, my worst fear never came to pass.

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A girl's eye is large on a phone sitting on a chair.
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My friend Dasha Vilchinskaia gets a closer look at me during a WhatsApp video call on March 27, 2020. Vilchinskaia and I met in Denmark — she was the international program’s sole student from Russia. In the two months we were both in Europe, we became quite close. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I was forced home to Missouri while she stayed in Denmark. I miss her dearly.

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My friend Dasha Vilchinskaia gets a closer look at me during a WhatsApp video call on March 27, 2020. Vilchinskaia and I met in Denmark — she was the international program’s sole student from Russia. In the two months we were both in Europe, we became quite close. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I was forced home to Missouri while she stayed in Denmark. I miss her dearly.

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A young boy lifts a cat into the air.
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Bowen Cox, 6, and Pumpkin the cat on the morning of Sept. 24, 2020 at the Cox’s family home in Marshfield, Mo. Bowen’s parents spend their evenings homeschooling him as they prepare to move school districts, while he spends his days playing and exploring under the supervision of his grandfather.

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Bowen Cox, 6, and Pumpkin the cat on the morning of Sept. 24, 2020 at the Cox’s family home in Marshfield, Mo. Bowen’s parents spend their evenings homeschooling him as they prepare to move school districts, while he spends his days playing and exploring under the supervision of his grandfather.

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Two young women lay on the ground appearing to be upside down, the woman on the right has her arms spread out in a cross position.
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Hickman freshman Allison Weng, left, and junior Batti Camper rest between performances October 11, 2019 at Hickman High School. Both girls were members of the Hickman High School color guard. The color guard and band performed before the game and during halftime.

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Hickman freshman Allison Weng, left, and junior Batti Camper rest between performances October 11, 2019 at Hickman High School. Both girls were members of the Hickman High School color guard. The color guard and band performed before the game and during halftime.

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In the foreground an out of focus woman stands with her arms in the air, in the background a team of women cheer for her.
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The University of Alabama gymnastics team celebrates after a teammate lands a tumbling pattern on Feb. 1, 2019 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo. Alabama won the meet against the University of Missouri.

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The University of Alabama gymnastics team celebrates after a teammate lands a tumbling pattern on Feb. 1, 2019 at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo. Alabama won the meet against the University of Missouri.

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A young Black woman in a red football uniform looks at the camera, she is surrounded by larger men in football uniforms.
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Logeyn Hearn is a wide receiver on the Jefferson City (Mo.) Jays football team. Here, she awaits the start of the national anthem before the team’s home opener against St. Louis University High School on Sept. 20, 2019.

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Logeyn Hearn is a wide receiver on the Jefferson City (Mo.) Jays football team. Here, she awaits the start of the national anthem before the team’s home opener against St. Louis University High School on Sept. 20, 2019.

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Two mean wearing cowboy hates look past each other in opposite directions, in the background an American flag waves.
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Jackson Smith, left, and Colton White, right, relax around the bull chutes before their rides during the Webster County Fair and Rodeo on July 4, 2019 at Ellis O. Jackson Park in Marshfield, Mo. Both men rode bulls later on in the evening, but did not ride long enough to earn points.

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Jackson Smith, left, and Colton White, right, relax around the bull chutes before their rides during the Webster County Fair and Rodeo on July 4, 2019 at Ellis O. Jackson Park in Marshfield, Mo. Both men rode bulls later on in the evening, but did not ride long enough to earn points.

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A young woman in a Blue soccer uniform sits next to a white teddy bear on an unmade bed.
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Kaylee Smith was a student at Marshfield High School and one of many seniors who had their final year altered by COVID-19. Before campus was closed, she had been looking forward to her senior soccer season. Earlier in the day, she decided to change into her uniform — the team would have played that night. Photographed on April 14, 2020.

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Kaylee Smith was a student at Marshfield High School and one of many seniors who had their final year altered by COVID-19. Before campus was closed, she had been looking forward to her senior soccer season. Earlier in the day, she decided to change into her uniform — the team would have played that night. Photographed on April 14, 2020.

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A group of out-of-focus children walk past a large and ornate window.
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A group of schoolchildren are led up to the whispering gallery on May 12, 2021 at the Capitol in Jefferson City. The whispering gallery, a common stop for guided tours, is a room in which a whisper on one side of the room can be heard on the opposite end. The Missouri Capitol's whispering gallery is one of three such rooms in different capitol buildings in the U.S.

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A group of schoolchildren are led up to the whispering gallery on May 12, 2021 at the Capitol in Jefferson City. The whispering gallery, a common stop for guided tours, is a room in which a whisper on one side of the room can be heard on the opposite end. The Missouri Capitol's whispering gallery is one of three such rooms in different capitol buildings in the U.S.

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Two Black men wearing blue suits pray, the man on the left is kneeling over a chair, the man on the right is wearing a medical face mask and holding a microphone.
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Rev. Anthony Woods, left, kneels while Rev. James E. Dunn, Sr. leads the congregation in prayer on Sunday, April 10, 2022 at Friendship Missionary Church in Columbia. COVID-19 protections and a shift to online ministry posed unique challenges to Black churches, according to an essay published in The Washington Post exploring the future of America’s Black churches, because of their historical reliance on a shared space and being able to touch and hug one’s neighbor during services.

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Rev. Anthony Woods, left, kneels while Rev. James E. Dunn, Sr. leads the congregation in prayer on Sunday, April 10, 2022 at Friendship Missionary Church in Columbia. COVID-19 protections and a shift to online ministry posed unique challenges to Black churches, according to an essay published in The Washington Post exploring the future of America’s Black churches, because of their historical reliance on a shared space and being able to touch and hug one’s neighbor during services.

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A man in a suit and face mask holds his thumb over a glowing tablet.
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Carter Templeton monitors the Senate budget hearing on April 19, 2021 at the Capitol in Jefferson City. Templeton works in the Veterans Clinic, an organization that represents disabled veterans in compensation claims. The clinic is currently funded by donors, but this year the Missouri House included funding for it in the budget. “I’m here, hoping the Senate keeps it in,” Templeton said.

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Carter Templeton monitors the Senate budget hearing on April 19, 2021 at the Capitol in Jefferson City. Templeton works in the Veterans Clinic, an organization that represents disabled veterans in compensation claims. The clinic is currently funded by donors, but this year the Missouri House included funding for it in the budget. “I’m here, hoping the Senate keeps it in,” Templeton said.

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In a dark room a man's face is projected on a screen, throughout the rest of the room a few men sit among mostly-empty chairs.
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People watch a projection of Governor Mike Parson as he gives the State of the State address, Jan. 27, 2021, in the rotunda of the Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. Hours before his speech, Parson was stopped from giving his address inside the House of Representatives, fueling an ongoing feud between him and fellow Republican Speaker of the House Rob Vescovo. In a letter later sent to lawmakers, Parson called the decision to move his speech to the Senate a “purposeful and disgusting scheme to embarrass” him by House leadership.

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People watch a projection of Governor Mike Parson as he gives the State of the State address, Jan. 27, 2021, in the rotunda of the Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. Hours before his speech, Parson was stopped from giving his address inside the House of Representatives, fueling an ongoing feud between him and fellow Republican Speaker of the House Rob Vescovo. In a letter later sent to lawmakers, Parson called the decision to move his speech to the Senate a “purposeful and disgusting scheme to embarrass” him by House leadership.

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A man in a puffy blue coat stands looking at the camera, in the background the shadows of trees cover a courthouse.
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A community leader and executive director of the Rural Community Workers Alliance, Axel Fuentes is working to dispel misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. "We need to keep educating the people, bring the facts and present them to the people so they can understand that there's a huge difference between a myth and a fact," Fuentes said. Here, he is photographed on March 3, 2021, outside the courthouse in Kirksville, Mo.

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A community leader and executive director of the Rural Community Workers Alliance, Axel Fuentes is working to dispel misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. "We need to keep educating the people, bring the facts and present them to the people so they can understand that there's a huge difference between a myth and a fact," Fuentes said. Here, he is photographed on March 3, 2021, outside the courthouse in Kirksville, Mo.

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A shirtless man shoots a basketball toward a hoop in an empty park, he has a large tribal tattoo on his arm and is smoking a cigarette.
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Aaron Hooker shoots a warmup shot before a pickup game on July 18, 2019 at Rotary Park in Marshfield. The game drifted between three-on-three and two-on-two, with almost no baskets being made by either side.

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Aaron Hooker shoots a warmup shot before a pickup game on July 18, 2019 at Rotary Park in Marshfield. The game drifted between three-on-three and two-on-two, with almost no baskets being made by either side.

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An older man looks toward a window while sitting at a table, behind him is a decorated Christmas tree and a painting of a man that looks a lot like the man at the table.
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Oliver “Doc” Beaman sits in Jennings Premium Meats on Dec. 23, 2019. Beaman’s son, Kevin, is the manager of the New Franklin butcher shop and he comes to hangout and see old friends. “I’m in charge. I just come up here, sit, kill time,” Beaman said with a grin. “See a lot of people I haven’t saw for a while.”

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Oliver “Doc” Beaman sits in Jennings Premium Meats on Dec. 23, 2019. Beaman’s son, Kevin, is the manager of the New Franklin butcher shop and he comes to hangout and see old friends. “I’m in charge. I just come up here, sit, kill time,” Beaman said with a grin. “See a lot of people I haven’t saw for a while.”

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