a few words about me

photo by Pandora Young

Hey! I’m a journalist and author in Oakland. I can be reached at thompson.gabriel@gmail.com. I’m usually looking for work. I mostly write about immigration, labor, and organizing. Much of my writing is done in partnership with Type Investigations. One of my exposés for them, of labor violations during Super Bowl 50, laid the groundwork for a $5.45m settlement in February 2019.

My recent pieces have focused on how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting vulnerable communities. For Reveal, I investigated how fast food chains received billions of dollars in forgivable loans while failing to protect their workers, some of whom contracted COVID and died. Earlier in the pandemic, I focused on projects in which people narrated their experiences in their own words: for Medium, a chronicle from an asylum seeker on hunger strike inside a detention center where the virus was exploding; for The Guardian, a look at what it’s like to feed a nation during a pandemic while being denied any sort of federal relief; and for Salon, another chronicle from a detained and medically-fragile immigrant who contracted COVID at a notorious for-profit jail in Louisiana. (The Guardian and Salon stories were included in the book “Unheard Voices of the Pandemic,” published in 2021 by Haymarket and Voice of Witness.)

For The Intercept, I also investigated a New York warehouse whose low-wage workforce was pressured to keep working as the coronavirus spread, and where at least six workers died from the disease. And just prior to the pandemic, I camped out for weeks at one of the nation’s busiest immigration courts, San Francisco, for Longreads.

I’ve also written feature articles for the New York Times, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, Harper’s, Virginia Quarterly Review, Vice, San Francisco Magazine (RIP), Topic (RIP), and other places (even Golf Digest). I’ve reviewed books for the San Francisco Chronicle (before they slashed their book reviews) and TruthDig (RIP). My work has won a few prizes, including the Studs Turkel Media Award and the Sidney Award. Links to a lot of my writing is at the journalism tab.

I’ve written five books. The most recent, which I edited, is an oral history collection of California farmworkers called Chasing the Harvest. It was published in the spring of 2017 by Verso, in conjunction with a wonderful non-profit called Voice of Witness. You can find more info about Chasing the Harvest  here. Info about my other books is at the books tab.

That’s it. Hope you are well, wherever you are, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch.