Making a newspaper every night is really hard. Coupled with the pressure of upholding “128 years of editorial freedom” and a full load of classes, many nights making a newspaper seems like a miracle. But what’s made it manageable have been the thoughtful, resilient advocates I work beside. What’s made it fun is the ability of Daily staff to take their work very seriously without taking themselves seriously. What’s made it feel crucial are the times when I get to help put a woman of color on the front page, the times when a story moves me to tears or laughter or both, and knowing that maybe one more person feels affirmed in their ability to tell stories and maybe one more person listened to a story they wouldn’t have heard otherwise.
It’s that last feeling, the idea that any one published story could change someone’s worldview or make someone’s day, that brings me to the Michigan in Color desk.
I’m here because right now, nothing feels more important than giving a platform to those who are quieted, ignored or misconstrued. Too often, journalism’s gatekeepers prevent journalists of color from entering the field in fear that people of color are too biased by their own identity to write objectively or in fear that people of color are too “risky” and will alienate racist readers. I am confident in the ability of Michigan in Color to help combat journalism’s systemically discriminatory structures. However, the onus of fixing a systematically discriminatory system cannot be placed entirely on journalists of color, and I hope that in my tenure, The Michigan Daily as a whole can help dismantle journalism’s cycle of inequity.
I am so grateful to Ashley and Jason for believing in my ability to help lead this section, and I am so humbled by the Michigan in Color staff I will be working beside –– you guys are reason enough to join. Notably, I would not be here if not for Christian, whose unending initiative and creativity modeled the similarly unending opportunities this space provides, if not for Nisa, whose journalism journey gave me something to aspire to, and if not for Maya, who is certainly the best boss I’ll ever have.
It is an extreme privilege to have access to this space, and I hope to do right by its beauty and history. This is going to be a year of being loud and brave and energetic and vulnerable –– I can’t wait for you to hear what we have to say.