Transferring to Michigan was a daunting new beginning for me last year despite having been in college for two years. I’ve worked in numerous publications in high school and college, but none as accepting and conducive to providing a safe space in which writers’ identities could be formed as Michigan in Color. I wrote my introductory piece to MiC with a goal of elevating the voices of those whose lives exist outside the margins of the world we live in. This has become increasingly important through COVID-19 and students’ attempts to conceptualize the revolutionary time period that we are going through. MiC is more important to me now than ever because it reminds me that there is a way to grapple with concepts such as race, family dynamics, loss and love with those around me, to be heard in ways that invite vulnerability and reward it with empathy.
As an editor, working with writers is something I have always enjoyed because I was good at it. With MiC, working with writers was elevated to an experience of a kindred desire for the expression of one’s identity that rarely happens prior to one’s academic career in college, especially within communities of color. My peers, many of whom grew up as the only minorities in their town, have the ability to work with those they identify with despite differences in their heritages. This link is one that transcends an experience rooted in the now only, because Identification with this publication is one that lasts a lifetime for whoever joins. Ten years from now, I will be reading works by young POC whose shoes I was in a decade earlier. I will be seeing another generation of eager writers whose curiosity I have shared and whose love for expression I have explored in the same ways that accompany the humbling and enlightening process of writing.