stop asking me if i need a hug

Featured Image: In the studio with K. O’Neill Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault allusion, PTSD mention . . . I don’t know how to start this article and I’ve rewritten this sentence several times. I’ve been meaning to talk about this topic for a while now but wasn’t sure how to put it into words. It’s…

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A Portrait of Respectability

Many years ago, my grandmother took her two children off to a photographic studio to have their portraits taken. In the fragile photograph that is now more than 80 years old, my father poses on an oversized chair, slightly leaning into his older sister who is standing next to him. I am intrigued that my…

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Fatimata Cham: On Race, Religion, Poetry, and Where They Collide

I recently spoke with writer and activist Fatimata Cham to hear her reflections on a year full of challenges unique to community organizers, and a future that holds so much uncertainty. Young women like herself are a glimmer of hope that all is not lost in this fight for a better tomorrow, and that the…

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New York Mornings and Sunsets in the Suburbs

Featured Image: Michal Pechardo Four months ago, I was ready to leave home and never look back. It had already been three months in lockdown, counting down the days from an idyllic suburb tucked away in the East Bay. This town is beautiful in the way that only a city so meticulously planned, tree by…

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The Radical Movement You’ve Never Heard Of

Featured Illustration: Julia Mauch Since 2012, we have seen the proliferation of the body positivity movement on social media channels such as Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter. While we have all heard of the movement and its accompanying hashtag, and understand what it is meant to achieve, very little is known of its historical origins  —…

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Latinx Liminality

Featured Illustration: Manuela Alejandra Guillén This brown skin is all I have ever known and kept close The only place I have ever been that is both home and unknown The one that blushes and bruises And comforts and rouges And bleeds, oh it bleeds This brown skin that starts fires and washes away the…

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Zain Shah’s Pursuit to ‘Diversify Diversity’

Featured Image: Zain Shah In South Asian society, the pressure to conform to ‘a standard’ shapes the foundations of brown culture. This narrative enforces an expectation for brown youth to preserve this social conditioning through their own lives at the cost of slowly abandoning their individuality, their voice, and their identity. This unwritten narrative is…

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A Sailor Cruising Through Failure

Featured Illustration: Vero Romero “Thank you for submitting to ‘X’. After careful consideration, it was not chosen for publication. This does not reflect the quality of our work.” “Thank you for applying for our research position, but we cannot offer you a position at the moment.” More often than I would have liked, I had…

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