Appreciating the Stories With Which We Were Built: Voices' First Year

Since its birth in October, Voices has enjoyed the honor to document critically important happenings on campus, tell previously untold stories, serve as a creative outlet for campus artists, and begin to build the trust of the community in which it operates. As we travel into the summer and approach the 2018-2019 academic year, continuing on our journey to becoming an integral and established part of Swarthmore’s campus community and a time capsule for building much needed institutional memory, we carry with us the stories on which our publication was built.

Moving forward, we take with us the fire, passion, and pain present in SISA’s Reflections on Columbus Day. We forever embody the sense of strength and social responsibility in student athletes Emma Morgan-Bennett and Lelosa Aimufua’s decision to kneel in protest during the National Anthem at their games. We remember the hope and imagination we felt at transformative campus art events, like Dr. Eve Ewing’s “Poetry in Context,” “The Revolution Must Go On Arts Festival,” the Theater Department’s production of HIR, and the Sci-Fi for Social Change Panel and contest. We use words and their artistry to empower, ignite, and galvanize, as do poets Faith Booker and Alexis Riddick. We vow to harness the bravery of Makayla Portley and Lydia Koku, whose truthful and vulnerable accounts of their experiences with Swarthmore’s Title IX system served as calls to action, sparking the Organizing for Survivors movement and prompting the campus community to ask how we can better support survivors. We view our community’s institutions critically by bringing to light the stories of those they have impacted, as done in one of Voices’ most popular pieces, “Swarthmore Christian Fellowship has a Sexuality Problem.” We value the celebratory events organized by students, such as CIA Week, which brought us a poetry workshop on reclaiming space and honored the multiplicity of our identities with Humans of Swarthmore. We continue to celebrate the spirits, cultures, multiple identities, and value of our communities and students of color, as we did in the “Our Culture is Not Your Costume,” “Curl Definition,” and “Black Passion” photo series. Importantly, in our publication’s heart lies the powerful solidarity of student groups such as those who wrote letters in support of SJP’s boycott of Sabra Hummus and O4S’ Title IX demands. Voices will always embody and remain true to the powerful stories and storytellers that have given it a place within the Swarthmore community--stories and storytellers to which we are ever indebted.

In the future, we hope to continue to gain the trust of the campus community and to witness Swarthmore’s multiple truths, telling and listening to stories that must be heard. We hope to showcase student art, report on important campus events and happenings, and continue to establish an integral presence within our community. We seek to constantly view this institution with a critical lens, and to produce work that incites much needed change, as we remain grounded in the ever important notion that journalism is a critical form of activism. We strive to always acknowledge that we are in a state of constant growth and evolution, and we hope to work alongside others on that same journey. We look forward to continuing to grow and learn from our fellow readers, editors, writers, students, and the larger world around us in the years to come. Voices is here to stay. We hope you are, too.