Reed Magazine stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the black community, and the trans+ community.

After every senseless death, almost everyone I talk to seems to feel overwhelming sadness, then anger, and finally hopelessness. This cycle never ceases to end these days; we barely have time to recover from the last tragedy before another life is taken. Hashtag after hashtag, killing after killing, there is little meaningful change from our government officials and institutions. And so we as citizens take action into our own hands. Demanding change. Demanding rights. Demanding the freedom to live our lives without fear of persecution or death.

Reed is situated at San Jose State University, touted as one of the most diverse campuses in the nation. But diversity is only part of the solution. Our university president this week began the process of further implementing fair, equitable, and inclusive practices on campus and I do hope these new measures create a safer space for students, staff, and community alike. As the current managing editor of Reed, it, too, is my responsibility to not simply talk about diversity, equity, and inclusion as if that will be the quick fix. I have to – my team has to – implement and practice meaningful change, as well. Despite our mission to be as objective as possible when accepting artists’ work and to participate more in diverse communities, I have to stop and ask myself if what we’re doing is enough? Are we still contributing to the problem through learned behavior and bias?  

I'm holding myself accountable. I'm holding my staff at Reed Magazine accountable. And I'm asking that our readers hold us accountable. This process will begin with supporting our fellow diverse and inclusive organizations on campus. I see them and welcome working alongside them. We also will be making sure that we give greater opportunities within our organization to artists of diverse backgrounds. This includes making our contests and content more accessible to those underrepresented groups.

George Floyd, Riah Milton, Breonna Taylor, and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells are just a small number of the many beautiful individuals who have been unjustly and tragically murdered. May they rest in power. I send my deepest sympathy to the families, friends, and communities that are grieving.

Ryan H. Smith (he, him, his)
Managing Editor, Reed Magazine: Issue 154

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