Editors' Note: Black History Month Issue

The Queen’s Journal, Issue 21, was originally intended to be our first Black History Month Issue. While we campaigned for Black contributors and planned extensive Black History Month content, we were unable to garner the amount of engagement from Black students we had hoped for. 

We’re writing this Editor’s Note to acknowledge this lack of engagement. As a 148-year-old institution, The Journal has historically failed Black students at Queen’s, oftentimes creating an unwelcome and unsafe space for them. We realize this relationship cannot be remedied overnight and is, in part, one of the contributing factors to the lack of engagement with Black contributors for this issue. 

While we’re still publishing our Black History Month content, we wanted to acknowledge this lack of engagement to avoid tokenizing an important month in the Black community. 

We’d also like to express our sincere gratitude to the Black contributors who worked with us on this issue. We hope The Journal can continue acting as a platform for your experiences, talents, and abilities—all of which should be celebrated by the entire Queen’s community and this newspaper. 

Raechel Huizinga & Matt Scace

Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor

journal_editors@ams.queensu.ca

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Moving forward, our Vol. 149 editors are excited to re-evaluate our approach to a Black History Month Issue. It’s incredibly important to us that, if we are to proceed with the issue next year, we are doing so after taking the appropriate first steps to improve our reporting on Black issues, diversify our masthead, and build relationships with campus equity organizations. 

In Vol. 149, the development of Black History Month issue will only proceed if we are able to partner with a Black organization on campus and secure honoraria for those outside of staff who contribute to the organization and content of the issue. 

If those conditions are met, the Black History Month issue will not be put together on a normal Journal ‘press day.’ Instead, we will compile and edit content for the issue over the course of weeks, or potentially months. 

Contributors will have the opportunity to learn more about our editing process, express their concerns and input wherever relevant, and access resources we have available for writing, illustrating, filming, or photographing. The issue will be released as a special digital edition on the Journal site in February 2022. 

Again, we would like to acknowledge that we do not want to go through with a Black History Month issue until and unless we are able to take the steps needed to begin honouring and better serving Black voices. We are excited to begin implementing a range of new EDII initiatives in Vol. 149 and share those activities with the Queen’s community as they develop. 

Aysha Tabassum & Shelby Talbot

Incoming Editors-in-Chief

newjournal.editors@ams.queensu.ca 

 

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