We, as The Indicator’s Chief Editors, would like to take the space to pledge our commitment and solidarity alongside the Black community and people of color. While there are no words that can encapsulate all the pain and frustration so many feel, we want to acknowledge the suffering and outrage of those who face these injustices and feel these losses the most.
The Indicator is not only a creative magazine but also a space of friendship, validation and vulnerability. Our hearts ache for our friends, for ourselves, and for every single individual devalued as human beings as a means to exert hateful oppression. We acknowledge that structural racism has not escaped our own organization and we commit to actively deconstructing these systems. The magazine’s project is one of decolonial love–and a place for togetherness and creation that allows us to dream of a future different than our past.
We value art as a powerful instrument to express and communicate differing narratives, allowing us to expand our own understandings of the world through the words and images of others. The Indicator is designed to be as inclusive of various writing forms as possible, accepting excerpts of academic papers or thesis work to short stories, poetry, essays to campus-news articles and interviews. This magazine is for anyone who has something to say.
At the same time, given the recent killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery in the process of “arrest” and past unjust killings of other black people, we must recognize that our legal system and culture have historically excused these heinous acts. Within the scope of a literary magazine and a part of Amherst College, it is our obligation to make note of the fact that the Amherst College arts and writing spaces lack people of color, particularly black people. The Indicator, Circus, and the Amherst Student never appeared to have more than two or three black members at a time. It is also worth noting nationally, the publishing industry lacks black members. From writers to marketing, no more than 5% of any sector is black. It is crucial for black narratives and for identity groups to be in control of their stories. The publishing industry must be more inclusive to all marginalized identities. We hope people of color will soon be the ones to shape the conversation and drive the standard of writing in the future.
With all this in mind, The Indicator hopes to be more inclusive of people of color moving forward. By diversifying the voices of our magazine, we will challenge the ideologies, assumptions, and biases that have unrelentingly silenced and suppressed marginalized and underrepresented communities for centuries. Writing and art have the ability to restructure our narratives and make people see the complexity of our intellectual and emotional lives, to see the varying demands the world puts on us and the ways we deal with, build on, and uplift our communities. Writing has the capacity to create joy for ourselves and others, to help us reimagine better living. Everyone should have access to a platform, and to writing itself. As such, we seek and will continue to seek submissions on any topic from non-staff members, Black writers and other marginalized writers/artists for our digital platform. That being said, remember that writing can be emotionally taxing work. Do what’s best for you and your health, and feel free to submit older work.
We strongly encourage everyone to educate themselves (we have included a compilation of resources including reading lists, artwork, donation and petition links, and activist organizations), speak up (especially with those who do not share your same point of view), and take direct actions through whatever means possible — donating, attending protests, signing petitions, and any other forms of actionable support.
Take care during these times. We hope that self-expression may be a space of healing.
Kiera Alventosa ‘21 Editor-in-Chief
Kalidas Shanti ‘22 Vice Editor-in-Chief
Hannah Zhang ‘22 Vice Editor-in-Chief
Heather Brennan, ‘20, Former EIC