TLDR; I co-developed an open access journal around #equity and #education as an Apprentice Editor for the past year and it's finally live with a piece of my poetry in it!
For the past year and some change, I've been working with this group of Engineering Educators with a LOT of #privilege and influence who were all interested in addressing issues of inequity in education on both big and tiny systems.
Initially, it was a daunting task. Though the intentions were damn near perfect, the #identities in the rooms and email threads still had more #socialpower than mine (racially, professionally and seemingly intellectually).
I persisted in email threads, video calls and in person for one major reason - folks in this group seemed to learn from our interactions. Though I was frequently giving different variations of my same perspective, each interaction brought with it an evolved sense of #understanding and #empathy on both sides.
As we contemplated and practiced various #emergentstrategies to address the issues we saw in our institutions and world, we came up with many ideas to tangibly affect change - one of which was an open access but still peer-reviewed journal that made space for more than academics to publish and discuss issues of equity and related work. (Academics still welcome, obviously)
This journal, we imagined, would somehow publish articles, poetry, videos, graphics and more and would completely change the typical review process to be more about #reflection and less about #gatekeeping. We brainstormed a process in which creators would submit to a facilitator who would only check for scope and then pass the artifact to a team of reflectors. These reflectors would digest the piece and reflect with their identities intact (not as anonymous bodies behind a screen).
The coolest part about our idea, in my opinion, is that the reflection of the reflectors and the creator's response to those reflections would become PART of the publication - thereby making space for public dialogue that can be archived and reflected on in the future.
With this system in mind, we set out to find the technology to support such an interface and an inaugural team of reflectors and creators.
Though I knew I wanted to be a creator and reflector, I also knew I wanted to push myself to be as supportive of this process as possible in a way that taught me things I didn't already know. So, I volunteered to serve as an apprentice to the faculty member who would be the editor (facilitator).
Over time, I realized that such a role was a bigger deal than I had imagined. Because of the spirit of the editor and our team, my input was incredibly influential and I found myself, without a Ph.D. mind you, making editor-like decisions and points of conversation.
Though the road was long (and required so much of my articulation and listening skills), a year later we have our FIRST ISSUE of the journal which we have named MURMURATIONS.
I am super proud to share this journal with you all and even prouder to say that it holds a piece of poetry that I wrote.
We have had numerous kinks to work out both on the technology and people side as translating our ideal vocab into reality is not a simple process. I will likely reflect on my experiences within the journal in future issues (probably using texts from this post, lol)
We are also inviting folks with similar experiences and interest to consider becoming a creator or reflector as well. The process of both of those roles has been outlined in these explainer videos.
Super proud of the team of incredible people who made this happen! (And of myself for committing to such an awesome group and idea for so long during such a deep and trying time of my life)