COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, JUSTICE, AND ANTI-RACISM

The Journal of Expressive Writing Supports Communities and Writers of Color—and All Writers

The Journal of Expressive Writing actively seeks and welcomes the writing of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), Asian and South-Asian writers, women, the LGBTQIA+ community, persons with disabilities, religious minorities—and people at the intersections of these identities—as well as all individuals across the full spectrum of writing backgrounds, experiences, education, and talents.

 

As the premier journal of expressive writing, we recognize the profound strength found in the diversity of our readers, writers, and networks. The Journal of Expressive Writing does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, cultural and religious heritages, geographic origins, socio-economic backgrounds, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, family structure, age, education, primary language, disability, veteran/uniformed service status, or any other classifications and characteristics. On the contrary, we seek to support and consciously elevate writing in order to honor and celebrate everyone's unique differences, beliefs, attitudes, values, and experiences. The only thing we do not tolerate is hate speech. And we condemn violence towards anyone, especially the BIPOC and other marginalized individuals and communities.

In this time of national upheaval and dialogue on race relations in the United States, we also firmly affirm the humanity and dignity of the Black community. We grieve the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, the shootings of Jacob Blake and Daunte Wright, and the countless other acts of racist violence perpetuated against Black people by the state since the inception of this country. We grieve the wasted potential and lives spent behind bars due to the racist prison-industrial complex in this country. We grieve all of these things and more, for there are so many other unaccounted acts of cruelty, violence and trauma that this community has sustained due to racism in this country.

 

We seek to serve our readers and writers by acknowledging and addressing the oppression, violence and trauma that our Black stakeholders in particular are experiencing at this time. These injustices affect all of us, not simply the bearers of this injustice, for as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. aptly stated, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
 

The Journal of Expressive Writing is committed to healing through writing and the power of the written word. Acknowledging and affirming the traumatic lived experiences of our Black writers and readers can lead to healing. Having honest, compassionate dialogues on race can open the door to insight and affirmation of our shared humanity. Most importantly, we are all connected. When one member of our human community is marginalized and oppressed and hurting, we are all marginalized and oppressed and hurting.

Through this grieving comes hope. However, hope is not enough. By calling out the reality of institutional and systemic racism, slavery, genocide, colonization, and the horrific violence and complex, chronic trauma that policies, practices, and individuals have created and perpetuated, we hope that we can move beyond hope to necessary change and reparations. We recognize that this journal is small, but it is our hope that it is one small act towards moving the needle in a meaningful way.
 

The Journal of Expressive Writing is ALSO aware that we are not immune to perpetuating the ongoing system of White supremacy and racial injustice, even as we write this statement. The publishing industry is an institution like any other in the United States with roots in White supremacy. The Journal of Expressive Writing is working towards change, externally and internally. Externally we continue to solicit open submissions with no reading fee to enable all writers to have their voices heard. We also continue to partner with external networks that affirm diversity, equity, inclusion, justice, and anti-racism as we do. Internally we will strive to hire a diverse candidate pool as we expand our volunteer staff positions and we will ensure that our working spaces are safe for everyone. The founder of the journal does not pay herself a salary of any kind and incurs all expenses in making this journal possible as part of her philosophy of the "gift economy" and in recognition of her own privilege and position within the racial wealth gap.
 

We sincerely hope that BIPOC readers and writers will view our spaces as safe ones that affirm diversity, equity, inclusivity, justice, and anti-racism. We encourage more BIPOC readers, writers and affiliates to acknowledge the problem of institutional racism and state-enforced violence, and to explore this issue through expressive writing. We are here every step of the way in support of our valued BIPOC stakeholders. We are here to help BIPOC stakeholders affirm their experiences and frame them through the timeless medium of expressive writing and to help publish and promote their voices.

The bottom line is that the Journal of Expressive Writing supports BlPOC lives. We hear and read your words, affirm your stories, and stand firmly with the anti-racist values that we seek to uphold. We hope you will join us in upending the cycle of oppression and trauma caused by institutional racism and violence. We thank you for trusting us with your stories and voices.