Laying the Framework 2.0

By Co-Chief Editors Kealani Smith and Jarrett Webster

Last semester we explored the conversation amongst university students as to what “diversity” means and how this appears within our campus. Yet, we discovered regardless of what we present and endorse as a diverse community, work continues to drive the conversation in terms of inclusivity and accessibility across all differences. We’ve explored disability, race, and gender as invisible mechanisms that further divide our collective campus. While pitfalls arouse, in conversation with professors within the Writing and Rhetoric department we uncover how injustice prevails within the academic workspace. Not only does this cry for social change arise between us (one another as students), but our professors must face this within the system of higher education and they lay witness to inequity between students. With our work in illuminating the social work to be done at our university, we based this edition of “Voice of the Margins” from our core inspiration, This Bridge Called My Back, by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, who wrote:

But one voice is not enough, nor two, although this is where dialogue begins. If we could make this connection in our heart of hearts, that if we are serious about a revolution—better—if we seriously believe there should be joy in our lives (real joy, not just “good times”), then we need one another…Because my/your solidarity, self-asserting “go-for the throat” power is not enough. The real power, as you and I well know, is collective. I can’t afford to be afraid of you, nor you of me. If it takes head-on collisions, let’s do it: this polite timidity is killing us (29).  

The following edition of IMPRINT, aims to continue the conversation and open continued input from within our community of students. Not only this but, we spoke with Dr.Jamila Kareem and Dr. Arellano, in reflection on our Summer issue of 2021. The brilliant conversation we had was featured on the new Department of Writing and Rhetoric podcast, “Discussions on Writing and Rhetoric” hosted by professors Meeghan Faulconer and Nikolas Gardiakos. Our professors continue to deepen the conversations and build upon that “drawbridge,” in the discussion on inequity in academia as well as the changes that the recent pandemic has forced upon our community. This “drawbridge” as highlighted within the Summer 2021 issue theme of “Voices of the Margins” simply projects the connection between differences as the basis of our social change, whereas the work of this edition aims to deepen this connection and speak to a wider span of difference. As stated previously, we understand that the stories that are published within the following edition are not indicative of all perspectives and marginalized communities, this is just the beginning of the social work to be done. There are many more drawbridges to be built and systems to be healed.

In writing the upcoming theme of “Voice of the Margins,” we hope to confront this “polite timidity” that stifles the growth of our community. Within the Fall 2021 IMPRINT edition, there will be stories of racial identity, the space and vulnerabilities of the female body on campus, as well as stories of UCF community outreach. In doing so, we hope that we create that “power” that Moraga and Anzaldúa build within their anthology, a power that is built by the collective voice, that challenges the social perception and peace that we so naturally accept and rarely do we challenge. 

We earnestly hope that the readers of the Fall 2021 issue educate themselves about what they can do to be a positive influence in their communities. This world is bruised and battered with violence and ignorance. We each have a responsibility for our neighbors and our neighboring nations. We feel it in the air and we hear it on the news the new world’s tension is increasing. We are coming to a culminating point in history to fight for love, hope, and the ability to simply be. As co-chief editors of this issue, we want to build bridges and make productive honest efforts in changing the world for the better.

However, we cannot make these changes without discussing them first, and we are grateful to have had a hand in publishing “Voices of the Margins” once again.  So let’s discuss them together. Please enjoy the 21st issue of IMPRINT.