To our returning readers, I wish you a familiar comfort in this time of unparalleled estrangement. To our new readers, I bid you welcome with my fondest sincerity. Let these pages serve as your introduction to Portland State University and its journalistic tradition.
This has been a Summer of action, one defined by prolonged demonstrations for justice and a blossoming anti-racism previously unseen on this scale in Portland. This has been a Summer of voices, voices that defy the structures of privilege upon which this nation was founded and has continued to enforce through the mechanisms of oppression. This has been a Summer of fear, defined by a pandemic that has raged in this country with an unmatched severity. This has been a Summer to reflect, one in which we have all found an absence for which we were unprepared to cope. This has been a Summer of imperative, one that has informed us individually and uniquely, but one that has also impacted The Pacific Sentinel as a magazine, as a team, and as a member of the community. As I undertake the position of Executive Editor with this issue, I am moved to capture the power of this Summer within its pages.
“We seek to uplift student voices and advocate on behalf of the marginalized.” This is the extant credo of The Pacific Sentinel. For too long, this magazine has uplifted student voices without sufficient regard for the marginalized and underrepresented within and beyond the PSU community. There has been a potent absence of certain voices advocating for themselves and their own communities. Rather, there exists even embedded within our credo a self-defeating haughtiness by way of presuming to represent without inclusion, without equity. The absence of self-representation harms us all; as writers and consumers of media, we have a duty to prioritize the voices of those with the greatest direct experience on the matters we cover. Self representation is the cornerstone of understanding.
This Summer, in my considerations over the future of this magazine, it has been clear from the start that we must push to reflect the diversity of the PSU community in its full splendour. We must be active in promoting the voices of the marginalized, the underrepresented, and the misunderstood. We must serve as a platform for self-advocacy. We must emphasise, not simply feature, a diversity of perspectives in our magazine, but we cannot succeed in a vacuum. We cannot succeed without you.
I invite you to join us on this mission to build a more just and equitable society through our place in the media landscape. As a community of readers and an ever-expanding cadre of writers, it is within us to drive change and lead a broadening conversation in our communities. May The Pacific Sentinel be known not only as a source of news and entertainment, but a source of revelation, one in which you may find yourself.