By Sonya Bernard-Hollins, publisher
Headshot: Sonya Bernard-Hollins, Publisher-Community Voices
See the new issue at:http://issuu.com/communityvoices/docs/cv_winter_2013
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two years since the first Community Voices magazine issue was released. Time is flying! My husband, Sean (of Fortitude Graphics) have learned so much and continue to learn more each day. It is the support of the many Voices readers who truly keep us inspired and on our toes. Without the conscious effort of many businesses and organizations who keep us “in the loop,” we would not be able to share as much with our readers. In turn, we want to make sure we provide the readers what they want.
When James and Arlene Washington founded Community Voices bi-weekly newspaper in 2005, their goal was to provide positive news about the African-American community, for free. When we came on, we wanted to make sure we kept that focus, and moved it forward. Through the quarterly print magazine we have been able to do just that. We have expanded the distribution to West Michigan and have broadened our audience to reflect the multicultural community we live in. The Washington’s dream became a reality with hard work. Their work provided a foundation for us to continue, use our years of expertise in journalism and graphic design, and provide a product they supported. It has been a dream of mine to publish a magazine, and the Washington’s made that dream come true.
So many of us have our visions of The American Dream. Whether it’s to own our own business, receive a quality education, advance in politics, own our own home; we all have something we strive for. This year, Community Voices magazine will highlight various aspects of The American Dream and those who are striving towards it. At the same time we will provide resources and inspiration through the information and interviews we compile in each issue. Afterall, the theme of Community Voices is “Inspiring our Multicultural Community.”
As we go on into the New Year we want you to continue sharing your stories, ideas, and comments on how Community Voices can be a vital resource to our community. We will welcome in Barack Obama as the first African-American president of the United States for a second term. That dream was one provided to him through the foundation of others who came before him. Those such as Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman to run for presidency (1972) had already made history as the first African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968.
And, the Rev. Jesse Jackson (while not an Obama fan) ran for president in 1984. Jackson had the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a mentor who believed aside from racism, the sky was the limit for When we obtain our dream we must realize, we are NOT the first to have had that dream. What we do want to realize however, is that we got there on the backs of others before us. We must realize that there are others watching us who will build upon our efforts and go even further.
This year, Community Voices will play a role in a variety of community organizations by sharing their stories in ways which give them their just due. This year, Community Voices will provide small and large businesses an opportunity to reach new customers through competitive advertisements and coupons. This year, Community Voices will attempt to highlight The American Dream through issues which feature: Home Ownership in the 21st Century, A Healthy Community, Arts and Education, and Multicultural Businesses.
When I graduated from Western Michigan University in 1993 and entered the world of journalism, my goal was to present the positive news of People of Color. I have done that throughout my career and thank the Washington’s for trusting me to do the same with Community Voices. Thanks for being a part of my dream to highlight the positive news. Now, keep sending us those stories! Thanks for your support!