Why is? Why come? Why not? with Sydette Harry

Simon Galperin
Andre Natta
Annie Anderson
Summer Fields
Sydney Padgett
Adriana Gallardo
Ariel Zirulnich
Burgess Brown
Mike Green

what are roadblocks you encounter to you doing your best work? Turn roadblocks into questions.
People never forget how you make them feel! How do you feel when you hear these roadblocks?

“I’m a peacock. You gotta let me fly.”
“How well is that tactic working for you?”
“Exhaustion >> Desire to build relationships/alliances
hopeless to think too big. find engagement proponents.
scary to think about going into existing structures of the industry.
communities can be unwieldy: I take personally a lack of interest.
overcoming reinventing the wheel mentality.

What are you not seeing in coverage of your community and why? What is not being asked? What would you ask or say if you didn’t have to worry about retribution?

1. Immigrant communities
What’s missing: actual system/tool on mixed document status communities.
Q: “What resources are you so attached to that you’re going after kids?”

2. Immigrant community, & a Chicago resident.
What’s missing: Conversation around Chicago and the tropes are so trite.
What’s missing: How random it all is with immigration history. No nuance to that discussion.
Q: “How did the Reagan amnesty play out for immigration status?

3. College-aged woman in context of rapid rise of sexual assault at her university.
Q: Why are you ignoring or even sustaining a community where sexual assault is so permissible?”

4. Texas native.
Q: “How has history of violence against Latinos led to an environment of bad symbiosis with whites in TX? What would it take to walk away from that? What would we lose as a community?”
Q: Why do editors/the public expect non-whites to write emotive stories that explain our inner lives rather than document the reality that we see with our own eyes?

5. Lesbian and mother.
What’s missing: In gay rights convo, parents have to literally adopt children that are non-biological that their partners gave birth to to gain legal protections. There’s a division between folks who think gay marriage means parents have enough protection, and those who realize it’s not enough. There is a need to push for more equity.

6. Activist/journalist: Writing can reinforce the status quo of inequality.
Q: “When are we going to turn journalism into a revolutionary, progressive, utopia-creating tool needed for our own democracy?”

7. Bronx native and Black man living in Birmingham, AL in a >40% black area.
Q: ” Why is black leadership and property ownership near absent in the core of the city? What roadblocks exist to these things?

8. White man: Watching Sally Yates hearing play out.
Q: What would it take to make our government more representational?

Dream big! Next steps we can take from what we have in the room.
Think about community not just out there but within: think of the community making journalism.
Build in spaces for play like this one in your lives.

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