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Archive for June 21st, 2008

Have any of you seen RiseUp in your local newspaper yet? This groundbreaking weekly newspaper insert and online magazine is designed to stir our thinking on issues of race, ethnicity, and culture. It launches this weekend with a circulation of more than 4 million. In her note to readers, the publication’s founder and publisher, Janice Ellis, writes:

The mission of RiseUp is to engage all races and ethnicities in an ongoing conversation about how we can better understand each other, and build stronger communities, cities, nations and a better world.

RiseUp will strive for balance and inclusiveness in all its content. Our staff and writers come from all all races and ethnic groups. This is a magazine about us—all of us—and our need to better understand each other…

We are not approaching the subject with rose-colored glasses. We are taking it on with an unswerving commitment to make things better.

Ellis also tackles the elephant in the room, observing that the publication was not conceived in response to the current presidential election. But she acknowledges that the hot campaign season has certainly added to the sense of necessity for such a project.

The premiere issue of RiseUp features articles on “Closing the Racial Divide,” ethnic wedding traditions, and Baltimore’s Seton Hill neighborhood. It’s an interesting collection of pieces.

In a year when Barack Obama’s historic candidacy for president has sparked all kinds of new questions about race and culture in America, the time may be ripe for such a publication as this. If you’ve had a chance to check out the print or online edition, I’d love to hear your reactions.

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