Our new issue, ENSEMBLE (TOGETHER), is out today! A magazine that we are very proud to have developed hand in hand with Opal Tometi, the co-founder of the #blacklivesmatter movement. Together, we wanted to talk about activism, political and social commitment, but also community, sharing and solidarity. We wanted to show that together, we can make a difference, we can change the world.
We though about the concept of intersectionality, we talked about anti-white racism – which does not exist – with Rokhaya Diallo, about police brutality with Assa Traoré and about activism with Irene ; we shed a light on the suburbs of Marvin Bonheur and the Déterminés; we deconstructed prejudices about the homeless with Agy, founder of La Rue Tourne and we raised the issue of lack of representation in the workplace for young girls with Rêv’Elles.
For this occasion, Opal wrote a powerful editorial, which sums up the urgent need to work together to build a better world – and therefore to publish this issue.
May her words inspire you and encourage you to get involved as well, if you haven’t already!
If you’re like me then, then you likely feel like every month we are faced with a new existential or societal challenge. From migration to misogyny – there is no shortage of issues to be concerned with, but at the heart of it all, is the real impact these ideas have on real people. The fact is – our lives are not theoretical.
And so I know you understand me when I say I was shocked that while visiting Paris, a couple of months ago, that I saw the United States’ leading racist political strategist, Steven Bannon on French TV spewing his narrow minded ideology. And as if things couldn’t get more disturbing, on my flight back to New York, former NY Mayor Giuliani – one of the most notoriously hateful; politicians and another Fox News pundit were both on board my flight. Evidently, they had all been in town rallying support for neoconservative candidates ahead of the European elections. Their aim is clear – to help elect more right wing candidates around the globe in an effort to consolidate power around their ideas of scarcity and the superiority of certain races, religions and genders.
The reality is Bannon did not invite himself. There is a mass effort across France to roll back the hands of progress. And you know this well – you’ve seen the rise in islamophobia, racism and xenophobia. You’ve seen the attacks on women and you likely know that the contradictions round symbolic representation exist. Think about it – Marie Le Pen was almost elected president. And so while people often point and wonder what’s happening in the US, I can’t help but wonder what’s happening in France? And I wonder why the right wing is being driven by young people. It’s incorrect to think that just because people are young that they’ll be open minded or work for a more inclusive and just world. And while we see that there is opposition to a dignified world, I’ve also seen people coming together and forming a beautiful resistance. We see the inspiring work that’s being done to protect and advance humanity. And that’s why I was honored to partner with Irene and the Paulette team to curate some examples of work that give me hope.
You’ll find that there a number of topics shared in these pages, and I hope they move and inspire you deeply. The world needs us to remain open, learn and act.
I hope you’ll join us on this journey. Together, we can create the type of world we deserve.
Onward with courage,