What One Year At PolicyMic Has Taught Me About Growth


Editor's Note: Every Thursday, I'll be rounding up my favorite pieces from the past week so that PolicyMic Pundits can more easily read and comment on the great content being written about sex, sexuality, gender, and race in politics and culture, in addition to updates from our community and GIFs galore! You can subscribe to get updates delivered straight to your inbox.

On Monday, PolicyMic moved into our new office space. Our move has been a long time in the making. The space which comfortably housed 8-12 people when I began at PolicyMic (one year ago next week!) can no longer contain our operation.

While we tend to think of our growth in terms of numbers, tools, and systems, growth can also be defined as a process toward fulfillment. PolicyMic is a young operation with a young staff working for young people. As our numbers multiply, our attention must turn from expansion to maturation. We must consider what our contributions to our community mean. As more and more people gain access to new ways to tell their stories, at PolicyMic and beyond, it can be harder and harder to actually hear the stories we're constantly being bombarded with. Instead, we are more and more focused on telling our own story in response ... as we should be, since certain stories are still lost, certain stories are still not told, certain stories are still devalued, and certain stories are still suppressed

So how to distinguish? As Professor Matthew Kaiser argues, "We have convinced ourselves that creation is intrinsically meaningful. We create for the sake of creating, as though the act of making something — money, ideas, babies, art, technology, love — were an end in itself, a self-evidently good thing. As any true artist will tell you, however, it is the grinding work of taking care of those created things, nurturing and cultivating them, that gives them value. To appreciate means to hold onto something."

What is often lost in all the excitement over platforms like PolicyMic is what they are actually used to create. An explosion of user-generated content — a proliferation of stories — is all well and good in the age of the online curator, but what of the work of the web editor?

For me, editing is the work of appreciating, recognizing the quality, significance or magnitude of, being fully aware of, being thankful for. It's been the utmost of pleasures to have grown as your editor in the past year, and to watch you grow. 

I'm on vacation next week, so here's an extra GIF to tide you over: 

Updates From Our Pundits:

Join our community for a two-day discussion of the 'b-word' and LGBTQ rights in Russia organized by Liz Plank and Jake Horowitz, featuring contributions from Olympic athletes, LGBT activists, elected officials, and PolicyMic Pundits. Not sure what's happening? Be sure to read Jared Milrad's excellent piece from last week, "This Dutch Activist Was Arrested For Even Talking About Gay Rights in Russia."

Pundit Jaclyn Munson profiles editor Liz Plank at Onward and F-Word. (Speaking of Liz Plank, can you spot her appearance in this article by Syreeta McFadden at Feministing?)

Check out Wagatwe Wanjuki on The Daily Show!

Congratulations to PolicyMic's Suzanna Bobadilla, Wagatwe Wanjuki, and the other folks involved in launching the new Know Your IX website this week!

What did you do last week? I'll share any outstanding writing achievements in our community, and highlight the great work that all of our Pundits do offline as well. If you have anything you'd like for me to include about yourself or a fellow PM writer, please send it along!

Must Reads From Last Week:

Why I’m Proud to Be a Part Of Know Your IX (Suzanna Bobadilla, @suzbobadilla) — Everyone should take notice of the anti-sexual-violence movement's newest digital resource

Women Buy Designer Products to Keep Their Men (Easha Acharya, @eashakiren) — The University of Minnesota has published a new study that claims that female consumers buy designer items to shield their significant other from female rivals

Manhattan: The New Suburban Sprawl (Chloe Stillwell, @chloekillwell) — Gentrifiers have to take responsibility for gentrifying, and until they can acknowledge that truth and harness its power for good, big business will keep replacing your bars with Starbucks.

Here's How to Grow New Farmers (Meredith Slater, @merslater) — Monterey, California-based cooperative ALBA Organics is teaching migratory workers how to start, develop, and operate their own organic farms.

This Ohio Town Will Discriminate Against Minority Commuters Even If It Costs Them Millions (Pierce Willans) — The Beavercreek City Council in Ohio is fighting a federal order that it approve bus stops into its community that carry minority riders, or face a loss of federal funds.

Why Did the Media Ignore Yesterday’s Immigration Reform Rallies? (Matthew Rozsa, @MatthewRozsa) —The media gave the Tea Party ample demonstration during its various protests. Why aren't liberal grassroots movements being treated similarly?

3 Women’s Issue Stories I’m Tired Of Reading (Natalie Smith, @Nsmith10) — The stories about women that we need to stop writing.

Here’s How You Know We’re Not Living in a Post-Racial Society (Luke Waggoner, @lukewaggon) — In quick succession, a case about affirmative action at the University of Texas and a verdict in the Trayvon Martin case remind us we've got a long way to go.

Can This Superhero Save Pakistan? (Sania Salman) — The first animated series produced in Pakistan, Burka Avenger, proves to be a promising way to address social injustices in the country. So why is the superhero's costume such a hot topic?

The GOP Backlash to Climate Change Deniers Begins Now (Christopher Round, @CRoundJudoBio) — The heads of the EPA under Reagan, Nixon, and both Bush administrations call for action on climate change, and they're not alone.

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