Hitting Our Stride
The trick to aging gracefully is learning to accumulate expertise and wisdom without losing the zeal, daring, and inquisitiveness that gives youth its advantage.
In 15 years, this magazine has changed significantly. Looking at it now, it is hard to believe that it began as an eight- page, two-color, monthly newsletter, that was supported by six advertisers and a few dozen subscribers. Considering how we struggle even today to cover all of the news and information that merits reporting, I can’t imagine what it must have been like during those early days.
In preparation for this special 15th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, the editorial staff and I spent many hours talking with our founders Frank Matthews and Bill Cox, and combing through old issues. Evident in those conversations and in each edition, was the clear sense of mission demonstrated by the people featured in the articles as well as the remarkable journalistic fortitude of the editors and writers who brought their stories into view. Arduous though it has been, compiling this edition was an adventure well worth taking.
In joking with my friends, I’ve been known to say that as long as there are Black people in higher education, I know they’ll have issues. In which case, I know this magazine will always have something to report. In addition to being a watchdog on issues relevant to African Americans, this magazine also has been vigilant in monitoring issues of importance to Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Whites.
Without a doubt, higher education is a long way from being fully equitable and just — especially as far as Black folk are concerned. Our nation’s campuses are still beleaguered by racism, sexism, homophobia, and other manifestations of human insecurity. Yet, they are such exciting places to be.
Today, there are more women and people of color heading postsecondary institutions in this country than at any other time in history. Scholarly research being produced on topics that relate to the concerns of these underserved populations is on the rise. And the breadth of subjects students can study, on any given college campus, is astonishing.
Harnessing all of this activity into one publication, even one that appears 26 times a year, is both an impossible and exhilarating task. We couldn’t do it without a staff and contributors who personify dedication. Or without advertisers who view us as an essential part of their human resources, marketing, and development activities. Or without loyal readers who trust and depend upon us to provide them with news and information, conveyed through a sensitive perspective, that they can’t find anywhere else. It is this community of people that motivates and enables us to continue.
Hopefully, we’re wiser now than we were 15 years ago. We’ve certainly grown stronger and more colorful. So, off we stride into another academic year, with another generation of students, faculty, and administrators, into the new millennium. Some of what we’ll see, we’ve experienced before. Still, there are new discoveries to report, new personalities to introduce, and new scandals to expose. Ultimately, what matters is our unwavering commitment to getting better with time.
Cheryl D. Fields,
© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com