This year has brought us through so much change, fear, isolation, and fire. When we started working on this issue, in the midst of continuing pandemic and social uncertainty, it seemed impossible to anticipate what our world would look like when 2020 came to a close. What was certain was our desire for hope, for recognition, for redemption, for connection. For community. This issue, born out of isolation and remote work, is our way of reaching for such hope and community.
The work in this issue is not just meant to speak to the increasingly challenging journey of a year we have all faced, but also to encourage optimism in the midst of what feels like slow progression. When reading for this issue, we were reminded time and again that, even as we are separated and isolated, we are not alone. These voices are validating and encouraging. They ask us to pause and listen. They ask us to look, to see one another.
This writing knocked us over with its weight and intensity. That intensity is not limited to fear and hate; it is filled with humanity and strength. We are lifted by this strength and will carry it with us as we move forward to what comes next. We hope you will, too.