This is an email from Keepin' It 💯, a newsletter by ZORA.
Dear ZORA Family,
I hope your weekend was a peaceful one. I spent mine painting my bedroom (Providence Blue, in case you were wondering) and playing with my pets Pepper (our dog) and PeeWee (our cat).
With so much uncertainty around us (coronavirus, the politics of elections) it can be difficult to keep calm and carry on. But I want to encourage you that despite everything that seems to be conspiring to rattle us in these early months of 2020, there are still rays of hope—like this beautiful story about a group of formerly incarcerated women who fought to close a jail — and won.
And in case you missed it, lynching has been officially declared a hate crime. So maybe the insensitive remarks we’ve heard in the past, like this writer who was on a hiking expedition in a state park when the l-word was invoked, will stop. (If you want to learn more about the history of lynching in this country, be sure to check out our ZORA Canon Book of the Month pick, The Red Record by Ida B. Wells.)
Last week we published a personal essay by Melissa Alvarado Sierra, who poignantly explains why she decided to leave America behind to return to her native Puerto Rico, despite the challenges there.
It reminded me that we all have the power of self-determination: if something is not working for us, we have the option to take the necessary steps to change it. That’s a form of self-love that isn’t often talked about, but in the long run lasts longer than a salon treatment or spa visit ever could. Melissa wrote the hell out of this one, so be sure to check it out. Carry on!
Stay in touch,
Vanessa K. De Luca, editor-in-chief
The Stories Getting Me Through: