Welcome to ZORA, a publication that centers on and celebrates the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and experiences of women of color. ZORA has one driving mission: to ensure that the lived experiences of women of color are seen, and that our voices are heard. Nowhere currently does there exist a hub for smart, contemplative reading of this nature. That’s why the mistake that is often made is that we are monolithic in our thinking. This could not be further from the truth. There is room for textured, nuanced, thought-provoking content in this space.
Women of color are often marginalized because of our status as minorities; add to this the intersectional issues of age, gender, race, sexuality, and disability, and there are even more barriers to economic, social, and political empowerment. Clichés and misrepresentation in the media play a role in this: diversity is underrepresented, and of those portrayals that do get visibility, most are stereotypical and racially biased.
In ZORA, women of color will write and read pieces that encourage us to speak our truths and remain resilient in spite of the challenges we face. Our launch package includes an article by actress-activist Yara Shahidi on what she’s learned by reading James Baldwin, an essay by award-winning author Vanessa Hua on how her dad helped her connect with her culture, a deep dive by Feminista Jones about how Gen Xers are grappling with what hip-hop has become, and a stirring book excerpt from Elaine Welteroth on why she left her top job at Teen Vogue.
These stories, and the ones you’ll find here in the days to come, will offer a multi-textured, multilayered, multifaceted take on life as a woman of color. They’ll often provide historic, social, and political context for what is being shared. They will also challenge stereotypes and outdated tropes associated with women of color.
We hope you enjoy our look inside the lives of women of color, and that you’ll come back each day to see what’s on our minds and on our hearts. Here, you’ll always have a seat at the table. Pull up a chair.
You can stay up to date with everything we publish by hitting the FOLLOW button on the top of the ZORA homepage.
Vanessa De Luca
Editor in Chief, ZORA