Activism call to action

Will Love Bring Change?

Thursday, July 14, 2016 Jenny

The events of the world lately have been heart breaking, frightening and frustrating to watch. I haven't written a post in a while because I haven't completely found a way to come to terms with what I am seeing in our communities and the world at large. I don't know what to say, but in my heart of hearts I know that love always prevails, good is stronger than evil and that when the people of the world come together, change will ensue. As I have been working with our team to finalize and plan concepts for our Fall issue, Laura and I were torn about how to pursue the creative vision of this issue.

For the last year I have been working hard to push Halfstack to grow and develop beyond just a magazine with pretty pictures and interesting people. I have worked tirelessly with the team to create beauty with substance. I don't want to be scared or afraid of talking about the hard things. We have written about poverty, the refugee crisis, the dark side of addiction and loss. I don't want to shy away from the realities we face, but I also want us to find beauty in the hardships and see a new perspective of the world around us. Ultimately, though, I want us to think about how we can move forward to create change.

The violence in Chicago has reached record highs. It is like a punch to the gut to read that our beautiful city is seeing heart ache, loss and so much death. Last weekend's gun violence in Chicago pushed the number of people shot in the city this year to nearly 2,100. This is 700 more than this time last year. Summer has always seen a spike in crime. Yet, this year the numbers in our city are continuing to grow. According to news outlets, a total of 43 people were shot in the city over this past weekend, four of them fatally. 19 of those people were shot during an 11-hour time frame on Friday night into Saturday morning, including two men who were wounded on a crowded sidewalk outside a taco restaurant in Wicker Park, according to police. 15 more people were hurt from Saturday morning to early Sunday. Another man was killed and seven more people were wounded in shootings Sunday afternoon and evening.

We are constantly bombarded by death in the media. Protesters continue to voice their concern over deaths of young men in their community. Police officers have become targets and are being killed.The images of young black men dying and then of cops being targeted in cold blood has been too hard to watch. The Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting brought us to our knees. Bombings and killing in the Middle East raged on, even during the holy month of Ramadan. A series of killings took lives in Baghdad, Jordan, Syria, Bangladesh and so many more places. I couldn't release this issue without even acknowledging the hardships we are facing in this world. Laura and I questioned the world. Can love conquer it all? What sparks change? How will we overcome? We are waiting for our answers.

Rather than put our typical fashion feature on our cover for fall, we wanted to pursue something different. This is a call to action. We want to to hear from you, our readers. Have you been affected by any of these heart breaking situations or are you  a part of an organization working to spark change? What are your stories, what are your thoughts on what is going on in Chicago, in your neighborhoods and in the world? We are looking for a diverse group of people who can answer the question, "Will love bring change?" and who are open to being photographed for this moving feature. If you are not interested in being photographed, but still want to contribute through poetry and written submissions, then we want to hear from you too. Can you tell us your stories? Can you answer our questions? Do you think love will bring change? Email: with your submissions and inquiries. Title your email: Will love bring change? Photo story inquiry if you want to be a part of the photoshoot and Will love bring change? Feature Submission for all other submissions. Please be sure to include your written submission in a word document and any imagery submissions in high resolution format. 

Together we can move mountains. Together we can change the world. Let's start today. 
Jen Lezan
Editor in Chief 

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