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Letter from the Editor: Fall 2016 Issue of Halfstack Magazine

Thursday, September 15, 2016 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Hello Readers –

Welcome to the Fall 2016 issue of Halfstack Magazine. Thank you for reading and thank you for joining us on this journey! This issue is an amazing collaboration of so many creative minds. We took a different approach this fall and focused on the question of, “will love bring change?” 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 features. 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. This issue is truly an inspiration that is needed during a time of flux in our nation. I am writing this letter on the tail of 9/11 and only a couple of months out before our next presidential election in November.

During the time that this issue was under construction, Chicago was facing one of its deadliest summers ever. We bore witness to atrocities all over the world. From the attacks in Istanbul, Bangladesh and Orlando to the continuing issues in Kabul, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Egypt and Turkey. We are witnessing unrest amongst our very own Nation. Political and social movements are pushing for change. Just this past week, Native American tribes showcased the most diverse tribal action in the last 100 years as they worked to block and delay an oil pipeline they are protesting in North Dakota.

We watch the news and see political debates happening on social media as campaign season continues to forge forward and I wonder, is this the world I want my children to grow up in? The reality is that I have no choice, but I do have the ability to decide to teach my children differently. I have the ability to instill in my daughters tolerance, kindness and appreciation for diversity and different cultures. We see unrest between peace officers, civil servants and communities nationwide. I see the pain and hurt on both sides of the line. I feel it closer to home as my younger brother is on the front line in a police force. I worry for his safety constantly as he goes out daily to protect strangers and ensure his community is safe even if he is not safe doing so. Yet, I understand the unrest that is evident throughout some of the most underserved communities. It is evident that there we are continuing to face systemic oppression. The beauty is that in America I have the opportunity to disagree respectfully with the decisions of our government. I can speak my mind because of the rights I have. I understand the privileges I have as an American and I don’t take those for granted – even if I am still at a slight disadvantage in my rights as a woman. I can honor the men and women who fight in our armed forces, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with what they are being sent to fight for. Despite the difficulties I see America facing right now, I still see the beauty of what our Nation can be. I believe that my generation has an opportunity to create immense change. The question is how do we get through that? How do we change? How can we empower one another to overcome? As a minority I am all too aware of the issues that I face in this world, but I know I have the power to change my destiny. I have the ability to make and create change within myself first and then inspire others. I know we can do better.

We see politicians pitting the haves and the have-nots against one another. They use scare tactics to push people apart and to play the blame game. Let’s not play into their games. Let’s continue to love because UNITED we stand, DIVIDED we fall. When President Obama joined the nation during a 9/11 remembrance this past weekend from the Pentagon – he shared a moving speech. His words were a simple, buts striking thought to live by. “We know that our diversity, our patchwork heritage, is not a weakness. It is still and always will be one of our greatest strengths. This is the America that was attacked that September morning. This is the America we must remain true to.” We are a country that has marked tragedies in our past, but we also have an opportunity to move and grow from those hardships. During a time when our country is facing turmoil, we must do what we always do best. We must learn from our past and evolve to do better.

This issue we share stories of inspiration and interviews with change makers all mixed in with an abundance of music-focused features. Yet, the undertone remains true to our initial question, “will love bring change?” I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Frank Waln, an award winning Sicangu Lakota Hip Hop artist, producer, and performer from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Nicole interviewed Chicago based artist on the rise: Skonie. Teresa has a recap of the hottest Lolla after party and Jen shares her Deadhead experience at Alpine Valley. Pearl has a round up of galleries showcasing North Coast Music Fest and Pitchfork Music Fest. Our cover story features stories of individuals who have been touched, affected and moved by the times in which we are living and how they are overcoming and attempting to be the change they want to see in the world. We shot on location in River North. Laura also had the opportunity to interview Chicago based photographer: Danny Cantu for her latest installment of Behind the Lens. You’ll also find your fill of fashion, beauty and fun throughout this issue.

I hope this issue inspires, motivates and moves you. Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

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