There are many who entered 2017 with bleak expectations. The nation’s potential first woman president had not been elected and our first black president was handing over the reins to a new leadership fraught with unknowns. What we needed more than anything was positivity, tolerance and the ability to gain inspiration from what could be perceived as the darkest hour.

At this time last year, I sat down and opened the January 2017 issue of Vogue. After leafing through the opening advertisements, skimming the table of contents and admiring the masthead, I reached Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour’s letter from the editor. Wintour began the letter with words of encouragement following a tumultuous year and highlighted the need for activism and positive leadership. She went on to describe the issue’s portfolio, “Home of the Brave.” This piece featured stories of activism, and Wintour ended her letter acknowledging the inspiration she derived from them, with the hope that others will follow suit.

From their view of the world to their view of themselves, everyone has at some point been swayed by something they saw in the media, and that’s why we need publications like PRISM. Entering 2018 as PRISM editor, I have a greater understanding of the perspective Wintour held last January. From protests about the University’s response to criticism of a proposal to put blue lights in Downtown Binghamton, to racist drawings appearing in residence halls, our predominantly white university dealt with its fair share of race issues in 2017. Having an outlet where people of color feel comfortable contributing their voices is essential, and as a black woman, I feel honored to play a role in creating that outlet.

In this issue, we have an interview with Catherine Castillo, president of the Student Association-chartered club One Special World. She has a beautiful outlook on life, and inspires me to be a better person, and I hope she does the same for all of you. Additionally, our writers have produced thoughtful pieces, ranging from a critique on Post Malone’s on-campus performance, to a call to keep Puerto Rico in our hearts and minds as media coverage continues to dwindle.

To the students of color at Binghamton University: PRISM is yours. PRISM is yours to consume, yours to critique, yours to contribute to. However, it can only be as strong as you allow it to be. We will be hosting general interest meetings on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Pipe Dream newsroom in University Union West Room B03. If you have a story you’d like to share, an opinion you’d like to voice, a photo you’d like to showcase or any other creative skill set you’d like to exercise, we’d love to have you.