At the start of my junior year, I became one of two assistant Arts & Culture editors, one of two black people on production staff and the only black woman on production staff. I’ve always understood the need for diversity, but never as much as I did once I began working in a predominantly white newsroom.

I never dreamed that a publication like PRISM would exist. I never imagined that I’d be able to walk into a meeting and see a beautiful group of people of color staring back at me. I never pictured a day where I’d be able to open an issue of Pipe Dream and see melanin practically dripping off of the pages.

I am forever indebted to the people who had foresight that I lacked.

Former Pipe Dream Editor-in-Chief, Jeffrey Twitty, ’17, set the ball in motion for PRISM before he left. He was insistent on getting more people of color involved in Pipe Dream. Through talks with people form the office of the vice president of multicultural affairs and the Multicultural Resource Center, he got people in Pipe Dream thinking about PRISM. The first issue was printed under his successor, Gabriella Weick, ‘17. Without these two, PRISM wouldn’t even exist. Thank you both so much for creating what has been the most rewarding experience of my Binghamton University career.

Before graduating in December 2017, Gabby; Joshua Gonzalez, the vice president of multicultural affairs; Noah Bressner, the current editor-in-chief; Cory Bremer, the design manager; Kevin Paredes, the photography editor; and myself worked to get the November 2017 issue printed. We really didn’t know what to expect or what we were doing, but we made it work.

When reflecting on that first issue, I can see how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time. In just one semester, we’ve developed a solid base of talented writers, copy editors, photographers and designers and have put together something we can all be proud of.

My only regret is that we didn’t start sooner.

As a graduating senior, this is my last issue of PRISM, and I poured my soul into it. This issue is primarily focused on wellness, a subject that is very close to my heart. We also have a lot of features on amazing students and staff members and the work they’re doing both on and off campus. As you all read through this issue, I want you feel inspired by all of the amazing work going on around us and feel empowered to become the best versions of yourself.

As heartbroken as I am to walk away from PRISM, I know I’m leaving it in great hands. Your new editor is Sarah Molano, an amazing writer who poses a unique and poignant perspective that has breathed life into Pipe Dream and will continue to do so.

Editing PRISM has been an immense pleasure and I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity. Thank you for picking up this issue; I hope you love it at least half as much as we do.