A Letter From the Editors

Hi/ Jambo/ Hola/ Mahraba,

We welcome you to our experience and hope that you will share yours with us too. We are Alyssa Cleveland and Nya Anthony and together we run The Bridge. This is the first of many letters meant to boost engagement and promote our agenda of community within the confines of our lived experiences.

Through the new year we will explore topics of intrigue and discomfort. We aim to provoke thought amongst our readers. As feminist icon and gender non-conforming baddie, Frida Kahlo once said, “ No quiero pienses como yo….Sólo que pienses”.

Before we tackle 2019 Bridge content, we wanted you all to get a better idea of who we are, what we love, what we want the people to know, and what we hope to change in our world.

Who We Are

Nya: I am a junior Political Science and Communication Studies double major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Along with being the Editor-in-Chief of The Bridge, I also serve as the Outreach and Development Chair for Spark’s Women-of-Color Empowerment Cohort. When I’m not running around campus like a mad woman on a mission, I enjoy painting, spending time with my friends and I’ve recently developed a new knack for fishing.

Alyssa: I am a junior at Duke from Atlanta, Georgia majoring in Environmental Science & Policy and in the certificate program for Markets & Management. In addition to being Editor-In-Chief for the Bridge, I serve as president for Future Is Now mentoring program which empowers minority girls from the Durham area, and I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. I’m the girl who’s every woman, does everything with her heart, and likes to look and feel good while doing it.

What We Love

Nya: As an undergrad my taste in literature  is shaped by my academic endeavours. Last semester I took a course in the  African, African American Diaspora Studies department titled ‘Global Black Feminisms and Women’s Apocalyptic Writing (which has a bomb professor). One of the most transformative works from the course was Who Fears Death. Written by Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor, this speculative fiction is about a post-apocalyptic East African wasteland where the main character, Onyesonwu, discovers that though she is a product of interracial violence, her destiny far surpasses her origin story. 10/10 would recommend !

Alyssa: As my queen of hearts tattoo indicates, I have love for many things and move through life with my heart first. Outside of my academic interests in environmental justice and social change, my passions vary. One of my many love languages is being put on to new music. Along with music, my most recent love is makeup brands and influencers. As you may know, Fenty Beauty has been making strides in the makeup industry to increase diversity in shade range. (Hey Rih!) Some of my favorite products are the diamond milk lipgloss and the stunna lip paint in this rich black shade, unwanted. I looove cooking for my loved ones and being able to channel my creative energy into a meal that people can enjoy!

What We’re Listening To

Nya: I am currently obsessed with international twists on R&B and Hip-Hop. My current playlist consists of  ‘Nont for Sale’ by Sudan Archives, ‘Energy’ by Sampa the Great, and the entire Analogue album from ODIE. I find the current neo-soul/funk revolution to be extremely satisfying in that it connects younger audiences to the rhythms and sounds of our parents and grandparents.

Alyssa: Currently I’m loving Wasted // Summer Walker, a lot // 21 Savage, and Messy Love // Mura Masa. Honestly in music I look for something that makes me feel, that reaches every range of my moods. I’m really into female rappers like Rico Nasty, Molly Brazy, and Megan thee Stallion because they just have an level star energy that I want to translate into achieving my goals. I appreciate artist who put their artistry and dedication to quality first.

Who Inspires Us

Nya: My biggest source of inspiration now, more than ever are my brothers. Their resilience, wit, and sense of adventure are uncharacteristic of men their elder. I am inspired to move in my world more freely, take up more space, and challenge my own limitations because of them. In knowing all of these things, and considering how much further they will go, I find a constant source of inspiration.

Alyssa: My grandmother is the epitome of having vision and consistently achieving. She places her loved ones first through showing nonstop compassion and dedication to the people and causes she cares for. When I imagine how I will impact the world, I see myself taking her approach of selfless pursuit of bring love and justice to those who deserve more.

What We’re Hoping For

Nya: In the coming months, I am hoping to maintain my promise to myself for the year which was allowing serenity to guide me. I know that a constant state of serenity is nearly impossible as life’s filled with stressors. But my focus is more on the settling back down. In that I am grounded and am better equipped to deal with the next challenge. I also have come to recognize that my practice of serenity, is not only for myself but for others. In 2019, I am hoping for peace of mind, for myself and my community.

Alyssa: I am hoping for radical transformation in my life and in the lives of those around me. I am hoping that we realize that we are blessed and every detail of life, seemingly good or bad, is meant for our good. I am hoping that we can continue to believe in a brighter future for our community and world. Without hope, the motivation to be world changers is null and I know those around me and those reading this are world changers. It’s just a matter of believing and actualizing that.