In this space in November 2020, I set a goal for Broadview. I promised that one-third of our freelancers, board members and staff would be Black, Indigenous or people of colour (BIPOC) by 2025. I’m pleased to share that we’ve already hit one of our targets.
In 2021, 33 percent of writers, photographers and illustrators were BIPOC — a significant improvement from the 2020 baseline of 21 percent. While our board of directors and staff still consist mostly of white faces, including my own, we’re determined to reach our 2025 goal.
Broadview isn’t the only magazine grappling with the need for greater diversity. A recent survey of nearly 400 Canadian magazine editors, publishers, staffers and freelancers found that only 28 percent agreed with the statement that “the magazine industry in Canada is inclusive and equitable.”
When asked whether the people who work in magazines currently reflect the diversity of society, only 26 percent of respondents said yes. Tellingly, men and people over 50 were more likely to agree while people of colour and sexual minorities were more likely to disagree. As one respondent stated, “It can be hard to change the opinion of someone who has never felt discrimination in their lives, and who doesn’t understand when they are participating in it.”
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As we continue to work toward our 30 percent goal, I admit that it feels uncomfortable to track living, breathing, thoughtful, talented, multi-dimensional human souls in this way. But I think a bit of awkwardness is a small price to pay for the good that comes from greater equity, diversity and inclusion.
Broadview is at its best when more perspectives are included, giving voice to the experiences that others simply cannot know. This helps us to create editorial content that better reflects the makeup of Canada’s population, and bridges pathways to understanding between different groups. Our audience grows when people see themselves reflected on our pages.
And our commitment to diversity isn’t limited to race and ethnicity — in the last year, we’ve also brought you stories by and about those who are LGBTQ2S+, living with mental illness and disabilities, unhoused, elderly, teenagers, religious minorities and a multitude of intersections thereof.
I am forever thankful to all those who contribute to this magazine, and to those who read and support it. Everyone’s unique perspective, shared courageously and authentically, makes for a better publication.
This editorial first appeared in Broadview’s March 2022 issue with the title “Diverse voices.”
Jocelyn Bell is the editor/publisher of Broadview.
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