Editing and...

IssueJuly/August 2013
Comment by Milan Rai

It was a year ago that I came up with the idea that this issue only have content created by people of colour (photos, articles, cartoons). Why are we doing it this way?

Well, from a political point of view, this helps to counter (perhaps unconscious) racist preconceptions. It helps to celebrate what people with a global majority background are capable of. It also gives an opportunity for people of colour who might otherwise not have chosen or been chosen for the spotlight, but who have just as much to contribute as any white person.

Three good reasons. Still, this would never have crossed my mind if it hadn’t been for an intensive weekend diversity training given by George Lakey last July. George is a white, gay, working-class older man, a powerful thinker and an absolutely amazing trainer.

In January, I attended an equally valuable workshop in Margate run by two of George’s colleagues in Training for Change, one of them Daniel Hunter who writes in this issue.

I wrote immediately afterwards (PN 2549) about what a shattering experience the Lakey workshop was for me, and how it opened up all sorts of feelings around my identity as a black man that I thought I’d resolved years ago. Things I’d clearly never really dealt with, and that were holding me back in so many ways.

One positive thing I immediately thought of, that I thought could help heal some of the still-raw wounds that were exposed, was working more with people of colour. The obvious candidates were: Peace News, which I’ve co-edited since 2007, and Peace News Summer Camp, which I’ve been a co-organiser of since it started.

Has it been healing? It’s been stressful, difficult and sometimes lonely, working apart from white colleagues and friends. The camp organising process, ditto.

But overall, I’m glad we’ve done it this way; I’m really glad to have made the connections the process has created.

I’m proud to be part of this issue, and proud to have brought this brilliant group of people together. I hope you’ve enjoyed spending time with us, and I hope you press other publications to follow our example.