We’re often humbled by how large people assume the Colorlines.com team must be. That means we’re punching far above our weight—which is exactly what effective community-based journalism demands. But today I’m thrilled to announce we’ve added some new muscle. Akiba Solomon, who has written our Gender Matters column for two years, is stepping into a new leadership role as Colorlines’ managing editor.
I’ve admired Akiba’s work for more than a decade. I still remember tearing into The Source in the late 1990s—back when hip hop magazines didn’t shy away from racial politics and investigative reporting—and devouring the compelling mix of content Akiba put together as its politics editor. Later, as Essence magazine’s health editor, Akiba was among a too small group of black journalists driving black media to take seriously HIV and sexual health. As a reporter, editor and commentator, she has been a relentless and rare voice for honest conversation about and, importantly, with black women. We have been proud to have her as a columnist, and I’m plain giddy to add her wisdom to Colorlines’ leadership.
Over the next few months we’ll be growing and deepening our work in many ways. In 2012, our investigative reporting dug deep into the attack on voting rights, the eroding space for reproductive health in communities of color, the ways in which breakneck deportation has ripped apart families and more. We’ll keep following those stories this year, but we’ll also be launching new enterprise projects—and with Akiba’s veteran guidance, we’ll maintain our commitment to providing crucial context and filling in the racial justice blanks as news breaks each week.