I have a two exciting updates for you.
Welcome to ROLL CALL. For a few weeks I’ve been trying to come up with a name that fits me. And I was at a complete loss. Do I describe this as a playground? A sandbox? Do I focus on my little Inklings as a writer or my desire to be rebellious? I got lost, y’all.
And then my good friend Nick, helped me brainstorm names that describe what I hope this space will become. When he tossed out the name ROLL CALL, everything in me said “yes!” I immediately heard Kirk Franklin’s old school voice shouting “GP, are you with me?” A roll call suggests that we are in this together. That I need you to show up. That you are welcome here. That this isn’t about me; it’s about us. As a middle school cheerleader, we used to have a cheer that started “Roll call! Roll call!” It was meant to get people excited; we were giving people permission to shout back, to get loud, to get out of their seats.
So here we are. Together! ROLL CALL
This portion of the newsletter will be free for always. I will use this space similarly to how I used my blog for years. We will create manifestos and declarations. We will speak what we believe about humanity. We will push back against the status quo. We will drag injustice into the light. I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for letting me into your inbox.
A New Community
Now, there will also be content you can access beyond the free posts:
Ask Austin is my new venture! It’s an advice column for practicing antiracism. If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ve probably already seen a little announcement about this.
Heres the background. I really want an advice column! A few months back I had the opportunity to apply to be a writer for a national advice column and I was so sad when I didn’t get the job. But I realized, I could still have an advice column and focus on what I love to talk about most- antiracism.
So send me all your quirky questions. Tell me about the awkward thing your child said at the coworker picnic. Tell me about what happened when you tried to talk about race during a holiday. Tell me about a conversation you overheard and now don’t know what to do. The more specific, the better! But know all of your submissions are anonymous. You don’t need to share names- yours or anyone else’s. We’re not here to shame; we’re here to share.
You can submit your questions anytime right HERE
My responses will be like any advice column- sometimes serious, sometimes funny. You might get a story of my own or just a silly gif. Some responses will be long, while others may be just a few sentences. The purpose of this column is to practice the same mix of joy, laughter, and sincerity that we have when we are able to gather in person.
I’m so excited about Ask Austin, because it’s an opportunity for us to share about the ways we encounter antiracism dilemmas in or everyday lives. But you’ll also be able to participate in discussions- share encouragement, offer your own story, tell us how youve handled a similar situation.
The first column will release on Monday, March 30. You’ll get a new column in your inbox every week! The subscription to Ask Austin is $7/month or $70/year. If you cannot make that happen right now, but really want to join in the fun, just send an email to email@example.com and we’ll email you a free subscription for a year.
Probably! Y’all know I love me some projects! I can already envision a mini podcast. I want to send you curated lists of antiracism resources. We can invite guest contributors to Ask Austin or maybe even have some live- member only- virtual sessions. The possibilities are endless, but I have to go slowly. If I do everything I dream about, I’ll fail so fast and so hard!
So we’ll start with Ask Austin and add more benefits as our community grows!
Thanks for being a part of this community, especially right now.
Peace, Love & Justice,
*typos exist to prove your love and grace unto me*