A few weeks ago, we hosted our Bulldog Days event in a small room at the top of Phelps Hall. We did not belong there. Still, we set down our things and made it so—half-eaten bags of hot chips, a modest pile of tote bags, and enough Red Bulls to kill someone. We worried if people would come. Slowly, they did, and we welcomed a small cohort of five.
The New Journal began for us this way, too: a small group of editors, a small mess of junk food, and a small table at which we barely belonged. Over the past year, we have found a home here. This April, we welcomed back the people who have created their own homes in The New Journal, the people who have cared for this magazine over the course of nearly five decades. It seems this home is still as scrappy as they remember.
But as we all do this time of year, we begin as we leave.
In our board’s first issue, our stories interrogate the safe places many call home. Amelia Davidson’s cover story explores an approach to make New Haven a safer place to live—but some envision radically different ways to protect this peace. Megan Vaz parses out efforts to create systems of support against sexual violence, often at the expense of emotionally burdening our cces. Elisa Cruz writes of the struggle to make New Haven Public Schools sanctuaries, rather than sites of surveillance.
While we work to make our existing homes more caring, we may negotiate the things that constitute them, creating something new yet familiar. Grace Ellis recalls her dear friend Allis’s path to the “irrevocable condition” of home. Connor Arakaki creates presence from absence as she weaves together fragments of her Indigenous Hawaiian identity. And to begin this issue as we end this letter, Ashley Chin introduces us to the found families of Elm City Games and the refuge to be found in play.
We are about to scatter around the globe, leaving some things behind and holding on to others. We hope you’ll take these stories with you as you go.
TNJ Love, The New Managing Board Abbey, Jabez, Paola, & Kylie