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Letter from the Editors – Volume 56, Issue 5

Dear readers,

Newness is a slippery concept. For fifty-seven years, The New Journal has found novel ways to tell stories with familiar themes—justice, resilience, tradition, and rupture. As the new board of The New Journal, we will uphold this magazine’s longstanding mission: to describe a world in flux with human nuance.

In Volume 56, Issue 5, we find the face of America shifting across generational lines. Two of our writers pay homage to local migrant communities. Our cover story, by Kylie Volavongsa, examines the national application of a New Haven-based refugee resettlement model, which places the future of resettlement in the hands of everyday Americans. Ingrid Rodríguez Vila glimpses home in the Puerto Rican diaspora of New Haven, where local teens aspire to lead their community in a cultural pageant. 

In other pages, people defend their homes. Disgruntled neighbors organize into a tenants union; Yale and Connecticut’s Indigenous communities interrogate the University’s land acknowledgment; and a ragtag group of fishermen fight to preserve their waters. 

As we release this issue, the war on Gaza and campus protests across the country continue. The day after our first weekend of editing, student protestors occupied Beinecke Plaza and demanded that Yale immediately disclose its endowment holdings and divest from military weapons manufacturing. One week later, on Monday, April 22nd, Yale police arrested forty-eight of the protesters, including forty-four Yale students. As we watch students gather at the plaza, in the streets, and on Cross Campus, we are reminded that putting words to the present is an increasingly important and fraught task.

In the year to come, we will remain committed to this task, writing stories that document history and generate change. We tuck this issue into The New Journal archive, and release it out to you–these stories, as Samantha Liu writes, may now “ripple into either memory or possibility.” 

For now,

Managing Board

Maggie, Chloe, Aanika, Sam

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