A Letter from the Editorial Leadership Team

2020-08-11

Dear Reflections Community,

We write to you during a horrific time amidst another horrific time for us all, and especially for those most closely impacted. In a world that is continuing to navigate the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic in which the existence of multiple health and health care disparities and inequities are now undeniable, we are also witnessing – and grappling with in profound and deeply personal ways – the realities of structural violence and racist injustices perpetuated throughout history. The casualties are measured in human lives and liberties, and the impacts are devastating.

It is in these times that the opportunity for reflection and the power of narrative writing can be a gift. We at Reflections are honored to have been able to hold this space for the past 25 years, and we feel the responsibility of maintaining it with integrity now more than ever.

Like you, we are touched by the heroic efforts of countless people who put others ahead of their own safety and tirelessly offer care and comfort. We are inspired by those who advocate for our most vulnerable, for those whose voices are marginalized, and for those who have been systematically and historically oppressed. And we stand in solidarity with those who are taking a stand to demand equity for themselves, their families, and their communities. For us, Black Lives Matter is more than a saying...It is a rallying for intentional action!

We at Reflections remain steadfast in our Calls for Narratives that elucidate what can be taught and learned and enacted for the betterment of humankind, especially in the midst of a global “reckoning” in many ways. We deeply appreciate the Calls that other journals have been issuing to write reflections about these experiences as well. We remain committed to the power of stories to connect our hearts and minds as we seek to reach-out, connect, and move forward. Our goal is that others will soon join us in lifting “voices in narrative” so that we all can benefit from even more insights and wisdom.

As your Editorial Leadership Team, we are committed to providing a platform from which the unvarnished truth about the persistence of systemic racism and the disparities and inequities that invade and pervade our communities can be raised. Relatedly, we are also reimagining the ways in which our journal can better serve more of us – authors and readers – to include more diverse expressions of “reflections.” As one step in that direction, we are excited to be able to announce the forthcoming debut of a new Permanent Call for Poetry, Art, and Photography. These reflections – like the narratives of prose we will continue to have – will also undergo a double-blind peer review for acceptance to one of our Sections (i.e., Teaching & Learning, Practice, Field Education, Research).

Especially during this time of transitions and change, we remain hopeful that all of us make the time to discover new and even more meaning “full” ways to show up in our lives…for the benefit of ourselves and for one another, in both our spaces of professional practice and our communities at large.

We at Reflections wish you and everyone in your hearts to stay safe, stay well, and stay connected!

Darlyne Bailey, Monica Leisey, F. Ellen Netting, and Kelly McNally Koney