Re-imagining Reappropriate to better serve our readers

This year marks just over twenty years of Reappropriate.

I first launched this site in December of 2002 as a place where I could develop my interest in racial justice, social justice, and feminism as a young Asian American woman.

From these humble beginnings, Reappropriate quickly transformed from personal blog into community gathering space — part literary journal, part community bulletin board, part citizen newspaper; all fueled by volunteer time and effort. Nonetheless, Reappropriate was launched as (to my knowledge) the first Asian American online publication to write explicitly from the intersection of racial justice and feminism, and that mission has remained an unwavering throughline of our work.

I’ve known more years with Reappropriate as a part of my life than I have without it. In all this time, Reappropriate has evolved along with my own evolution as an Asian American feminist and data scientist; and eventually, as a parent. It is this last evolution that unfortunately eroded the time I have to dedicate to maintaining Reappropriate as I previously have.

As Reappropriate has languished, I have wondered if it might be time to shutter the site for good. But, I’ve also heard from readers how important Reappropriate has been to so many of you. Reappropriate has gained overwhelming community support to become a space not just for me; but also pivotal for so many other Asian American people of all identities seeking an online space to safely think, feel, engage, and activate; and sometimes, to just to exist. And for a community too long marginalized in American history, that itself is radical.

So after twenty years, it’s time for our tradition to continue with a radical re-imagining for Reappropriate so that it continues to serve our Asian American readers.

In truth, we’ve already made a few changes. For one, Reappropriate is no longer a solo effort; we’re now run by a team of co-editors. Last year, the incredibly talented Frankie Huang joined Reappropriate as co-Editor. More recently, writer and editor Eddie Kim has joined us as a Contributing Editor. Our site layout has also changed to reflect our pivot towards having more regular contributing writers.

You may have also noticed the soft launch of a Reappropriate advice column, where you can write letters asking for our advice on any topic related to social justice, feminism, pop culture, parenting, and more. We’ll be working over the next few months to develop this new and exciting feature.

There are many more new developments in the works.

Reappropriate has always maintained an unwavering focus on service to our readers. However, as the internet has changed dramatically, it is important for us to evolve in a way that continues to meet our community’s needs.

To that end, last month we ran a community survey to better understand how you’re engaging with this website. We received many fantastic responses, and your feedback confirmed our belief that there is still a need for Reappropriate within the Asian American media landscape.

We learned that most of you are tracking Reappropriate’s new content through Twitter. This is how we’ve always intended for Twitter to integrate with Reappropriate, but we’re worried about the future — especially as Twitter continues to become less safe, especially for women of color.

80% of survey respondents use Twitter to track new content at Reappropriate.

It seems like we need to develop alternative ways for you to keep up-to-date with Reappropriate. For example, most of you would be interested in having Reappropriate content delivered to your email inbox in newsletter form.

We also learned that a majority of Reappropriate readers are invested enough in our work to consider supporting this site financially through monthly contributions. To date, this site has been entirely funded through reader contributions, web-ads (which we’ve moved away from), and from out-of-pocket donations. However, we’d like to move Reappropriate towards becoming a fully and sustainably community-supported and community-focused space. The money we raise would not only fund web-hosting, but also allow us to better pay contributing writers, editors, and artists.

Based on our community survey results, we’ve already got one more exciting new change: We’ve launched the new Reappropriate Substack! Subscribe to get new posts delivered directly to your inbox at a frequency of 1-3 emails a week.

Alternatively, you can also follow and subscribe to Reappropriate through to get Reappropriate content emailed to you.

In the coming months, look for more updates here at Reappropriate as we continue to positively re-imagine this site’s future. Until then, thank you for your continued support of this site and our work.

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