A Look in the Mirror 

How to reflect the world around us in our work.

“I can only hope that once this magazine is in your hands things will be different. Quarantine will no longer be our new normal. We’ll be opening our companies’ doors, hugging friends and family, and continuing on with our lives.” 

I wrote this to you in the April issue. I was perhaps a bit too optimistic that a few weeks would have led to such developments. We’re a couple months in and states are lessening restrictions, doors are starting to open, and hugs from those closest to us are bit more welcome, but in no way are we simply moving on with our lives. The pandemic is still here, businesses are trying to navigate lost revenue as well as health and safety guidelines for their employees, and the country is actively begging for long-deserved justice and equality. 

When we created the Women in Wide Format Awards (formerly the Women in Print Awards) our editorial team was told there wouldn’t be enough women in the industry for the award to continue each year. We’re now in year five. Twenty four deserving women have won the award, spoken on panels at events around the country, and have launched a network of successful leaders in the wide-format digital print space. It’s not as though these female print shop owners, presidents, CEOs, and founders didn’t exist in our print world – they just weren’t being recognized. The awards created a community and conversation that were both needed in the industry. 

What this has taught me is the power of this magazine and the voice we have. I look at our Editorial Advisory Board and I’m proud to see faces that are representative of the industry we’re in. But it’s not enough. At Big Picture, we will be proactive in making sure the companies we cover are diverse and reflect the print service providers in this market, specifically Black men and women. 

This is a two-way street. We host the Rising Stars Awards in Screen Printing magazine. In 2019, only white men were nominated, therefore only white men won. We received a comment on the Instagram post announcing the winners that said “there’s so much more diversity in screen printing than this cover shows.” I couldn’t agree more. As we at Big Picture and Screen Printing magazines work toward more diverse content that accurately depicts those around us, I ask you to do the same. Take a look at your employees, your partnerships, your boards, your nomination forms. We all have to be better, and we will be.

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