Emily Nash & Mia Uhunmwuangho: Orange Magazine
1) WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, HEY, EVEN BRAG A LITTLE.
2) TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOU ARE DOING AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT.
Mia: I currently serve as co-editor-in-chief of ORANGE Magazine, a student-run, lifestyle publication at UT. I’ve been with the publication since my first semester during freshman year at UT. I started off as a section writer, a section editor, a managing editor, and now, editor-in-chief. I think the work I do is important because it really does help give students a voice. Over the past couple of semesters, ORANGE has become really inclusive and diverse, and it’s amazing that Emily and I have been able to curate a staff that creates content that represents the diversity of UT’s student-body. In our upcoming digital issue alone, we tackle issues such as gender-neutral bathrooms on campus, the struggles of undocumented students, and the gentrification that’s occurring in black communities in East Austin. From the design to the writing to the photography, everything is handcrafted by students. ORANGE has become a safe place for students of all backgrounds.
Emily: I personally take a lot of pride in having a diverse group of people represent ORANGE Magazine. All five of the managing editors this past fall semester were women of color (including Mia and I), and the four ladies I’ve worked with are each bright and very good at what they do. As Mia said, ORANGE has sort of become a safe space for all types of students at UT. Austin as a whole is made up of so many unique students, musicians, artists, creatives, activists, businesses, people with different experiences, etc. so we want to target our student population by representing all that Austin has to offer. It’s really important that we’re inclusive with our staff and with the content we produce.
3) WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME CHALLENGES IN PURSUING THIS WORK?
Emily: I think an obvious challenge is to oversee a magazine made of up 80 people. There’s a lot going on all of the time with ORANGE, so it takes a huge chunk of mine and Mia’s time (seriously, Mia and I are also roommates and we spend a lot of time doing ORANGE stuff on our couch). Also, before ORANGE I had editor positions for my high school yearbook and newspaper, and I never quite felt like I was taken seriously as a leader — maybe because I’m a woman, or because I don’t necessarily “look” like a leader, but it’s something I’ve felt insecure about for a while. I do believe that I am a good leader, though, and I’ve never felt belittled as co-EIC of ORANGE, but insecurities do creep in sometimes. Confidence is definitely something I’m working on and that I’ve gained throughout my time with ORANGE.
Mia: Sometimes I feel like I have to be very aware and cautious about how I present myself, since I am a black woman. I often feel like I’m walking a rather thin line between being aggressive and being a pushover. I am a very hardworking person, and I want to be the boss bitch who gets everything done, but I always scale it back a bit, because I know how an “attitude” can be misconstrued when it’s coming from a black woman. I try not to let it discourage me from speaking my mind and voicing my opinions.
4) WHERE AND HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR QUEST?
Mia: You can support us by checking out orangemag.co for new, daily content.
5) Mia, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE quote?
“I am not tragically colored.” – Zora Neale Hurston
This quote is from Zora Neale Hurtson’s autobiography. It stands out to me because of it’s bold sentiment. For me, it’s very easy to feel like I’ve been burdened with blackness—from the color of my skin, to the width of my nose and the unruliness of my hair. This quote remind me that I am beautiful , and that blackness is a blessing. It’s an amazing feeling to be young, gifted, and black.
6) Emily, who inspires you?
I’m really close to my parents and I see myself in the both of them, but the most influential person in my life is probably my mom. She came to the U.S. from Honduras when she became pregnant with me, so she pretty much started over when she moved here. My mom was the first person in her family to finish college and was the first single woman to attend her university — she graduated with two degrees in theology and social work. What I admire the most about her is her passion for humanitarian work and her strength. I’ve seen her struggle as an immigrant, but she still stays positive and does what she can to help people in need, even though she herself hasn’t had many resources for most of her life. I just think she’s brave and humble and smart, and I see myself following in her footsteps on the path of social work and having a passion of working with underprivileged people.