Help Us Report Asks the public for input, insights, clarifications, anecdotes, documentation, etc., for reporting purposes. Callouts are a type of crowdsourcing in journalism.
We’re living in a fraught time when many of our needs aren’t being met, on both an individual and a systemic level. From some communities fighting for access to clean drinking water to others being denied access to the accommodations they need to thrive, we’re all desiring to live beyond the inequitable hope we’ve been fed. When we’ve been deprived, we tend to develop an instinct—a thirst—to fulfill our desire or need.
Some of us share an internal thirst to reclaim a body or identity that is often policed, polarized, and politicized. Thirst can also be literal: seeking access to the basic human right of clean water, unspoiled by pollution, governmental greed, or privatization. It can take the form of accountability. What do climate refugees need after being pushed out of their homelands amid the escalating climate crisis? How can educators meet the needs of their students as they’re being censored, surveilled, and threatened with incarceration and unemployment?
In a world that deprives many for the gain of a small few, thirst is a form of restoration, a reminder to listen to our instincts rather than ignore them. In “Thirst,” the theme for our Summer 2023 issue, we’re examining what it means to listen to those who are oppressed when they say they are thirsty for a dream that has long been deferred. What is the story that you swallow on the back of your tongue in the name of deserving more? How do you quench the desire not just to survive but to thrive? These are the kinds of questions driving this issue.
Other questions include:
What would it look like to live in a world where economic opportunity and resources are distributed equitably, so marginalized communities have unfettered access to everything they desire and need?
How do we get our needs met in cultures that prioritize individualism above communal connection? Who are the people and organizations modeling what it looks like to have our interpersonal and communal needs met?
How can we decolonize knowledge so it isn’t coming from a single source that privileges Western science over traditional ecological knowledge?
People are powerful and creative in their approaches to protecting the water in their communities, their families, their lives. Some fight through activism, some through education, and others through the legal system. We want to profile creative and powerful defenders of water, so tell us who most inspires you with their efforts. Nominate someone to be featured in this issue’s People We Love section by emailing Senior Editor Breanna Draxler at [email protected].
For this issue, we ask that contributors pitch us ideas beyond a literal interpretation of the theme—we are not seeking additional stories about water or access to it. Instead, we are looking for unconventional ideas, and explorations of thirst in all its forms: thirst for knowledge, thirst for peace, thirst for financial security, thirst for justice.
All the stories we seek will be examples of excellent journalism and storytelling: stories that are well-researched, with compelling characters, and that demonstrate struggle and resolution. Hurry and send your pitches to [email protected] by March 6 to be considered for the Summer 2023 issue. (After that, you can continue to send them to [email protected].)
YES! Editors are those editors featured on YES! Magazine’s masthead. Stories authored by YES! Editors are substantially reported, researched, written, and edited by at least two members of the YES! Editorial team.