“We all have needs,” writes YES! Media Executive Editor Evette Dionne in the Summer 2023 issue of YES! Magazine. “That’s a baseline characteristic of being human,” she continues. “And yet, we live in a world that shames people, especially those from marginalized communities, for vocalizing their needs and doing whatever’s necessary to meet them.”
Dionne is an award-winning journalist, pop culture critic, and magazine editor who covers culture and politics through the lenses of race, gender, class, and size and is the author of Weightless: Making Space for My Resilient Body and Soul, and Lifting As We Climb. She spoke with YES! Racial Justice Editor Sonali Kolhatkar on Rising Up With Sonali about the magazine’s feature stories and op-eds centered around the theme of “Thirst,” from the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, to the abolition of policing and prisons, and more.
The views expressed here and on Rising Up With Sonali do not necessarily reflect the opinion of YES! Media.
Sonali Kolhatkar is currently the racial justice editor at YES! Media and a writing fellow with Independent Media Institute. She was previously a weekly columnist for Truthdig.com. She is also the host and creator of Rising Up with Sonali, a nationally syndicated television and radio program airing on Free Speech TV and dozens of independent and community radio stations. Sonali won First Place at the Los Angeles Press Club Annual Awards for Best Election Commentary in 2016. She also won numerous awards including Best TV Anchor from the LA Press Club and has also been nominated as Best Radio Anchor 4 years in a row. She is the author of Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence, and the co-director of the nonprofit group, Afghan Women's Mission. Her forthcoming book is Rising Up: The Power of Narrative in Pursuing Racial Justice (City Lights, 2023). She has a Master’s in Astronomy from the University of Hawai’i, and two undergraduate degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. She reflects on her professional path in her 2014 TEDx talk, “My Journey From Astrophysicist to Radio Host.” She can be reached at sonalikolhatkar.com