#WEOC-Writers and Editors of Color: Background and Basics

Who are we, where did we come from, and what do we do

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

#WEOC Folk, Family, Allies and Interested People

Wow this has been a wonderful whirlwind — normally I publish a weekly recap of our meetings, but this week we decided to wait until we finish our orientation meetings to get everyone caught up.

We’re growing so quickly, we decided give a little background and basic info.

Who are we?

#WEOC is a network and support group for writers and editors of color on Medium and beyond.

How we started…

It’s hard to believe a few weeks ago, “ it was all a dream” (sorry I grew up hip hop — shoutout to Biggie). My name is Teressa (pronounced Tuh-rEss-uh), but on Medium I’m Tee, Conscious Creative. Last December, 2020 I had been writing for a few months and I decided I needed to branch out. I joined a few Medium writer’s groups on Facebook, but there isn’t a lot of engagement and I couldn’t find a group specifically for Black or writers of color. I was yearning for a writing community that would understand me. I wanted a group of Black and writers of color that would help and support each other as we face and endure our unique creative challenges and celebrate our individual and collective wins big or small.

I took a leap of faith on Christmas Eve and asked a writer I’d been following to cohost a Clubhouse chat for writers of color. That writer was Allison Gaines and I later discovered that she is also the EIC of Cultured which explained her polished, well researched — yet engaging pieces. I wanted to have a conversation and nerd out with her about her writing process as a fellow womanist writer using our words to call out and fight racism and injustice.

Our first conversation, was easy and free flowing, I found a kindred spirit and true writing partner. We quickly got to work inviting writers and editors on Medium and Adrienne Samuels Gibbs, the Deputy Editor of Zora and Managing Editor of Momentum jumped on board — it was the perfect synergy.

January 10, 2021 we hosted our first Clubhouse chat for Writers and Editors of Color and a Zoom recap the next week and #WEOC was born. In less than a month we’ve grown from 6 writers and editors on a hopeful chat to:

  • A diverse group of 40+ writers and editors on Medium and beyond
  • 4 different platforms in 6 different time zones and 3 different countries.
  • Hosting weekly Clubhouse chats, monthly Zoom recaps meetings and now we have a Slack workspace to bring everyone together — where Allison is the #WEOC Slack Queen and reigns supreme (because I still don’t know what I’m doing :)

Everyday — someone new joins the #WEOC tribe and comments on how they enjoy the positive vibes. It’s a writer’s village based on respect and support.

When and where do we meet?

  • Clubhouse App: Sundays at 12:00 PM EST
  • Zoom Audio: Biweekly, Wednesdays at 6:00 PM EST Next Recap: Wednesday, February 17, 2021
  • Slack: Daily communication and networking hub, resource database

Read the #ClubhouseAppRecap for updates and announcements.

We hope you drop by one of our chats or recaps. They’re fun and informative — bring paper and pen — and ping a writer friend.

FAQ

Who can join?

Any writer or editor on Medium (in good standing) and beyond that identifies as Black or a person of color with an open, positive and communal spirit. Our focus is on #WEOC, but allies are welcome.

How can you join?

Ask for an invite to our Slack workspace follow the steps on the #Welcome page and that’s it. If you’re on Clubhouse, all you have to do is follow me Tee, Conscious Creative, Adrienne Samuels Gibbs or Allison Gaines and just join our chat Sundays at 12:00 PM, EST

If you’re not on Clubhouse, DM one of us on Twitter and we’ll send you the Zoom meeting link for a recap of the previous week’s chats.

Culture and vibe

We’re a community of creatives who meet to learn, share and support each other as writers of color and all our intersections. Positive vibes, solutions and strategies are our focus. Bring an attitude of gratitude, love and kindness.

Our goal is to be each other’s cheerleaders and motivators. However, we ask that if criticism is needed — critique with kindness via private notes or direct message. The world is harsh enough, we all don’t need to know if someone’s participle is dangling or verbs weren’t conjugated properly. This is a safe place to build each other up — where we can be free to speak what’s in our hearts and minds and receive love and respect (even if it isn’t grammatically correct).

We only have one basic deal breaker — disrespect of any kind or intensity will not be tolerated. We fiercely value and protect the peace and safety of the collective. If you cannot honor this — you will be asked to leave the group.

We’re about the business of unapologetically writing and supporting other writers and editors of color (thank you Miss Marley K.)— anything else is for another space and time.

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns — DM via Slack or Twitter.

With love, joy and gratitude #WEOC

PS — I would love if other writers would submit a recap. Please drop notes with feedback or if you’d like to add something — or see an error.

Thank you for reading!

Tee, Conscious Creative and Allison Gaines #WEOC Founders

Here is our last recap:

Writer, Founder WEOC and Editor of Writers and Editors of Color Mag Bylines in Zora, Momentum, An Injustice!, POM, Illumination, The Pink, and Better Marketing

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