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Abu and Gabriel, Mornings during quarantine and self-Isolation, April 2020. Photo by Adriana Teresa Letorney

News Spotlight
A very personal note/reflection
adriana teresa letorney
Jun 29, 2020
Location: Array
As many of you know, I am the mother of a six-year-old son. These days have been really challenging for all of us, especially for kids. He has expressed feeling sad, hurt, disappointed, and confused about the world we are living in. He has also shared for the first time that he has felt alone in some ways. As a parent, this is heartbreaking. I want to see him smile and laugh. I live for that smile. We all should live to see children smile and laugh, and feel safe and empowered.

In thinking about the past several months, I find myself in a time of reflection.  So, I thought I should reach out with the hopes that maybe you can listen, and share your perspective.

Visura is my way of coping with and contributing to society. It is where I found a place to fail forward, and try to be better and do better, not just for myself but for others around the world, whether we know each other or not. I envision our platform to be a community, a safe and trusted place, where we can come together, listen, discuss, and grow in the difference.

As I work on Visura—I now hope that one day he can look to our community to find new leaders, inspiring voices and visual storytellers from around the world looking to connect and share their perspectives—not to create hierarchies or to insult or alienate others but to inform with empathy, kindness, perspective, respect and acceptance.

Our household is multiracial, and I am very proud of it: Hispanic, Latin American, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Russian, European, and American Ancestry. We celebrate our diversity with love and understanding, and the willingness to listen to each other, and learn from each other...knowing that it is not about who is right or wrong but how you engage with each other that matters.

Bringing people together and being kind are truly the new cool—and whatever we need to do to heal the wounds of anger and hate to move forward, let's do it for the sake of all of us, including journalism and media. 

I want my son as well as all of you, and your families and loved ones to know you can look to Visura as a trusted community and organization in the journalism and media industry that believes in equal and merit-based opportunities and works to foster sustainability for all its members —individuals and organizations, and even the industry and society at large, regardless of race, gender, social-economic background, and culture.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that ...These are the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It's time to work together and stop any efforts to continue the divisions, categorizations, fighting, and hate—even within our industry.

We need to come together as an industry, and I think we need to do this outside of social media platforms. 

I see the value of social media as a marketing tool but it can be exhausting, exploitative, divisive, heartbreaking...and a broken system that creates hierarchies, division, and popular crowds versus outdated crowds in the name of community and privacy. Meanwhile, the toll these platforms have on the mental health of so many individuals, many of whom are age 25 or under, is very real. We need to learn about the platforms that are being used to discover and connect in the name of community and privacy, and in our industry, specifically when speaking about women and people of color and how many are pressured to turn to social media as if it were the only or best solution to becoming empowered and discovered. It is a facade, and I feel a responsibility to kindly ask you to do your research, please, for the sake of our industry and, more importantly, your work and its sustainability.

Also, I worry about our mental health as an industry, to be honest.

The internet is a war zone. Shadow banning, bullying, discrimination, abuse, violence, ghosting, censorship, exclusion, and these actions and culture to divide must stop. Are we really thriving as individuals and professionals through social media? All I find is a spiraling toxic environment filled with ego and a need for power, a say in matters as if some groups know better than others, lack of leadership, and loneliness...lots and lots of loneliness...because there must be so many things that we could be doing instead of spending hours connected to these platforms to waste on passively or actively spreading misinformation and hate. I left. It was too much. Plus, Where is the respect for ourselves? our work? And for others?   

As an international community, Visura is an alternative safe enabling environment that fosters sustainability, professional skill development, respect, empathy, kindness, and inclusivity in addition to media literacy. Our work matters. What we do matters'. Our diverse voices matter and are necessary to elevate media literacy.

Visura will never be perfect but we can work to be better and do better every day....one day a time. We can work together to connect, share and grow, which means allowing ourselves the chance to fix our wrongs and be the change we all envision. Let's find the time to listen, learn, and try to do better as we build a community that offers support, respect, and encouragement.

Focus on the good you can do in this world, and let us work from that ethos. 

Ultimately, the tech is a commodity. You are the heart of Visura! Believe in yourself and in all of us. We are in this together. We elevate media literacy when we all thrive. As challenging as this is, especially in the existing economy and marketplace with all the existing structural challenges, Visura is dedicated to identifying them and finding ways to solve them with your support, belief, and encouragement. 

Visura is also dedicated to you. You are not alone. Reach out to each other...to me...be the community you envision and continue defining and creating that landscape via Visura. Share your perspective. This is how we get to listen and learn and make the necessary changes as a community. 

We can all grow in the difference.

Poco a poco y sin nada de alboroto. 
Stay safe.

Kindly,

Adriana Teresa
Founder
Visura

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