Just $5 a month from 1,250 people will ensure that Sesi will always have enough funding to stay in print.
(*Plus: All donors will be credited as Assistant Publishers in the magazine.)
✨But why can’t we just get brands to advertise in the magazine? (Keep scrolling for the tea.)
Most brands do not care about Black media.
A few #receipts: here, here, here, here, and here. It’s the whole reason BOMESI exists. Our EIC/publisher has personally reached out to 500+ brands multiple times over the past 10 years — only ONE has been down with our mission so much they’ve advertised in every single issue since 2018. (It’s Kinky-Curly. Support them always and fo’eva!) Unfortunately, though, one ad an issue isn’t enough to sustain a magazine. There’ve also been a handful of others that have done one-off ads spread out over the past decade.
That’s why we need the support of our community to keep publishing. Unfortunately, we were unable to raise enough to print our summer 2022 issue, so for the first time in our history (almost 10 years of continuous publishing), we will not have an issue in print — the preference of 97% of our teen readers. Instead, we will have to distribute the summer issue digitally to fulfill subscriptions. This also means our faithful newsstand buyers won’t be able to get a copy from their local bookstore.
And if our lack of funding continues, we won’t be able to publish at all.
So, how much do we need?
Here’s the breakdown per quarter (per issue):
Paying our writers, photographers, designers & Illustrators: $5,000–$6,000
If 1,250 people donate just $5 a month, that, combined with our EIC’s three side-hustles, will ensure we always have enough to stay in print and continue publishing.
Give voice to Black teen girls in a media space where they are virtually invisible.
The burden of protecting Black girls should not be placed on the shoulders of Black girls alone, but on the shoulders of adult allies who can honor their innocence as children and adolescents and provide them with safe spaces to develop their identities in a healthy and positive way.
Opara, Ijeoma, et al. “Feeling Invisible and Unheard: A Qualitative Exploration of Gendered-Racist Stereotypes Influence on Sexual Decision Making and Mistreatment of Black Teen Girls.” Youth & Society, vol. 54, no. 4, May 2022, pp. 527–546
“I love that [Sesi is] a magazine focused on a group of girls who are often some of the most judged. It’s kind of like a safe space, just on paper.” —@iambriyonce, reader
You can make sure Black teen girls always have accurate, positive representation in magazine media by donating now.
Like most of the Black press, Sesi is independently owned. There’s no corporate backing and practically no advertising. Why? Major brands have historically denied access to advertising partnerships when it comes to Black-owned media. Even over the past year with major brands claiming they’ll increase spend with Black-owned media, nothing has actually happened.
Last year, Verizon said, “We have a lot of money. We have the money [to advertise with you]. But we don’t do print.” After hearing the data that 97% of Sesi‘s readers choose print over digital and pay attention to/take action on the ads in the magazine, Verizon then said, “Teenagers don’t influence purchase decisions.” (Of course, that’s far from reality.)
It’s not just major brands, either. In 2016, a rep from Mielle Organics said they were “only considering advertisement in mainstream print publications unless there are options to be featured in the magazine.” (Features are free publicity.)
We continue to actively seek out advertising partnerships — we have a fantastic one with Kinky-Curly, which has advertised in every single issue of Sesi since 2018! (One ad, however, does not fund a magazine.) Sesi is also a member of the Black-Owned Media Equity & Sustainability Institute.
Your contribution can:
- Ensure there’s always enough funding to pay the freelance writers, photographers, illustrators, designers, and other contributors who help create this magazine for the Black girls in your life.
- Cover other production costs, such as printing and shipping, so the magazine can be distributed to the Black girls in your life in a timely manner.
- Sesi continue to produce the only teen magazine specifically made for the Black girls in your life now and yet to come.