Dear Bradford Readers, 

Each year after Winter Break, the Bradford staff comes together and chooses a word to shape the type of work we want to do in the New Year. We then commit ourselves to upholding the values of our Word of the Year, using it as a central guide to our choices as Bradford writers and a collective publication. In 2020, our Word of the Year was represent, and we used it to help tackle journalistic “blind spots” and seek out a greater diversity of voices to uplift through our platform. 

For 2021, we were unable to land on a single Word of the Year – so we decided to pick two that go hand-in-hand: Empower and grow.  

Choosing the word empower was a nearly-unanimous decision. As a collective staff, we all agreed on the importance and necessity of broadening our impact on our readers so that our work can serve as a force for good in the community. But how will empower look in action? 

As a publication, we are not only committed to representing as wide a variety of individuals as possible, but also to using their stories as a means to empower others to take action and stand up against injustice around them. Moreover, we pledge to enhance our relationship with the community and actively seek out story ideas to empower our audience to speak up about topics, groups, and voices they want to see represented in The Bradford. As a staff, we seek to empower each other in our work, fostering an environment where we encourage one another to take risks, grow from our experiences, and learn from one another. 

In brainstorming how to bring empower to fruition, we discussed ways to expand our horizons as a publication and the types of journalism we want to put out to our readers. This is where grow comes in. Although traditionally, we have had one Word of the Year, we decided that both words, together, will hold us accountable to what we hope to achieve as a publication.

In order to empower our audience and use The Bradford as a force for good, we understand the importance of viewing growth as a necessary and ever-present part of our duties as journalists and a publication. We are committed to using our Words of the Year to shape the work we do in 2021 and invite you, our readers, to hold us accountable, as we will hold ourselves, in making these words meaningful and important drivers of our work. Thank you.

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