Can you tell us a little more about how Apogee came to be?
Apogee was founded in 2010 by members of a student group for writers of color and international writers in Columbia’s Graduate Writing Program. The idea for Apogee sprang from the group’s mission, to create a space for underrepresented writers to gather and discuss issues of race, class, and sexuality in writing and in society. The founders of Apogee (Zinzi Clemmons, Melody Nixon, Aaron Shin, and Jenny Ohrstrom) believed that this mission would be best served by producing an annual publication featuring writers of color and marginalized perspectives–a space to honor quality work that is often disregarded in mainstream publications.
In the three years since Apogee’s founding, the organization has taken on a life of its own that is much bigger than the journal itself. While our efforts are still heavily focused on the production of the publication (we released Issue Three in print in May 2014, and will release Issue Four, an online-only issue, in fall 2014), we’ve expanded our activities to regular readings, co-sponsorships with other organizations, and an active blog. It’s all about community building–finding ways to celebrate diverse voices, while making room for the often difficult conversations about social justice and identity politics. We’re currently in the process of becoming a nonprofit, which will expand our capacity for projects and events for the public benefit.
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