Sparks Magazine

Sparks Magazine

Sparks Magazine supports a student-run publication and provides a mixed-media platform for the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community, with three chapters at the University of Florida, University of South Florida, and University of Central Florida. Chapters each semester write and develop their own magazine issues from scratch, allowing

Sparks Magazine

Sparks Magazine supports a student-run publication and provides a mixed-media platform for the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community, with three chapters at the University of Florida, University of South Florida, and University of Central Florida. Chapters each semester write and develop their own magazine issues from scratch, allowing them the opportunity to take agency of their own narratives and bring visibility to important issues for our communities. Students also gain significant experience in journalism, design, photography, and more in the hopes of increasing the number of Asian Americans in creative and media fields. Our team is made up of young Asian American professionals and students, many of whom are former staff members at Sparks chapters. We are volunteer-led, so many of us work full time in areas such as design, communications, and event planning and in both the private and public sector. This allows us to lend our skills, experiences, and resources to the students we work with. As former staff members, many of us also understand the operations of running student organizations. As a majority, our board and members grew up or live in the South, so we are dedicated to accurately capturing and sharing ours and others’ lived experiences.

About the Organization:

Sparks Magazine supports a student-run publication and provides a mixed-media platform for the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community, with three chapters at the University of Florida, University of South Florida, and University of Central Florida. Chapters each semester write and develop their own magazine issues from scratch, allowing them the opportunity to take agency of their own narratives and bring visibility to important issues for our communities. Students also gain significant experience in journalism, design, photography, and more in the hopes of increasing the number of Asian Americans in creative and media fields. Our team is made up of young Asian American professionals and students, many of whom are former staff members at Sparks chapters. We are volunteer-led, so many of us work full time in areas such as design, communications, and event planning and in both the private and public sector. This allows us to lend our skills, experiences, and resources to the students we work with. As former staff members, many of us also understand the operations of running student organizations. As a majority, our board and members grew up or live in the South, so we are dedicated to accurately capturing and sharing ours and others’ lived experiences.

organizational budget

$0 - $50,000

existence for

0-5 Years

The Issue:

In 2021, only 7.7 percent of staffers were Asian journalists across national newsrooms. This has a major, long-reaching impact, especially when it comes to the media's perspectives and reporting of the COVID-19 pandemic and the roots and effects of anti-Asian violence. More often than not, stories do not actually center or accurately represent the voices and experiences of Asian Americans. Furthermore, Asian Americans, especially in the Southeast, are widely underrepresented in local and national media, despite being one of the fastest growing populations in the nation.

The Solution:

Sparks Magazine supports a student-run publication and provides a mixed-media platform for the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community, with three chapters at the University of Florida, University of South Florida, and University of Central Florida. Chapters each semester write and develop their own magazine issues from scratch, allowing them the opportunity to take agency of their own narratives and bring visibility to important issues for our communities. Students also gain significant experience in journalism, design, photography, and more in the hopes of increasing the number of Asian Americans in creative and media fields. Our programming provides regular, free workshops and panels to students on topics from fundraising, advocacy, and digital design, based on their feedback. We regularly partner with alumni and other nonprofit organizations to help students build the expertise and skills they want to develop. We also support students by providing emergency printing funds, fundraising materials, and necessary technology and design software. In 2022, we launched Pardon My Southern Accent, a podcast interviewing and highlighting the stories of Asian Americans throughout the South on topics such as advocacy, career, and more. Ultimately, we hope to provide space and build a community of Asian Americans, especially in the Southeast, who can increase visibility for our communities through creative spaces.

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