Have you heard the saying, “ni de aquí, ni de allá?” I’m not from here, nor there.
I grew up in the small Texas border town of Eagle Pass, and I’m the daughter of Mexican immigrants. As a first generation born in the U.S., I often felt like that. My life has been braided by cultural strands that are impossible to untangle. It’s taken me some life experience to realize that living in nepantla, or that space in between culturas, is actually among my superpowers.
When I became a journalist in 2003, I made it my personal mission to amplify underrepresented communities through my writing. I didn’t often see families like mine featured in mainstream news outlets — except when something bad happened.
Austin Vida aims to change that. We want to help lift our comunidad by focusing on solutions storytelling. Our stories are part of what make Austin special. We are movers, shakers and glass-ceiling breakers. Our stories are worthy of being told and deserve to be uplifted.
In the summer of 2020, while a reporter at the Austin American-Statesman, I headed to Austin Police Department headquarters to cover the massive protests following the killing of George Floyd during the height of a global pandemic.
Austinites were on the streets demanding change. I knew the time had come for me to step up for my community and bring back Austin Vida for a new generation.
While Austin Vida had previously published online, it had ceased publication during a time when anti-immigrant rhetoric ramped up across the country. But Latinos are a big part of this community’s rich history, present and future. We make up about 33 percent of the city’s population and our historias should not be ignored.
In the midst of the uncertainty that the pandemic brought, I decided to leave my job and dedicate myself to a grassroots effort of amplifying, informing and celebrating local Latinidad.
Austin Vida has since celebrated many milestones. So far this year, we’ve launched a monthly Latino cultural radio segment with our partners at Austin’s NPR radio station, and added a mental health columnist to our team as a direct result of your feedback seeking more culturally-relevant support.
In the past six months, we’ve also produced six monthly Cultura Guides curating the best of Latino cultural arts locally, as well as reported on the city’s César Chávez March and Rally, and the life and legacy of Joe Vela, a local beloved boxing coach and youth advocate who passed away in April.
But being a small, indie publisher isn’t easy. We need your support to ensure our stories are never an afterthought. Will you help us?
Right now, 30 readers send us monthly contributions to support our journalism, and we are truly grateful to each and every one of you.
If just 20 more people sign up right now to become monthly supporters, we could hire freelance journalists to boost our community and cultural news coverage.
We could also plan ahead to secure intern stipends for Latino student journalists.
Will you champion our cultura and help us serve our gente?
Together, we can shine a brighter light on our comunidad.
Nancy Flores, Austin Vida editor & publisher