Project image
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$4,693
pledged of $12,000pledged of $12,000 goal
103
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 21 2019 11:39 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 21, 2019

The Iola Project

An online magazine dedicated to Black feminist takes on popular culture.

The Iola Project

An online magazine dedicated to Black feminist takes on popular culture.

$4,693
pledged of $12,000pledged of $12,000 goal
103
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 21 2019 11:39 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 21, 2019

About

Hello, new friends, and welcome to The Iola Project.  

Ravynn tweeted: "Ugh I just want to get a bunch of Black feminists together and start a site where we write Bitch media quality takes on popular culture but with the interactivity of Buzzfeed."
Ravynn tweeted: "Ugh I just want to get a bunch of Black feminists together and start a site where we write Bitch media quality takes on popular culture but with the interactivity of Buzzfeed."

Perhaps moments after that tweet, the idea for The Iola Project began taking shape in my mind. 

The idea was simple: I wanted Black feminist popular culture reviews and analysis about all our favorite things on a site where you could do more than just read. I wanted a site that taught readers as much about our Black feminist foremothers as it did about our contemporaries while you perused. And I wanted people to get paid for their time.

In order for such a huge project to get off the ground, I knew I needed help. So I called the baddest Black feminist I knew: Taylor Leigh Lamb. With Taylor’s assistance, The Iola Project began to develop sharper contours and the intentions became clearer. 

From our name, which was derived from Ida B. Wells’ pen name when she wrote for the Memphis Free Speech, to our site colors, which come from Alice Walker’s quote, “Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender,” everything that we do at The Iola Project is part of a larger goal of celebrating Black feminism, in all its forms and iterations. In addition to our popular culture reviews and analysis, we will write under Black feminist pseudonyms with an accompanying guide to why we have chosen our names; we will pay homage to our foremothers in our weekly “Letters to the Ancestors” column; and and we will encourage you to, in the wise words of Dr. Claudrena Harold, do the reading by offering up reading lists and reviews of our favorite Black feminist texts.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett
Ida B. Wells-Barnett

It is important for you to know that this is not a woman’s magazine. This is a Black feminist magazine. If you are Black, identify as a feminist and have all the feelings about popular culture, your words are welcome and valued here. We are seeking to amplify those voices. If you are non-Black, identify as a feminist and have all the feelings about popular culture, join our community.

If our ideas surrounding this project encourage you to follow us on social media, tell a friend, or maybe even donate. It will take $12,000 to cover start up costs and three months worth of content. 

But for something like The Iola Project? I think it’s worth it.


MEET OUR INAUGURAL STAFF

Ravynn K. Stringfield
Ravynn K. Stringfield

Ravynn Stringfield is a PhD candidate in American Studies at William & Mary, researching Black Women and Girls in fantastic, futuristic and digital narratives told through new media. She currently writes and curates guest content for her blog, Black Girl Does Grad School. Ravynn serves on the Board of Directors for Contingent Magazine and the Editorial Board of Third Stone Journal. When she’s not researching, writing or reading for her dissertation, she is likely somewhere drinking coffee, playing with her dog or boring someone to tears ranting about Lois Lane.

Taylor Leigh Lamb
Taylor Leigh Lamb

Taylor Leigh Lamb is a writer and theatre artist from Virginia Beach, Virginia. She believes strongly in the power of art to impact social change, and plans to one day make these impacts through theatre and writing. Taylor is a Sagittarius, with an ardent love of Beyoncé, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer is her favorite TV show of all time. She believes the last sentence is equally important as everything else she said here.

Editors

Holly Genovese
Holly Genovese

Holly Genovese is a Ph.D student in American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin with graduate portfolios in Women's and Gender Studies as well as African and African Diaspora Studies.  Her work focuses on prison writing, African American literature, intersectional feminism, popular culture and black poetics. She received her MA in history in 2015 from the University of South Carolina and her BA in History and Political Science in 2013 from Temple. Her first journal article, "Not A Myth: Quakers and Racial Justice" was published in the March 2015 edition of Quaker Studies. She is a contributor at Book Riot and a blogger at the US Society for Intellectual History. Her journalism and criticism has been published in Teen Vogue, The Washington Post, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other places. 

Trayc Freeman
Trayc Freeman

Originally from Virginia Beach, Trayc Freeman is a two-time graduate from the University of Virginia, earning a B.A. in African American Studies and an M.Ed in Educational Psychology (with a Social Foundations concentration). While working towards her B.A., Trayc became a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and is the current President of the Zeta Mu Sigma Alumnae Chapter. She currently works for UVA, but hopes to eventually pursue a Ph.D. focusing on Black education, more specifically, the value of having Black teachers and administrators in schools both historically and presently. In the meantime, she runs her own Black history blog and has officially declared editing as her favorite pastime.

CFO

Leah Franklin
Leah Franklin

Leah Franklin earned her M.B.A. at the University of Maryland University College and her B.S. in Communication Studies at Towson University. Leah has planned and produced events, live and taped shows in Miami, New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles. She currently works for a management and consulting agency in the DMV but has dreams of running her own business with her family. When she is not planning, she is at the beach, online shopping (because who goes into stores anymore) or quoting her favorite movie, “Love & Basketball”. Her hobbies include rewatching Michael Scott make a fool of himself, singing her heart out to Queen Bey and spending time with loved ones. 

Social Media Strategist

Monet Timmons
Monet Timmons

Monet Timmons received her B.A. in English and African American Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. Her research interests include 19th and 20th century African American literature with an emphasis on Black women in the archive and public memory. Monet has extensive background in archival research through Emory's Rose Library where she examined the manuscripts of Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, and Claudia Jones. Monet continues this passion for archival research and Black literary studies at University of Delaware as an AAPHI (African American Public Humanities Initiative) Fellow.

Board of Directors

Kelsey Watkins, J.D.

Chardé Reid

Alexis Richardson

Stay Connected to the Iola Project (@iolaproject on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook)
Stay Connected to the Iola Project (@iolaproject on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook)

Risks and challenges

One of the most challenging parts about this project is knowing that if we don't raise enough funds to produce the first three months of content, there simply won't be a magazine.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Social Media Shout Out

    Drop your twitter/IG handle, or just your name, and we'll shout you out on our social media!

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    Recognition as an Iola Project Backer

    We'll list you on our website as a contributor when we launch in September!

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    Exclusive Taylor & Ravynn Podcast

    Access to a special podcast of founders Taylor Leigh Lamb & Ravynn K. Stringfield talking about the project, Black feminism, and popular culture.

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    • Listing as a Contributor on Iola
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    PDF of Iola's Best Articles

    We'll send you a downloadable PDF version of Iola's ten best articles from our first three months!

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    • Listing as a Contributor on Iola
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Black Feminist Starter Guide

    Get access to a "Black Feminist Starter Guide" PDF! We'll include an annotated list of our top ten favorite Black feminist texts you must read, Black feminist artists we love and a directory of our favorite Black feminists on Twitter!

    Includes:
    • Social Media Shout Out
    • Listing as a Contributor on Iola
    • Editorial Feedback
    • Podcast episode
    • PDF of Iola's Best Articles
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    Editorial Feedback on a Full Draft

    Taylor, Ravynn or one of our editors will offer feedback on a full draft of a piece up to 1,000 words

    Includes:
    • Social Media Shout Out
    • Listing as a Contributor on Iola
    • Podcast episode
    • PDF of Iola's Best Articles
    • Black Feminist Starter Guide
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    Personalized Iola Thank You Card

    You will receive a personalized, hand-written Iola thank you card!

    Includes:
    • Social Media Shout Out
    • Listing as a Contributor on Iola
    • Podcast episode
    • PDF of Iola's Best Articles
    • Editorial Feedback (Full Draft)
    • Black Feminist Starter Guide
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    Hand-Lettered Quote

    Ravynn will hand-letter a (Black Feminist) quote of your choosing for digital download.

    Includes:
    • Social Media Shout Out
    • Listing as a Contributor on Iola
    • Podcast episode
    • PDF of Iola's Best Articles
    • Editorial Feedback (Full Draft)
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    Listing as an Iola Partner

    Donate $1,000 and you will receive a spot on our Board of Directors and listing as a Partner on our project!

    Includes:
    • Social Media Shout Out
    • Listing as a Contributor on Iola
    • Podcast episode
    • PDF of Iola's Best Articles
    • Editorial Feedback (Full Draft)
    • Personalized Iola Thank You Card
    • Hand-Lettered Quote
    • Black Feminist Starter Guide
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Funding period

- (30 days)