Welcome to the new In The Fray.
We’ve been on hiatus for a while, and we’ve used that time to update the site, our editorial approach, and our nonprofit organization. We hope you’ll enjoy reading the new magazine. Ever since we founded ITF ten years ago, we’ve published stories that help readers understand other people and empathize with their struggles and triumphs. This will continue, but we’ve streamlined both the look and content of the magazine in ways that make our mission clearer and our work more compelling.
For our first installment of content on the new site, we’re featuring three stories. The first is a photo essay about cause-minded capitalism in East Africa. In Capitalism Reborn: An East African Story, roving photojournalist Jonathan Kalan gives us a ground-level view of how social entrepreneurs in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda are bringing essential products and creative solutions to poor families — from Avon-like networks that sell deworming tablets and solar-powered lamps, to fair-trade partnerships that employ local artisans and farmers. These promising social enterprises may be a third way between multinational corporations reluctant to enter these markets and foreign aid burdened with problems of politics and efficiency.
Playing the Streets takes us into the world of street chess players — those regulars in many a city park, some homeless and some not, who play for their pay. As Victor Epstein shows us, street players have their own rules and norms, and their unique culture mixes the most contradictory impulses: a cutthroat free market on the open town square, a fierce competition over a game that is rooted in the democratic principle that anyone — even a homeless man — can play and win.
Finally, In Exile remembers a childhood turning point that set a father and daughter on two different paths. Nicole Cipri reminds us of how fate and time conspire to separate us from the ones we love.
To fill in the lulls between posts of new feature articles, I will use this space to write a regular blog, starting this week.
As we take this magazine into a new phase, please consider donating to our nonprofit organization. Our redesign was a huge investment in time and energy, and we very much need your support at this time. Every donation is tax-deductible, and every small amount helps us to pay our writers and artists (as part of our revamp, we raised the rates we pay).
Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback about the new magazine. We are also looking to fill key positions in our editorial and business departments.
On behalf of all of us at In The Fray, thank you for your support over the past decade. Here’s to another decade of thoughtful, personal stories on the issues that too often divide us.
Victor Tan Chen is In The Fray‘s editor in chief and the coauthor of The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America.