In The Fray is an online magazine for writers and artists to explore global issues and engage readers with personal perspectives and critical analysis.


  • to promote global understanding and equality through the power of journalism and art.
  • to function as a nonprofit entity, without relying on commercial interests for support.
  • to publish superior writing and artwork in a professional manner, with the help of a team of committed, volunteer staff.
  • to produce a site that is the collective perspective of our many writers, artists, and staff members.
  • to cover issues that are of interest to the progressive community (including inequality, race, gender, sexuality, and the environment), but to welcome other perspectives on these issues, so long as they meet our standards of high-quality, honest writing.


In The Fray launched on April 9, 2001. An all-volunteer staff created the magazine with the goal of helping readers better understand the experiences and perspectives of other people through powerful, personal stories on global issues. In The Fray has always featured original reporting, with firsthand accounts and exclusive interviews from around the world, as well as compelling personal essays, commentary, cultural criticism, photography, and artwork by contributors from all walks of life. Over the years, the breadth and ambition of our work have grown. We have published articles from writers and artists on all seven continents, and our content has won national recognition from journalism and advocacy organizations, including an Excellence in Online Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and nominations from the National Press Photographers Association and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (2005, 2006, and 2007).

In The Fray, Inc., the nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization that publishes the magazine, was established in 2000. The magazine’s founders were Victor Tan Chen and Alexander T. Nguyen. Our logo was designed by solargun.com.

To read the articles selected for our annual Best of In The Fray series, use the following links:

20142013 | 2012 | 2010 | 2009 | earlier years


Aimee Walker
Aimee Walker has been a fundraiser since 2001. She has worked to grow and diversify income for a variety of nonprofits, including social service, arts, and social justice organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Smith College and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. Her poems and reviews have appeared in national magazines and journals, and she has received poetry scholarships and grants from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Astraea Lesbian writers fund.

Natasha Johnson
Natasha is an activist, legal specialist, educator, and proud Brooklynite. Currently, Natasha teaches law and ethics at a number of universities. Most recently, she was traipsing through the Pacific Islands and helping to update outdated laws. She’s worn many different hats, including working with homeless youth and survivors of domestic violence. Natasha also teaches at local colleges and lectures on issues of gender and human rights. When she grows up, Natasha aspires to found a nonprofit agency that will provide legal services and legal reform on behalf of African American, African Caribbean, Melanesian, and continental African survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). When Natasha’s not busy trying to right wrongs, she can be found dancing, making jewelry, practicing yoga, or moonlighting as a fashion stylist and interior decorator.

Sarah Wheeler
Sarah Wheeler will be attending law school in the fall and currently works in the attorney development department of a large law firm in Midtown Manhattan. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history and Italian from Smith College and a master’s degree in art history from Penn State University. In her spare time, she is an avid photographer and writes a food blog.


Victor Tan Chen, Editor in Chief and Cofounder
Victor Tan Chen is a sociologist who studies unemployment, inequality, and social policy. His latest book, Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy, will be published by the University of California Press in August 2015. With Katherine S. Newman, he coauthored The Missing Class: Portraits of the Near Poor in America, which was selected by Library Journal as one of the Best Business Books of 2007. He also contributed to the book Chutes and Ladders: Navigating the Low-Wage Labor Market. His work has been discussed in various news outlets, including BBC News, the New York TimesBill Moyers Journal, and NPR. He received his PhD and BA from Harvard University. Now an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, he lives in the Richmond area with his wife Emi and two young sons. Site: victortanchen.com.

Susan M. LeeCulture Editor
Susan M. Lee is a freelance researcher and writer based in Brooklyn. She also facilitates interviews for StoryCorps, a national oral history project. In her spare time, she maintains the blog Field Notes and Observations.

Kyle Trafas, Photo Editor
Kyle Trafas has been behind a camera since he was twelve. He spent his formative years exploring the city of Los Angeles, searching for beauty amid the concrete. He currently operates his own photography business out of Santa Barbara, but is always ready to travel at a moment’s notice. Site: kylelondontrafas.com

Elizabeth Yuan, Contributing Editor
Elizabeth Yuan is an interactive news writer for WSJ.com and is based in New York. Previously, she worked at CNN, most recently as a digital producer for CNN.com’s international edition in Hong Kong. She has been a volunteer editor for In The Fray since 2005. Twitter: @baoyuan

Sandra Hong, Staff Blogger
Sandra Hong is a freelance writer based in Hong Kong. After a stint in finance, she delved into her love of eating and cooking by attending the International Culinary Center in New York and then working in a restaurant and a cafe in Hong Kong. She devotes her spare time to running, traveling, and volunteering for the Hong Kong chapter of Slow Food International.

Tina Vasquez, Staff Blogger
Tina Vasquez dropped out of college to become a writer. She freelances in and around Los Angeles, her forever home. Tina is currently working on her first book, Growing Up Girl (Or How to Take a Seasoned Punch).

Nicole Cipri, Contributing Writer
An editor once called Nicole Cipri a “verbal terrorist,” and not in a nice way. A queer and genderqueer writer living in Chicago, Nicole enjoys books, bikes, martial arts, traveling, and gender-neutral pronouns. You can talk to them on Twitter or Tumblr.

Stav DimitropoulosContributing Writer
Stav Dimitropoulos is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in major US, UK, Australian, and Canadian outlets. A native of Greece, she received the Athens Medal of Honor at the age of seventeen and went on to receive a master’s degree. She experimented with journalism along the way, and has been writing ever since. Twitter: @Stav_Dim Facebook: facebook.com/stavdimitropoulos

Victor EpsteinContributing Writer
Victor Epstein began his career as a freelance reporter while studying journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in the Queens Chronicle, the New York Daily News, and the New York Observer. He is currently working as a research analyst for a financial intelligence firm in Midtown Manhattan.

Benjamin Max Gottlieb, Art Director
Benjamin Max Gottlieb is a multimedia journalist and photographer from Los Angeles. When he’s not treating his severe case of wanderlust, Benjamin works as an associate producer for SoCal Connected, a news magazine program that airs on KCET Public Television. Site: benjaminmaxgottlieb.com Twitter: @benjamin_max

Amy O’Loughlin, Contributing Writer
Amy O’Loughlin is a freelance writer and book reviewer whose work has appeared in American HistoryWorld War IIForeWord ReviewsUSARiseUp, and other publications. She blogs at Off the Bookshelf.

Joshunda Sanders, Contributing Writer
Joshunda Sanders has been a writer and journalist since 1998. Her writing has appeared in Kirkus ReviewsGawkerPublishers Weekly, and Bitch. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in several anthologies. She is working on a memoir and a book about race and media. Joshunda is a proud graduate of Emma Willard School, Vassar College, and the University of Texas at Austin. Site: jvictoriasanders.com  Twitter: @jvic

Dana Ullman, Contributing Photographer
Dana Ullman is a freelance photographer based in Brooklyn. Her photography is focused on social engagement: chronicling everyday epics, investigating subjects crossculturally, and humanizing faceless statistics through storytelling. Site: ullmanphoto.com

Sasha Vasilyuk, Contributing Writer
Sasha Vasilyuk is a writer based in New York City. She was born during a cold Russian winter and grew up in the golden hills of the San Francisco Bay Area. Her essays and articles on art, culture, business, travel, and love have been published in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Russian Newsweek, Oakland Tribune, and Flower magazine. She received the 2013 North American Travel Journalists Association silver medal for her Los Angeles Times cover photo “Barra De Valizas.” She is currently working on a collection of essays about her year-long solo journey around the world.

Rob York, Contributing Writer
Rob York is a freelance journalist based in Honolulu. He spent four years at the Korea Herald reporting on North Korean affairs and issues affecting the foreign community. Twitter: @rjamesyork

We remember Oya Hadimli, a dedicated and passionate member of our staff and a beautiful soul. Rest in peace, Oya.