Nicola Menzie has worked in media for over a decade, with staff positions at CBS News, AOL News, and The Christian Post. She’s interviewed some of the biggest power players in American evangelicalism, from T. D. Jakes to Tim Keller. But in 2015, she left that all behind to launch her passion project: a magazine that would center Christians of color.
Initially a digital outlet focusing on minority women in ministry, Faithfully Magazine has since grown to encompass a podcast and print publication that covers everything from depression among African Christians to Trip Lee’s latest album. “I realized there was a gap in the stories Christian news outlets were covering and pursuing,” Menzie says. “Christians of color were rarely featured, unless they were needed to respond to a specific issue.”
With a volunteer staff and only $5,000 in Kickstarter seed money, Menzie has established Faithfully as an exemplar of racial and spiritual diversity and a resource for news, theology, and cultural commentary from a faithful yet ecumenical perspective.
Here, in conversation with CT, she explores what it means to be an ethnically inclusive publication and why Faithfully’s message is needed by believers of all races and denominations.
What is Faithfully all about?
It’s another option for Christians who want to be informed and inspired by the things that Christians of color are doing or creating and the issues that they care about. If you go to the newsstand or bookstore and look at the magazine section, you’ll notice a pattern. If you stay out of the so-called ethnic and music publications, what you find is that 95 percent of the cover stories feature white individuals. They’re the leading stories. When you open the magazine, you’ll find that it heavily leans toward one demographic or look, as well. Faithfully Magazine is doing the opposite of that. We’re asking “What have we been missing from the folks on the margins?”
Are there other magazines for Christians of color that have influenced your project?
Actually, when it came time to figure out the parts of the magazine I thought were important, I looked at historical black publications like Negro Digest, Black World, and Ebony. These publications evolved out of a particular need, when the stories of African Americans weren’t being told in the [mainstream media].
It’s the same thing at Faithfully. Our focus isn’t just on centering Christians of color. People are expressing a need to know how to talk about issues of racial diversity, equity, and justice, so I’m positioning the magazine to meet that need, also.
You have a pretty wide demographic base—black, Asian, Latino, and white readers. How do you bridge all of those communities?
Because we’re not a denominational publication, we’re not tied to any denominational overhead. As the owner, I have my own convictions about what the Bible says, but I don’t feel the need to police around certain issues. Instead, we report on them and allow people to speak for themselves.