insideWaterloo is a new independent media initiative looking to amplify the stories and experiences of Black, Indigenous and racialized residents living in Waterloo Region.
Through investigative and personal stories told in a variety of ways (i.e. long-form essays, podcasts, visual stories, data visualization), we hope to foster a community of writers who will cover a side of the region too often ignored in traditional media.
We hope to provide a platform that explores the many complex underlying issues influencing our community as well as cover stories of identity, belonging, and the overall experience of living in Waterloo Region.
We hope to fill the gaps in the media landscape as well as lead the conversation in the community. Writers and readers will come to us to see beyond the headlines, and dive in head first into the issues.
Who is behind this?
Teneile Warren is a writer, playwright and community advocate with a background in broadcast journalism and media communications. Warren brings her lived experience to her writing and creative work. Her writing sits at the intersection of race, gender, identity and migrant bodies. Her writing has appeared in ByBlacks, HuffPost Canada, CBC Parents, and Barren Magazine. She is wife to Rebecca, mother to Kelso and furmama to Goop, Oopy and Rae.
Fitsum Areguy is a Kitchener-based writer, journalist, and shawarma poutine connoisseur. Voted Waterloo Region’s ‘Best Local Writer’ in 2020, he has published in Canadian Dimension, Waterloo Region Record, Briarpatch Magazine, The Community Edition, and Korea Expose. Areguy’s interests focus on human rights, misuses of power, and community development, connecting local stories to provincial, national, and global issues through reporting and analysis. He is the co-founder and project director of Textile Magazine, a literary publication and writing mentorship program.
Phi thought he would be sitting out the rest of the pandemic, before opportunity came knocking on his door. When he first heard of insideWaterloo, he was excited at its potential. When he was asked to joined the team, he couldn’t say no. Phi was raised in Kitchener, and graduated from the Conestoga College Radio Broadcast program. He later cut his teeth as a reporter at 570 NEWS before bowing out due to pandemic fatigue. That break was short lived when he was contacted by Fitsum. He now hopes to use his time at insideWaterloo to tell deeper, more in-depth stories from BIPOC and other marginalized communities. Despite being a huge film fan, Phi has been trying to get into reading more books lately.
insideWaterloo recognizes that we benefit from the historical and ongoing colonization of this land and its First Peoples: the Attawandaron (Neutral), Anishinaabeg, and Haudenosaunee. It is this ongoing colonization that has brought us to this place and allowed us to write, mentor, and publish. We recognize the current and historical broken promises that have led to the creation of Waterloo Region. We are situated on the Haldimand Tract, which runs six miles deep on either side of the Peeshinegunging Oeskinnuguning (Grand River) and was promised to the Six Nations in compensation for their role in defending the British during the American Revolution. This land and the surrounding area is home to many First Nations, Métis and Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island.
The erasure of these histories is deliberate. insideWaterloo resists this erasure and strives to always bring these realities forward in order to build stronger alliances and solidarity with Indigenous peoples. We actively support opportunities to restore Indigenous sovereignty, and make the collective commitment to realizing, in our communities, the promises and challenges of Truth and Reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We must remember this as we continue to fight current oppressions and work towards more just futures for all.