Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Vanessa De Luca, and I’ve been at the helm of The Root now for nearly a year, quietly working behind the scenes to learn, absorb and then create the kind of environment I’ve been envisioning for The Root since I came on board. I am the kind of person who will not jump in without sitting back and thinking about what’s best for this brand and our people. And I’m happy to share with you what our mission is going forward.
Black people are the arbiters of innovative creativity that influences the world. And in 2022, it is our desire to showcase this cultural truth. We as a community are taking unique measures to create the world we want to live in, and there are countless examples of Black creators who are making this wish a reality. We plan to shine a spotlight on them in 2022.
We envision 2022 as a transformative year for the brand; it will serve not only as a daily destination for news and cultural coverage centered on raising awareness of the issues that are of most importance to the Black community–including voting rights, police brutality and social justice. But it will also offer opportunities for our audience to present and participate in solutions.
The Root in 2022 will be highly interactive, offering digital engagement on the site as well as on our social media platforms. In this effort, we are going to relaunch several popular community-based franchises, such as The Root Institute and the Root 100, that resonate deeply with our audience. We will build on the extraordinary legacy that has been established with both platforms, and extend them to, hopefully, live experiential events.
The other extraordinary tool in our arsenal is the variety of unique and distinctive voices we have and will continue to feature, from seasoned voices to new discoveries. We will build on the legacy of Very Smart Brothas to spotlight multiple voices across the diaspora. We have already enlisted popular fathers, businessmen and educators to discuss issues that are important in the community. We will be adding to this The Glow Up Style Awards, featuring audience-nominated fashion mavens to celebrate our unique creativity and style; a Small Business Spotlight that highlights Black entrepreneurs and how they did it; and a series called Protect Black Women, that focuses on those who are fighting the good fight to ensure that Black women are given the nurturing and support they deserve.
In addition, we plan to foster partnerships with other media platforms (TV, digital, streaming) that will help to get our content to a much larger audience.
I personally invite you to join us on this journey, and to let us know how we are doing. It is our aim, always, to serve you in ways that enlighten, inform and inspire. So please do stay in touch, and we will do the same.