Emily Blake: Artist, Activist, Founder of Wednesday Zine
Emily Blake is a writer, artist, activist, and founder of Wednesday Zine. She founded Wednesday Zine when she was 14 years old and now is a freshman in college. The initial Wednesday Zine was solely a physical-copy zine with an online store full of art, apparel, stickers, and other visual-arts-based items with a feminist tone. Wednesday started this way because Emily was motivated to make profit for the sole purpose of donating all funds to the Malala Fund.
After realizing her heart (and skill, for that matter) was more inclined to journalism, Emily decided to create WednesdayZine.com as the most recent, digital, accessible, and versatile iteration of Wednesday. Emily believes WednesdayZine.com has accomplished what she set out to do when she first started to grow into writing and activism in 8th grade: create a space for young people (especially creative, activist young women) to not only express their unique beliefs, but also be educated about today’s issues by people who take them seriously. Wednesday started with Emily writing an article about a sexist dress-code policy at her Junior High School where she was pulled out of state-standardized testing by a teacher, was sent to the office to put on another student’s old gym shorts, and was gossipped about and sexualized by teachers.
The opposition article Emily wrote circulated amongst teachers, students, and parents (in true underground zine fashion, she supposes), which led Emily to realize writing was an effective vessel for her to enact change. Wednesday initially had such a strong visual arts component because that is one of Emily’s biggest interests and hobbies, but through it all, Wednesday is defined most by activism-based journalism. However, it’s very important to Emily that she is able to integrate her passions for fashion, pop culture, and other interest that many consider “trivial” into the folds of Wednesday Zine. She believes that a large aspect of feminism needs to be accepting all forms of femininity and tearing down the systems and dialogue that continues to patronize women and girls. Since she was a child, Emily has considered fashion exciting, almost like an escape, but as she approached more academic settings and got more involved with activism, she felt pressure to lessen that part of her personality in an attempt to fit that “smart” mold. In reality, embracing what others consider “trivial” (and resenting society’s quick ability to call a girl “vapid”) became a key pro-woman experience for Emily, and is now a major aspect of the narrative at WednesdayZine.com.
Other than Wednesday specifically, Emily has always been passionate about community outreach and journalism. She is a culture writer for Pure Nowhere Magazine (PureNowhere.com) where she conducts interviews and writes about topics such as sexuality, art, travel, and global citizenships. Besides journalism, she has worked on political campaigns, served on the Youth Board for Planned Parenthood of Arizona, and assisted in organizing community outreach events. Being involved in grassroots organizations makes the Wednesday Zine editor-in-chief feel the most fulfilled. Emily’s interests in global topics like diplomacy, law, and human rights stem from her acute awareness, since a very young age, that the U.S. is not the center of the world. Growing up in a bilingual family and being exposed to frequent travelling as a child and teenager, Emily’s passion for exploration blossomed and continues to grow without bounds.