Lune Magazine: Youth for Change
What is Lune Magazine?
Lune Magazine is an online activism magazine and website. The staff members of Lune Magazine include writers, photographers, and artists, and they are all within the ages of 13 to 21 years old. These teen and young adult students contribute topics that include, but are not limited to, feminism, race, mental health, politics, international events, and environmental issues. These members are from all over the U.S., as well as from countries like Canada, Turkey, India, Pakistan, and England. Articles are published every day on https://www.lunemagazine.com, and magazine issues are released at the end of every month.
Why was it started?
In early 2017, Lune Magazine was created—though originally called “Opal Magazine”—by founder Deborah Kwon. At the time of creation, Deborah was 15 years old and in her second year of high school. This was a part of the period of time when there was an especially tense political atmosphere, having followed the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. In general, Deborah felt that youth—teenagers and young students—didn’t have much of a voice and were often given the typical “You’re too young to understand” by adults, when it came to talking about politics and social issues.
Blending her passions for writing and pushing for social change, she created Opal Magazine with the intention of using writing as a mode of change in the realm of social justice movements. It initially started as a website with less than ten staff members, writing articles periodically. In late 2017, it started to gain more momentum, with increasing staff members and the creation of an actual digital, monthly magazine. It has continued to be that way ever since. The name change can be attributed to early 2018. Deborah wasn’t satisfied with the name “Opal Magazine” in properly representing the goals and members of the magazine. She changed it to “Lune”—the French word meaning “moon”—emphasizing the fact that much like how the physical moon is perceived to be constantly changing, the youth and young adults of Lune Magazine are constantly striving to create change.
What are some future hopes for the magazine?
In the future, Deborah hopes to do more collaborations with other publications or organizations who have similar goals with Lune Magazine. From this, she is very interested in hosting events such as presentations, zine parties (gatherings with multiple publications), and other events that would allow discussion of social issues and how younger people can make an impact.
What is Lune's goal?
The goal of Lune Magazine is to empower teenagers and young adults to speak their minds about political and social issues. This allows them to gain both an experience in publishing and using writing as a mode of creating change. Overall, Lune strives to be another player in the social justice movement by first impacting youth, by writing about politics and social issues—topics that younger people don’t often talk about, though that is changing.
Why is social change necessary, especially change enacted by our youth?
Social change is necessary because today’s society (and the past) demands it. It is so much more obvious that there are flaws in the world, and they cannot simply be ignored. Issues with race, gender, ability, class, xenophobia, and much more all exist everywhere all throughout the world, including the U.S. It is incredibly important to have youth involvement because they are the future of this country. In five, ten years, they could and will be the ones on the billboards, the ballots, the lawn signs, and in the fliers you might find posted on bulletin boards—the future policymakers. Additionally, the youth are members of society and deserve to have a voice, to be included in the movement for change in the country and world.
Do you have any words of comfort or inspiration for people concerned about our current political climate?
People should continue to fight and continue to advocate. It is incredibly important that those who were eligible to vote to have voted. Change starts with us, the vote, and our representatives sitting in Washington D.C. It is valid to feel deflated, concerned, and fearful with the current political climate, especially if one is part of a marginalized identity group. It is valid to have minute, days, or weeks when it feel that nothing is good. However, Deborah calls on the more privileged to support these groups, to aid them through advocacy, through donations, through taking a stand for the undocumented, the women, the Black people, the Brown people, Native people, the disabled, the impoverished, and so many more. There will be days when many feel hopeless and discouraged, but continue to fight and support one another, as any difference makes a difference.
Do you have any advice for young writers and artists? Advice for anyone wanting to get involved pushing for social change but unsure how to start?
Young writers and artists should continue to create and critique their work. If it is something one is truly passionate about, they should not stop. It’s all about repetition and learning from one’s mistakes. As for creating change, start at a local level. Create a school club or a small community —some friends who have similar interests or passions as you. If it is accessible to you, there are websites like Weebly, Wix, and Wordpress which allow you to create a free blog/website. You can start there, share your ideas, and continue to expand.
What else should we know about Lune Magazine?
In the Lune Magazine staff, many have come and go, and Deborah welcomes the changes, as it allows many new voices. However, she appreciates the consistent and high quality work of writers Billie Wilner and Alia El Serougy, two magazine writers who have been with Lune for the longest of the staff members. Additionally, Deborah and Rahul Jain, one of the magazine’s editors, created a club at their high school in Seattle, Washington, titled “LUNE Club”, that is an extension of Lune Magazine. They created it as a way for local students to publish online and write about issues important to them.
Lune Magazine has begun an expansion to the website. There is an opportunity for those interested in creating short videos and podcasts to join the staff of Lune. The 13 to 21 year olds that apply for this segment will get the chance to talk about politics, feminism, education, current events, and more, in a different medium, a fantastic opportunity for those passionate about Lune’s goals but are interested in this type of media. The application can be found at https://www.lunemagazine.com/lune-on-film/.