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Let it teach you, let it remind you, and let it ground you.

Retrace your steps in our tenth issue, Return.

There is something phenomenally universal about history. The way the past nurtures our spirits and contextualizes our experiences beyond definition is a force to be revered. Time, itself, is a force to be revered. As Charcoal celebrates the peak of our 5-year-anniversary, it felt natural to revel in our success. It felt natural to revel in our progress. It felt natural to revel in our product.

It felt necessary to recognize how we got here.

Return is our guide through time. It takes the hand of you, our dear reader, and calmly walks you through the past nine eras of Charcoal Magazine. As you step through this celebratory issue, we ask that you read with a curiosity and a capacity to seek more. With open eyes, you’ll see far past the surface of this publication. You’ll see our reflections, our joy, our history, our community, our honesty, our hopes, and ourselves.

If you allow Return to do anything, let it teach you, let it remind you, and let it ground you. By grasping a larger understanding of our past, we have a firmer foundation in our present, and an expanded imagination for the future. Revisit the memories that make up your personhood, as you are not the same as you were then. With your present perspective, you may be shocked to remember the younger version of yourself that guided you to read these words today.

Our histories are a teacher beyond measure. We hope you learn a bit about us from ours, and a bit about your own from yours.

Retrace your steps in our 10th issue, Return.

We can’t wait to see what you remember,

Charcoal Magazine

Here you are. At a conclusion, but a beginning all the same. As the golden wheel begins a new rotation, there is an endless amount of possibilities for the future stories told within these pages.


Consider them all with unbridled joy.


You need reminding. Of where we’ve been, the way things were, at what cost, and who we are.

An instruction of sorts to you, from us, on how to truly take in the preceding pages. Consider each and every person it has taken to make Charcoal throughout the years. From a team of eighteen, to well over one hundred, the spirit remains unbridled with joy. Yet, you need reminding that we have been here. We have made a golden-toned narrative around the ever-present implications of history. We must stay open to where we can find community, the way things have been in our hardest times, and the cost we are willing to pay to keep this publication alive.


And of course, who we all are. The people who choose Charcoal in whatever way they can.

With five years behind us, there are an infinite amount of possibilities for the future of this publication. The power to shift course has always been in the hands of the people flipping these pages. So we pray, and we hope, and we dream that we never forget the steps we have walked to get here. We pray, and we hope, and we dream that we never forget the steps that walked first and guided us here.


But with the end of a cycle, it’s time to face the fear of moving forward. Let’s take this newfound imagination, and make our next set of printed worlds.


Happy Birthday Charcoal.


Andre Weiss

Isabelle Yap

Melissa Hurtado

Ramsey Khalifeh

Shelby Barthelemy

Zoe Tseng


Ernesto Garrido

Jaden Duenas

Lauren Richards

Melanie Menkiti

Senior Editors

Mya Turner

David Malkin


Alyssa Yeh

Annette Yan

Lauren Richards

Sophie Lyu

Suhera Nuru

Neha Chinwalla

Camille Ofulue

Marketing Manager

Irvin Alonzo

Marketing Copywriters

Hikima Lukomwa

Julian X
Skye Patton

Jacqueline Santoyo

Marketing Researcher

Kate An


Chike Asuzu

Director of Operations

Anne Joseph

Community Relations Director

Maria Niño-Suastegui

Managing Editor

Stacey Dubreus

Acquisition Editor

Skye Patton

Creative Directors

Atiyyah Mayale-Eke

Gauri Nema

Art Director

Gabriela Garcia-Mendoza

Marketing Director

Irvin Alonzo


Shamayam Sullivan

Head of Finance

Huaixuan (Ariel) Shao

Senior Administrative Assistant

Emmy Ma

Community Relations Manager

Rafeeat Bishi

Editorial Associate Editor

Fréhiwot Bayuh

Online Associate Editor

Brianna Altman

Director of Photography

Ng Shi Qing Elizabeth Natalie

Director of Videography

Melanie Menkiti

Modeling Manager

Hannah Dedji

Head of Makeup

Arianna Bravo

Fashion Editor

Immanuella Gabriel

Jaelyn Carr

Art Production Manager

Rayne Schulman

Marketing Manager

Angel Cisneros

Administrative Assistants

Adiera Beyene

Ellaya Johnson

Erin Cheng

Monfaye Nabine

Production Assistants

Aman Shahzad

Andrea Peña

Brianna Anderson

Isabella Abraham

Kasandra Kue-Rojas

Madison Lloyd

Nyayian Biel

Regina Wang

Rachel Nozaki

Sirena Lopez

Taylor Walker

Torin Harris

William Chapman

Editorial Copy Editors

Audree Damiba

Emily Wu

Gloria Ampadu-Darko

Kiara Bennett

Shaylon Walker

Yashvi Grover

Editorial Staff Writers

Charline Ochang

Esther Besson

Huleymatu Sow

Kritika Iyer

Olivia Sutton

Shre Venkatesan

Suhera Nuru

Tami Gordon

Online Copy Editors

Amanda Siow

Mateo Daffin

Morgan Jenkins

Yoko Zhu

Online Photo Journalists

Amisha Kumar

Sushmita Udoshi

Torin Harris

Online Staff Writers

Alejandra Jimenez

Brittany Hoskins

Jahiem Jones

Jessica Muchiri

Joel Aduba

Kohana Bondurant

Megan Balani

Sara Diaz

Vanessa Ho

Zea Karmadi


Alexandra Bradley

Benjamin Roldan

Isabelle Yap

Jennifer Perez

Kaito Au

Leah McFarlane

Ramsey Khalifeh

Ruofei Shang


Andrea Regina Esperon

Ayan Patel

Christine An

Hector Rivera Jr

Puturen Sungti Amer

Yaxin Mao


Alefiyah Gandhi

Allyson Imbacuan

Ashley Facey

Benjamin Fang

Brenda Gonzalez

Brian A. Bazan

Charu Tiwari

Esther Besson

Falan Walker

Gloria Ampadu-Darko

Grandee Rafael De Guzman

Jaden Bridges

Julian X

Kate Seo

Maika Takemoto

Mateen Bizar

Miyu Nakajima

Mya Turner

Nicolas Zuluaga

Patrick Udeh

Raniya Delil

Sage Gunning

Sara Diaz

Symone Pettis

Tami Gordon

Thuy Anh Nguyen

Toni-Marie Gomes

Tyler Best

Valyn Lyric Turner

Zaari Isabella Colón

Make-Up Artists

Amy Kim

Juliana Sena

Nyayian Biel

Symone Pettis

Fashion Stylists

Hope Myers

Janelle Williams

Sandra Kyaw

Tony Zhang

Uni Valdivieso Wooldridge

Hair Stylists

Hope Myers

Sahara Harris

Layout Designers

Amanda Siow

Annika Pyo

Ava Moran

Ebony Nkrumah

Emmy Ma

Felix Huang

Hailey Wang

Rachel Nozaki

Seyun Om

Tiffany Hoang

Vincent Liu

Yuka Masamura

Content Strategists

Angie Zeng

Irene Kim

Jacqueline Santoyo

Lorenzo Mendiola

Nicole Agwu

Sue Kim

Insights Strategists

Alejandra Jimenez

Rachel Lin

Graphic Designers

Anita Emokpae

Julie Lee

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