Welcome to June, Alexandria!
If this were any other summer in any other year, we would be nonchalantly writing you a letter about how school has just ended, the pools are open and to 'hang in there!' because your vacation is right around the bend.
The truth is: School ended months ago and virtual homeschooling has exhausted our children, teachers and ourselves. The pools are, in fact, open, but wearing a face mask in this heat? Yeah, right. Vacations? Is traveling even still a thing?
The REAL truth is: America recently woke up to new realities. The COVID-19 pandemic and a new, powerful movement that is fighting against racial inequalities has opened all of our eyes to a brand new world. But recognizing the problem isn't enough... and remaining silent never creates change.
The title of this issue was originally Home & Garden. The plan was to bring you extraordinary home tours, tips on gardening in small spaces, local real esate profiles, organization tips & more. You will definitely find these stories as you explore the pages ahead, but the current climate here in Alexandria forced us to ask ourselves: What kind of voice do we want our publication to have? The answer inspired us to go on to curate so much more.
If you are struggling to juggle working from home and parenthood, our Parenting & Virtual Work piece on page 10 is for you. Perhaps 'masking up' makes you panic. Our first 'Surviving the New Normal' mental health series on page 22 may help. You can also join us in practicing compassion as we recognize PTSD Awareness Month on page 44. Or maybe your soul is just in need of a great love story. Read about Courtney & Rob's COVID-19 wedding at The Carlyle House.
Turn to page 48 to find powerful, emotional images from our coverage of the Vigil for George Floyd. And if you flip to our centerfold on page 26, you'll meet Nardia Boodoo - a professional ballerina of The Washington Ballet who has spent her career overcoming adversity by flourishing in a predominantly white industry.
This is how VIP Alexandria Magazine plans to move forward; by using our online platforms and printed pages to continue telling the stories that matter; the stories you would otherwise never have the opportunity to hear. We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice... and we pride ourselves on offering a safe space to use it.
Just as we came together to support one another during a worldwide pandemic, we will all rise together on the other side of inequality.
Be kind to one another, Alexandria. Stay beautiful.
The VIP Executive Team
Kellie, Jeanette + Magdalena