Lexi Brunson of CopyWrite Magazine is telling the city's Black and Brown stories you don't always hear
For Women’s History Month, we’re recognizing women artists who are defining and changing Milwaukee’s creative scene.
And right now we’re getting to know the founder of an unapologetic Milwaukee magazine that’s in the business to tell the untold stories of Milwaukee’s Black and Brown communities. CopyWrite Magazine, in addition to reflecting marginalized people and communities, aims to give talent that hasn’t had its chance to shine a place to be seen. CopyWrite is run by Alexia Brunson, or Lexi for short.
The idea for CopyWrite came as Lexi was an undergraduate.
“What I really noticed was that these creative people around me who weren't getting any notice were the ones who inspired me,” says Lexi.
Lexi also has a passion for interior design. After graduating, she went on to practice interior design at a firm while continuing to write articles for CopyWrite on the side. Yet during her time at the firm she felt unfulfilled in her work.
“My skill sets were being abused and I wasn't being treated how my white counterparts were being treated, how my male counterparts were being treated,” says Lexi. “I felt that there was a lack in what I was doing. I didn’t feel fulfilled.”
She also felt that it was difficult to get at the nuances of writing about Black culture and people while holding a full-time job. She would often work late into the night on issues of CopyWrite. Lexi felt pulled between being a journalist and an interior designer. So when she started to feel unfulfilled at the firm she went back to school to get her masters in media and journalism at UW-Milwaukee.
At UWM, Lexi studied how the media impacts society, particularly on Black and Brown communities. She used those studies as means of developing the magazine. Lexi wanted CopyWrite Magazine to cover more than what marginalized communities are going through. She wanted the magazine to cover what they need.
“Often media outlets don't ask those questions about the things that are truly going on, the things that make it hard for you to wake up and go and do your job, the things that make it hard for you to maintain that career path,” says Lexi. “I've decided that if I'm going to do this, then those are the type of lenses that need to be there.”
In running CopyWrite Magazine, she says she gets to ensure she’s creating content for Milwaukee’s Black community and for women in the ways they need.
“I think a big part of that for me is being very transparent with what's going on. I have to shift that and be like, if some racist crap is going on, then we need to say, ‘Hey, this is going on,’” says Lexi. “If we are doing something, then that means we're trying to support Black and Brown people. If we're doing something we're trying to support the local.”
CopyWrite is working with Riverwest FemFest this year during Women’s History Month to showcase femme talent. You can submit your cover or original art here and also read what CopyWrite has to offer.