Room Magazine is pleased to announce that the next managing editor of the esteemed feminist literary collective will be Jessica Johns. Jessica Johns is a nehiyaw aunty and member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta and is currently living and learning on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She has been a part of Room as both a volunteer and a staff member for the past three years, and is a co-organizer of the Indigenous Brilliance reading series with Massy Books.
“We chose Jessica not only for her sharp and curatorial editorial approach, but her deep understanding of Room as a collective feminist organization,” board president Jane Hope says. Johns was will be replacing Chelene Knight, who led the organization to new growth alongside publisher Meghan Bell.
“It has been an incredible three years for me in the managing editor role at Room, including two years as the Growing Room festival director. We have grown, broke down barriers, created incredible conversations and put a spotlight on some of Canada’s freshest voices. I am beyond thrilled to work with Jessica Johns and I know that she will continue this upward trajectory,” Knight says. Knight is continuing to work at Room as a volunteer, while growing her consulting business.
“I am beyond honoured to be moving into the role of Managing Editor after Chelene Knight. This is a position I step into with incredible care, with a mind to the extensive amount of work that folks have done in Room before me. I intend to move through this role with love, understanding and reciprocity, and with a fierce leadership that has been modeled to me throughout my life by my mom, aunties, and kin,” Johns says. “I look forward to continue learning from and empowering the brilliant staff, volunteer, and collective members of Room, without whom this organization couldn’t exist. More than anything, I look forward to nurturing the foundational work Chelene Knight has so thoughtfully and deliberately put her love, labour, and time into building. She has grown this magazine in intentional ways, always advocating for transparency, proper representation, and an ethics of care that is now weaved through every aspect of Room. She has been a phenomenal mentor and leader, and I hope to continue that legacy.”