Austin Smith

Speak Up Magazine

Austin Smith
Speak Up Magazine

This is Edward and what you take away from seeing him is your choice. He typically occupies the corner of 5th and Tryon, but he isn’t begging anymore. He’s a magazine salesman with the latest issue of Speak Up. If you see him there, you can choose whether or not to buy what he’s selling and go on with your day.

The magazine Edward offers is full of stories about people like himself, who have faced hardship and financial adversity. It also contains tales of compassion, empathy and most of all—hope. The magazine isn’t only a means for Edward to make money, it’s an avenue to educate people about issues our community faces when people live life on the streets.

Speak Up provides our neighbors with a unique sales opportunity. They initially give their representatives 20 free issues to sell, once they are sold out they can then invest in more magazines. Speak Up sells the issues to their salespeople for half the retail cost and the half they make is theirs to keep, along with their pride.

Speak Up’s salespeople aren’t the only ones afforded opportunity upon purchase of the magazine. The consumer is given a huge opportunity as well—a chance to keep educating themselves through reading, share with others, and participate in an incredible effort to rebuild our community from the bottom up.

Hope. That’s the word on Edward’s street. Photo by:

Photo by Will Taylor | Follow his work on Instagram @thewilltaylor