Baraka is a name we’ve used and loved since 2007. It means “gift” or “blessing,” and that seemed especially appropriate for our fundraising mission then.
With our new mission, we needed a name that would tell the story better. All the standard words to describe it have been misused and abused into meaningless oblivion.
So we decided to make one up.
We kept circling the concept of “the discipline of verification” (one of the Nine Principles of Journalism), which we believe underlies not only journalism but all high standards of professional work. Verify, verity, verifiable, verdict, veracity – all come from the Latin root ver meaning “truth.”
We also wanted to convey that our outlook is 360 degrees. We aren’t limited by culture, geography, or other traps of the mind that limit our thinking. The word that best captures that sense is “vista.” The root is vis meaning “to see.”
Ver-vis didn’t have much ring to it, but we tried other combinations – and Verista emerged. It carries the spirit of meaning in a new word that is easy to pronounce and spell. It also has a vitality that we hope will communicate how we feel about this mission.