Monday, February 06, 2012
For the past year or so, I've been meeting about once a month with a group of children's book editors from other houses. Founded by Nancy Mercado of Roaring Brook, we called ourselves DIBS (Diversity in Books), and we were hoping to help increase the diversity within the publishing industry, and also in the authors, illustrators, and books published. We started getting a website together and grand plans of doing school visits, job fairs, conferences, and more. But, of course, we were all so busy with our jobs and lives that it was hard to get things going. Well, a conversation at a Children's Book Council cocktail party brought these two groups together, and the CBC Diversity Committee was formed. We had a small kick-off party last week for agents, media, and publishing folks, and we talked about our mission, the importance of it, and what everyone there could do to become a CBC Diversity Partner. Here's a picture of me speaking:
Diversity is a mission I am absolutely passionate about--it's important not only for children to be able to see themselves represented in the books they read, but also important for children to be exposed to other experiences and viewpoints. It increases empathy and tolerance. And as I said at our kick-off, I hope to live in a world where we can have an Asian Harry Potter or a black Bella without anyone even blinking an eye. We'll get there, I know it!
Please, won't you all join us? I linked above to our mission and how we can all help, and we'll be keeping the CBC Diversity blog active with at least two posts each week. I'm posting this week, so stay tuned!