Thursday, May 8, 2014
#WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign Announces BookCon Diversity Panel
NEW YORK, NY – The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign took the Internet by storm with more than 160 million impressions in a week’s time, but soon its reach will spread even further—into the conference halls of BookCon on May 31, 2014 in New York City. Publishers Weekly has announced that the campaign members, in conjunction with Lee & Low Books, have secured a diverse panel of acclaimed children’s authors, including Grace Lin, Matt de la Peña and Jacqueline Woodson. The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign will reveal further news and action plans at 10:00 a.m. during the BookCon diversity panel at the Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan.
A conversation about the whitewashed lineup of BookCon guests sparked 22 writers, publishers and bloggers to begin the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign on May 1st. Since then, they’ve reached out to a community of readers, teachers, librarians, authors, booksellers and publishers who want to see more diversity within the publishing industry. Their message has been received: As of May 6th, 2014, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag on Twitter has garnered 87,520 posts from 23,275 unique users, with over 162 million timeline deliveries.
“We were thrilled to be invited to attend and host a panel, but most importantly we are appreciative of BookCon’s recognition that diversity matters,” said Aisha Saeed, one of the campaign’s BookCon liaisons. “This is a great opportunity to show the world what’s next for the #WNDB campaign,” said Ellen Oh, who spearheaded the campaign. “We are delighted to be joined by a group of exceptional authors, all of whom epitomize the importance of our campaign.” The panel will be moderated by young adult author I.W.Gregorio and includes DiversifYA founder Marieke Nijkamp, middle-grade author Mike Jung and young adult authors Lamar Giles, Oh and Saeed.
“Agents and editors have affirmed their commitment to representing diverse authors and stories,” said Miranda Paul, team member. “Underrepresented people across the nation— and the world—want their stories to be told,” said Gregorio. “I think this is a testament to the power of diverse literature; when written responsibly and read widely, these books can increase tolerance, stamp out ignorance and create true global citizens.”
To learn more about the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign contact Ellen Oh at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at Ellen@Ellenoh.com. The campaign’s official website is www.diversebooks.org.