WNDB Amazing News

by We Need Diverse Books

WNDB at NCTE, stretch goals & #NBAward for Jacqueline Woodson!

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As you may have noticed, our Indiegogo campaign is 100% funded, or actually, 108%! This blows our minds! We are overjoyed, humbled, and so grateful to all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for your AMAZING support!

We’ve got lots of great news for you in this update, so we’ll hope you’ll take a bit of time to read the contents of this issue, which include:

WNDB reaches $100K goal

Stretch goals announced to bring diversity to the heart of publishing

Congrats to WNDB Advisory Board member, Jacqueline Woodson on National Book Award win

Details of the WNDB presence at this weekend’s NCTE 2014 convention

All-call for MD/DC area volunteers

WNDB reaches $100K goal

With your current support, we’ll now be able to:
* bring thousands of diverse books into the classrooms that need them most;
* award our inaugural Walter next year, to recognize excellence in diverse YA;
* support aspiring authors in their quest to create more diverse children’s literature and young adult literature;
* reach out to libraries, bookstores, educators, and everyone who plays such a vital role in getting books into the hands of readers.

Stretch goals announced to bring diversity to the heart of publishing

We’re very grateful for the outpouring of support and donations. But, WNDB wouldn’t be WNDB if we didn’t want to do *more*. That’s why we’re excited to announce our stretch goals, which will help us continue to change the landscape of children’s literature. The more funds we raise, the more schools and kids we service and the more diverse authors we can support.


Stretch goal #1: WNDB – The Publishing Edition

Once we reach $125,000, we can focus on bringing WNDB to the heart of publishing. Right now, publishing is still a very homogeneous industry, while internships–which are critical to developing a career in the publishing world–are not financially accessible to most. This contributes to a lack of diversity within the industry. 


Once we’ve reached our first stretch goal, WNDB will be able to create a paid internship program to help interns from diverse backgrounds (as noted in our mission statement) who demonstrate financial need. We hope our grants will allow people who might not otherwise be able to achieve their dream of a career in publishing. We will also be able to fund a year-long mentorship program for multiple writers. 

Stretch goal #2: WNDB – In Your Backyard

Once we reach $150,000, we will further expand our WNDB in the classroom program, servicing more schools and spreading our reach across the country. We will expand our outreach and create more educational kits and educational materials to be used to discuss diversity in all its ways and forms. And we’ll offer travel grants, to help currently-published authors attend conferences and events that would otherwise not be accessible to them.

Finally, we plan develop a WNDB app. This app goes beyond recommendations and looks for new interactive ways to support diverse authors and books. With it, WNDB is excited to create a new high-tech way to bring diverse books to YOU, the reader.

Remember, these programs can’t happen without additional support. Thank you for sharing the link to our campaign with your family, friends, and contacts!

Congrats to WNDB Advisory Board member, Jacqueline Woodson on National Book Award win

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/be761490cb624ab602f2a5487/images/46dd28ae-0dcf-47c8-8222-2efd3e928991.jpgIn case you hadn’t yet heard, last night Jacqueline Woodson received the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for poetic memoir Brown Girl Dreaming. In addition to being a We Need Diverse Books Advisory Board member, Woodson is the winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults, the recipient of three Newbery Honors for After Tupac & D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way, and a two-time Finalist for the National Book Award for Locomotion and Hush.

We are so proud of Jacqueline, and hope you will share in the joy using hashtag #CelebrateJackie on Twitter!

All-call for MD/DC area volunteers

As you may know, the We Need Diverse Books campaign will be hosting the it’s first national diversity festival in the DC area in summer 2016. We are looking for MD-DC-VA area supporters who want to volunteer and be on the planning committee. This is a great opportunity to network with well-known authors and illustrators as well as other industry names. It will also be a fantastic way to connect with teachers, librarians and kids. We know it will take a pretty significant crew to plan and run the event, so if you’re interested in being on the WNDB planning committee, email info@diversebooks.org and we will get your note forwarded to the right people. Thanks!


  • Friday, 11/21 at 8am (Potomac A/B): Advisory Board member Matt de la Peña will be speaking on an extraordinary panel of luminaries including Rudine Sims Bishop for a general session on Reshaping the Landscape of Story: Creating Space for Missing and Marginalized Voices. Matt will also be a guest at the lunchtime Conference on English Education, and will be signing The Last Stop at Market Street at the Penguin Booth (#612-616) at 4pm on Friday among many signings (please check the program for details!)
  • Saturday, 11/22 at 9:30am (Potomac B): Ellen Oh and Advisory Board members Matt de la Peña and Jacqueline Woodson will participate in the Eight Great Multicultural American Texts roundtable. Jacqueline will also be guest of honor at the Books for Children Luncheon and will be signing Each Kindness and Brown Girl Dreaming Saturday at 3pm at the Penguin Booth (#612-616)
  • Saturday 11/22 at 2:45pm (National Harbor 2): NCTE was nice enough to invite WNDB to deliver an official We Need Diverse Books session. If you can’t make it, you can still download our handouts and read our panel description here. WNDB president Ellen Oh, VP of Development I.W. Gregorio, and Pura Belpré winning-team member Meg Medina will be on hand to discuss our initiatives.
  • Don’t miss signings on Saturday by I.W. Gregorio (None of the Above, 1pm-1:30pm) and Ellen Oh (Prophecy, Warrior) at the HarperCollins Booth (#424-428), and Meg Medina (Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass) at 4:15pm at the Candelwick booth (#319-321) 
  • Saturday, 11/22 at 4:15pm (Chesapeake D/E): Advisory Board member Tim Federle will be on a panel discussing homophobia, details here

Thank you again for everything you do for diverse books – onward and upward to our stretch goals!

The WNDB team

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You’ve received this message because you’re interested in further news from the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, including future initiatives, giveaways and events. We promise not to Spam you, and thank you for your interest in diversifying our shelves!

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