After months of preparation, today is the launch day for our online diversity forums in partnership with the Society for Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. Yay!
The press release doesn’t come out until 10 AM PST, but the boards are live and we’re giving you sneak peek access. Please read the press release at the end of this email for full details!
We are asking you, our signed-up volunteers, to log in at the boards and be a part of the discussion. You do not have to be an SCBWI member to post, but you will need to create a free login and password at scbwi.org/boards.
Please remember a couple of things when posting to the boards. First, when we post, we are posting our own opinions, not as an official voice for the WNDB organization. Please make that clear if you mention your involvement with WNDB.
Secondly, If you see misinformation about WNDB or our programs, please respond to a user with correct information that leads them to our official site or alert one of the Discussion Leaders (listed below in the press release). We’ve become so popular that we’ve attracted ‘imposters’ and/or our name is being used without notification or consent. While imitation is flattery, some unaffiliated people are using WNDB materials for self-promotional purposes or causing confusion as they pretend to be ‘us’ (or suggesting they’re endorsed by us). If you see a link or site that is using our trademarked logo to promote something that is not an official WNDB initiative, let brand manager Karen Sandler know about it (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finally, if you are contacted by a member of the press/media, and are asked to speak about WNDB, please loop me in and I will forward the info to our press and communications team who will help.
SCBWI WELCOMES WE NEED DIVERSE BOOKS DISCUSSION BOARD
The SCBWI, in conjunction with We Need Diverse Books, is excited to announce the creation of a new section of our discussion boards which will be dedicated to discussing diversity in children’s literature. These boards will be led by a team from We Need Diverse Books to ensure an in-depth and professional conversation about writing and illustrating for diverse audiences. Discussion leaders will include: Steven dos Santos, Sara Polsky, Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Don Tate, Jerry Craft, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Jennifer Baker, Cindy Rodriguez and We Need Diverse Books president, Ellen Oh.
The boards will be separated into sections representing different topics and issues. The basic headings will be (1) ethnic and cultural minorities, (2) LGBTQIA+ (3) disabilities, and (4) illustrating diversity.
YA author Steven dos Santos, a discussion leader for the LGBTQIA+ threads, looks forward to the forums as a place for “fostering a dialogue of representation and acceptance in diverse children’s literature.” We Need Diverse Books views this initiative as a form of outreach, a key strategy of accomplishing its mission of addressing the lack of diverse narratives in children’s literature.
With over 20,000 daily page views, the SCBWI Blueboards are currently the preeminent site for children’s book authors and illustrators to share and discuss the business, culture and concerns of the children’s publishing industry. Expanding the discussion boards to highlight the complex issues of diversity will help participants engage in the conversation about inclusion. “We feel privileged to work with We Need Diverse Books,” commented Lin Oliver, SCBWI Executive Director. “SCBWI members play a crucial role in influencing the hearts and minds of the next generation, and the more we can share ideas and open up lines of communication, the more we can collectively deepen our commitment to increasing diversity in our field.”
We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality.
We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA+, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. Our mission is to promote or amplify diversification efforts and increase visibility for diverse books and authors, with a goal of empowering a wide range of readers in the process. Current initiatives include the Walter Dean Myers Award and Grant program, a publishing internship program, WNDB in the Classroom, a We Need Diverse Booktalking Kit, and a planned 2016 Diversity Festival. For more on our programs, please visit our official website www.diversebooks.org.
Founded in 1971, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the largest existing writers’ and illustrators’ organizations, with over 22,000 members worldwide. It is the only organization specifically for those working in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. The organization was founded by Stephen Mooser (President) and Lin Oliver (Executive Director), both of whom are well-published children’s book authors and leaders in the world of children’s literature. For more information about the On-The-Verge Diverse Voices Award, please visit www.scbwi.org, and click “Awards & Grants.”
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We Need Diverse Books™ is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people.