Diversity Training

Organizations Recommended Reading
Recommended Reading

Diversity in Publishing Doesn’t Exist – But Here’s How It Can, Chris Jackson, LitHub
  • “I’m often asked to speak about a thing that doesn’t actually exist: diversity in publishing. Ironically, I don’t think this is because people get any pleasure from hearing me talk about this thing that doesn’t exist, any more than they get pleasure from hearing strangers tediously relay the details of their dreams. And yet we keep talking about this abstraction, this thing that doesn’t exist, as if it could be conjured through the power of lectures and panel discussions.”
  • “[Publishing] is, despite its periodic challenges, a competitive business to get into, and editorial assistant openings usually generate a pile of great résumés and recommendations from colleagues. But I try to think about my job as not just hiring the person whose credentials add to my own status; or even, necessarily, hiring someone who is ready to do the job on day one."
  • “We’re all strapped for time and resources, but there’s no better way to sustain the status quo than to refuse to take chances, even chances that might put us as some risk.” 
Meet the Woman Spearheading Inclusivity in U.K. Publishing, Marta Bausells in convo with Lovegrove, Founder of Dialogue Books (Lithub, June 2018)
  • "Being in the room and asking slightly different questions and, most of all, looking for someone who will be a brilliant editor in his own right: This is the difference of tokenism to inclusivity. By assessing the barriers and then taking them down, you can see a range of people who will fit because they are right for the job you have created. It’s as simple as no longer having an idea of what is the right fit, understanding much of the job is learning and that anyone can do that. Often people are too busy and want someone who can just do the job. By changing entry level expectations you can find people who have little or no experience but who bring something different to the table that will inform how you publish for the better."
  • "That exchange—show us your world and we’ll show you ours—is both powerful and opens up the job market to a huge range of people."
  • "People shouldn’t be shamed into being inclusive. If you literally cannot think outside of your experience, should you be hiring? Should you be an editor? Should you be responsible for publicizing and marketing books when you cannot think about everyone in our society? I hope I don’t just think of these things because I am a black woman but because I am a good, open-minded individual for whom being liberal is a core trait and equality is a human right."
Here’s How I Felt After Attending a People’s Town Hall on Publishing’s Radical Future, by Aaron Robertson (LitHub, July 2020)

Six Strategies to Improve Diversity in Publishing (Publishers Weekly, 2014)
  • The Children’s Book Council: “Perhaps the publishing industry might look to other industries that are excelling on the diversity-practices front. In March, our CBC Diversity Committee hosted an HR panel for hiring managers and human-resources professionals within children’s book publishing to explore ideas on how to bring about a more representative industry; the key takeaways are posted on our website. One of the panelists was Carolynn Johnson, COO at Diversity Inc., which puts out an annual list of the top 50 diverse companies.” 
Hiring Practices

Groups to Reach Out to:

People of Color in Publishing 
Great resource for job posting. They also have buddy and mentor programs for current staff and interns.

"People of Color in Publishing is a grassroots organization created by book publishing professionals dedicated to supporting, empowering, and uplifting racially and ethnically marginalized members throughout the industry, we seek to create a safe and inclusive space celebrating and promoting diversity. Through a planning committee and network of chaired subcommittees, we advocate and foster career development and advancement of people of color (including Native/Indigenous) professionals’ work. The diversification of the book publishing industry until the people of color are not only recruited but retained, until the staff of publishing houses in the United States is as racially and ethnically diverse as the world we live in."
Creating a truly diverse staff will take time. So if you're not there yet, consider contracting #OwnVoices readers to fill the gap. 
HBCU Literary Programs

Latinxs in Publishing
Great resource for posting job opportunities and to provide community for existing staff and interns.

"We are a network of book professionals committed to supporting and increasing the number of Latino/a/x in the publishing industry, as well as promoting literature by, for, and about Latino/a/x people. Latinx in Publishing members include professionals in all facets of publishing and at all career stages. Members benefit from this community through shared resources, support, and mentorship. In addition to networking, Latinx in Publishing also hosts professional development events in NYC and online."
From Chris Jackson's essay "Diversity in Publishing" (LitHub, 2017): It will be an attempt to bring some meaning back to that shell “diversity,” to actually put the concept into action, to give it blood and life. That will inform the way we hire, the way we acquire, edit, and publish books, and the ways we cultivate audiences. This will require some work and time."

Promotion and Events

African American Literature Book Club: "AALBC is the oldest, largest, and most popular online bookstore dedicated to books written by, or about, people of African descent in the United States and around the world. We celebrate Black culture, through books, for ALL readers to enjoy."
  • Founders: Troy Johnson and Ron Kavanagh
Latinxs in Kid Lit: "Our vision is to: engage with works about, for, and/or by Latinxs; offer a broad forum on Latinx children’s, MG, and YA books; promote literacy and the love of books within the Latinx community; examine the historical and contemporary state of Latinx characters; encourage interest in Latinx children’s, MG, and YA literature among non-Latinx readers; share perspectives and resources that can be of use to writers, authors, illustrators, librarians, parents, teachers, scholars, and other stakeholders in literacy and publishing."
BIPOC-owned bookstores to partner with on events: These bookstores and organizations hold frequent events: Well Read Black Girl: "Our mission is to center the stories of Black women. Our goal is to introduce a cohort of diverse writers to future generations – contemporary authors who are non-binary, queer, trans, and disabled. To address inequalities and improve communities through reading and reflecting on the works of Black women."
We Need Diverse Books: "We Need Diverse Books™ is a non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry. Our aim is to help produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. Putting more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children."
"We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities."

Supporting Writers

Hurston/Wright Foundation
The Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation is an arts nonprofit devoted to increasing black literary representation. It is based in Washington, D.C., and serves writers and readers worldwide.
"Our mission is to discover, mentor, and honor black writers. We also know that the continuity of Black literature depends on a society that values Black narratives. At the Hurston/Wright Foundation, we work to build a supportive literary community through author talks and literary salons."
Women of Color Writers: "Our mission is to increase the number of published women writers of color by enhancing confidence and providing a nurturing and creative environment in our writing workshops. We further our mission by providing creative writing & poetry workshops, retreats readings, performances, & publishing opportunities sharing information, referrals and support."

"Our goals are to reach out to and engage Women of Color writers from all ethnic backgrounds, to offer creative support to under-served women writers both in the United States and around the world, to create safe and supportive writing environment, and to nurture women’s writing voices using Amherst Writing and Artist method, and other creative holistic approaches to writing."
Cave Canem Poets: Cave Canem Foundation is a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets. A non-profit literary service organization, Cave Canem has grown to become an influential movement with a renowned faculty, high-achieving national fellowship of over 400 and a workshop community of 900." 

"Cave Canem is part of a national coalition of poetry organizations working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. Learn more about this coalition of poetry organizations."
Black & Bookish
Consultation and editing services for black writers.
Literary Consultant, Social Justice Educator, and Activist. I help writers and content creators tell their best, inclusive stories. Using Racial and Restorative Justice practices, I also work to assist communities in creating inclusive spaces.
Literary Activism is another name for the fight for inclusivity in publishing. While my job is to service authors and their journeys into publishing, I also believe in helping readers discover stories that mirror their lived experiences.
Black Writers Collective
"Our mission is to link Black writers worldwide and provide opportunities and resources for them to achieve their goals."
Center for Black Literature
Founded in 2002, the mission of the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College, CUNY (CBL) is to expand, broaden, and enrich the public’s knowledge and aesthetic appreciation of Black literature by people of the African Diaspora. The Center builds an audience for the reading, discussion, research, study, and critical analysis of Black literature through a variety of programs and partnerships.


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