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.
If you are already an SCBWI member, log into the main SCBWI website and you will be automatically registered on the boards. If you are not an SCBWI member you can still access the Diversity Boards by registering directly on the Blueboards.