This week, celebrations are being held across the country for President-Elect Joseph R. Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. Madam Vice President-Elect Harris reminded us in her victory speech on Saturday night that “democracy is not guaranteed. It is only as strong as our willingness to fight for it, to guard it, and never take it for granted.”
These words urge all who believe in WNDB and our work to continue disrupting the myths and practices that surround the work of creators from socially and systematically marginalized groups. Our fight for diversity in children’s literature is bigger than the next diverse book being released. Centering the work of authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals from marginalized groups works to dismantle the systems of racism and oppression that plague the publishing industry and our entire country. Dismantling these systems is a struggle, and it is not guaranteed.
Looking ahead to 2021, we will witness a change in leadership in the White House. Your vote has been counted, now what? Creating a world where every child can read diversely starts with us coming together to advocate for change within the publishing industry, in our schools and communities. For those who care about the stories and books we present to children, let us unite around the following:
- Continue to diversify your shelves with quality children’s literature by creators from marginalized groups.
- Continue to break down the barriers faced by current and aspiring diverse publishing industry professionals across the country.
- Share the benefits of diverse books with key decision-makers in your school district or library system.
- Create a space for young people to advocate for representation across the curricula presented to them in school.
- Connect your work to social and economic campaigns you care about—such as an end to police violence, dismantling the school to prison pipeline, advocating for accessible public spaces, supporting the right to vote and for all votes to be counted, and making it easier for young people and their families to access mental health care, among others.
“We must make the promises of the country real for everybody, no matter their race, their ethnicity, their faith, their identity, or their disability,” stated President-Elect Biden. The WNDB team is committed to this beautiful struggle for the long haul. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to working with you in 2021.