The Virtual 2021 Symposium on Diversity in Children’s Literature and the Walter Dean Myers Awards
For the first time ever, WNDB is excited to present our annual Symposium and the Walter Awards as a virtual event! Due to COVID, we will miss the opportunity to gather in person at the Library of Congress, which has generously co-hosted the Walters since 2016, but we look forward to reaching a global audience with an online platform this year.
Please join us in celebrating this year’s winners and honorees!
WNDB warmly thanks BookBub for sponsoring the 2021 Walter Awards.
2021 Winners + Honorees
BookBub congratulates the 2021 Walter winners and honorees!
BookBub is a marketing platform that provides authors and publishers with a suite of tools designed to help them achieve their book marketing goals. Each year, BookBub partners with a number of organizations that are focused on uplifting and empowering those who are underrepresented and marginalized within the publishing and tech spaces.
2021 Ceremony Emcee + Symposium Moderator
Ceremony Emcee Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times bestselling author whose audiences span young readers, teens, and adults. Her books have sold more than 8 million copies. Laurie has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award three times. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was short-listed for the prestigious British Carnegie Medal. Laurie was also selected by the American Library Association for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award and has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheesesteaks while she writes.
Symposium Moderator Deborah Taylor is the 2015 recipient of the Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Award for Lifetime Achievement from the American Library Association. She recently retired as the coordinator of school and student services at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, where she worked since 1974 in various roles. She has also served as president of the Young Adult Library Services Association and as chair of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. Taylor received both her BA and MA from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Morika Tsujimura (2021 Walters Chair) teaches Math and Science at Grace Church School in New York City. Her previous service on book committees include the 2020 Walter Awards Committee and the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee, as well as the Cook Prize and the Irma Black Prize, both awarded by the Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature. Morika is also involved in organizing the annual Young Men of Color Symposium and YALA Gala for APISA+ youth and has presented at national conferences for the Progressive Educators Network and NAIS. Born in Nagano, Japan, she grew up in Harlem and now lives in the Bronx.
Cathy Berner, a former school librarian, is the Children’s/YA Specialist and Event Coordinator at Blue Willow Bookshop, an independent bookstore on the west side of Houston, Texas. She also serves as the programming coordinator for three literary festivals: Bookworm, TweensRead, and TeenBookCon, all of which promote reading and literacy by connecting young readers and authors.
Lindsay Hall has been fortunate to work with students from grades kindergarten through 12th grade, and is currently a lower school librarian at Sidwell Friends. She has spread great books for children through projects in Guatemala, Ghana, and Jamaica. A Georgia native, she currently lives in Washington, DC, and has occasionally reminds people that #DCPSNeedsLibrarians.
Alicia K. Long is an academic librarian and Access Services Supervisor at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota. She also is an adjunct instructor at the University of South Florida’s School of Information, where she teaches Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults. She is a past Chair and member of the Pura Belpré Award Selection Committee (co-sponsored by REFORMA and ALSC), a former reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine, a 2012 ALA Emerging Leader, and a 2010 ALA Spectrum Scholar. Alicia is originally from Argentina.
Gregory Lum is the Library Director at Jesuit High School’s Clark Library in Portland, Oregon. He's worked for over 30 years as a classroom teacher or school librarian. He previously served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee in 2012 and 2014, as chair of the 2016 Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee, the 2018 Schneider Family Book Award Committee, the 2019 John Newbery Medal Committee, and will return to the 2022 Walter Awards Committee. Most recently, Gregory was recognized as YALSA’s 2021 Volunteer of the Year. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and enjoys traveling with his four grown children.
Joe Prince, a former middle school librarian, is the Curriculum & Outreach Educator at Bowling Green State University’s Jerome Library. He previously served on the 2020 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Committee and will serve on the 2022 Sibert Committee. He lives in Bowling Green, Ohio, with his husband and their collection of cardigans.
Hadeal Salamah is a Lower/Middle School Librarian at Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC. She previously served on the 2021 APALA Picture Book Committee, the 2020 APALA Literature Committee, the 2019 Stonewall Book Awards-Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award, and the 2018 ALSC Building Partnerships Committee as Co-Chair. She will serve on the 2022 Newbery Medal Committee. Hadeal reviews for Kirkus and is a co-founder of Hijabi Librarians, where she is one of four librarians reviewing children’s and young adult literature featuring Muslims.
co-directors + chairs
Co-Director Walter Awards
Library consultant, Library of Congress Young Readers Center
Program Coordinator, An Open Book Foundation
Co-Director Walter Awards
Consultant, PBS/Reading Rockets
Children’s Book Buyer, Politics & Prose
About Walter Dean Myers
and the Walter Awards
About the LOC
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world— both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services, and other programs, and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.
The Library of Congress
Dr. Carla Hayden
The 2021 Walter Awards Judging Committee
The Walter Dean Myers family
Laurie Halse Anderson