As we didn’t have a good speaker system to give a formal presentation at our chat, (we were very much a late addition to the program), we wanted to take this opportunity to give a quick overview of the campaign.
Briefly, We Need Diverse Books started out as a hashtag/social media campaign to bring attention to the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature (see if you can identify the famous authors in the pictures below!). You can read more about our origins here, and find out how we were invited to give a panel at the inaugural BookCon here.
The consensus at panel at BookCon was that our work is far from over, and as such We Need Diverse Books has incorporated and formed an Advisory Board. We are officially more than just a hashtag, and our hope is that we’ll continue to be a source of amplification and support for non-majority narratives (including works by and about people of color, LGBTQI individuals and people with disabilities). In addition to our Diversity Festival planned for 2016, we’re going to start some grants for diverse authors, bring Diversity into the Classroom with partnerships with First Book and the National Education Association, and develop a "diversity toolkit" for librarians and booksellers. We’ve been invited to give panels at ALA, NAIBA and NCTE, among others.
Ultimately, we want to organize those of us who believe in diverse books. If you’re interested, please join us by filling out our volunteer form! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Tumblr at @diversebooks. And stay tuned for some more important news coming down the pike!