Since 2003 when I took a class with Lucille Clifton, my first professor in children’s literature, I have been aware of the lack of non-majority narratives in kids’ books—as well as the need for more diverse individuals in the world of publishing, in general. Teaching in West Africa and experiencing other moments in my personal/family life only solidified my recognition that, on the whole, we need more diverse books (and authors, editors, agents) in our world.
Fast-forward to 2014, when an online discussion with colleagues turned into an opportunity to network and, ultimately, do something big about the diversity gap. I joined forces with several others and we rocked the world with a #WeNeedDiverseBooks Twitter hashtag campaign.
But that’s not all.
We Need Diverse Books is now a non-profit organization with several initiatives and partner organizations implementing diversification programs on the ground. I am proud to be a part of it, currently serving as the Executive Vice President of Outreach.
(Please note that all opinions expressed on my personal website are my own, and do not necessarily recognize the organization as a whole.)
If you’re interested in reading more about what I’ve had to say on the topic of diversity in literature (or ‘multicultural’ literature, as some term it), here are some links to past articles: