April 13, 2020, Washington, DC — We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) is pleased to announce the launch of an Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives in Children’s Publishing. The emergency fund will provide financial aid to diverse authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We understand how devastating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to creatives in our industry,” said WNDB CEO Ellen Oh. “WNDB would not exist but for the great support of our wonderful kidlit community. That is why it is so important that we give back to the community in this time of crisis.”
Created in response to the economic instability caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives in Children’s Publishing will allow WNDB to give emergency grants of $500 each to diverse writers, illustrators, and publishing professionals affected by the pandemic. Many diverse creatives have already lost their livelihoods, whether due to canceled school visits or due to layoffs and furloughs at publishers. To read our submission guidelines and apply for assistance through the emergency fund, visit our website.
WNDB aims to bolster these groups during this time of crisis and great need. Diverse creatives are already underrepresented in children’s literature. According to Lee & Low’s 2019 Diversity in Publishing Baseline Survey, there is a major diversity gap in publishing—only 24 percent of people working in publishing are people of color, 3 percent are trans and nonbinary, 19 percent are LGBTQ+, and 11 percent are disabled. And only 22 percent of children’s books in 2018 were written by authors of color and Native American/Indigenous authors, according to data from the Cooperate Children’s Book Center.
WNDB COO Dhonielle Clayton said, “We’re incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to launch this new initiative, which will support diverse creatives who have been directly affected by the pandemic. We deeply appreciate all the support this fund has received so that we can make an immediate difference in the lives of the diverse authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals that We Need Diverse Books has always championed.”
WNDB is accepting donations for the emergency fund. You can make an online donation here. Please leave a note specifying that your donation should be earmarked for the emergency fund. You may send questions or share your intent to donate by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternately, you may send a check payable to We Need Diverse Books to 10319 Westlake Drive, #104, Bethesda, MD 20817.
About We Need Diverse Books. We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people. It is our mission to put more books featuring diverse characters in the hands of all children. You can learn more about WNDB programs at www.diversebooks.org.
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The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.