At SCBWI, we recognize that publicly committing to equity and inclusion is crucial to our membership and the readers we serve. Words, stories, and images are powerful: They define who we are for ourselves and for others.
Historically, content creation that reaches a wide audience of children and teens has been intertwined with a legacy of privilege, oppression, bias, and racism. We acknowledge that as part of the children’s publishing industry we share in that legacy.
Support the creation and availability of quality books for every young reader championing equity and inclusion. We welcome and celebrate writers, illustrators, and translators who represent a broad spectrum of backgrounds and experiences; who seek to create quality literature for young people that reflect the lives of all children.
The DEI Team is energized to create a stronger SCBWI-RMC community that includes, engages, and embraces disparate voices. So glad you’re here!
Our Goals & Vision
- Expand inclusivity in our membership and create a welcoming and safe environment for all members
- Provide learning opportunities to increase social consciousness
- Increase inclusive programming, events, and community outreach
INCLUDE underrepresented and/or marginalized communities in children’s literature who are an essential part of our SCBWI-RMC membership.
ENGAGE our members and communities by identifying resources and support and by providing professional-growth activities.
CULTIVATE a welcoming and safe place to better nurture and support communication and networking opportunities within the diverse voices of our members, the community, and potential members. Together, we craft a new and better organizational story.
RMC-SCBWI Events, Opportunities & Initiatives Coming Soon!
Meet Our DEI Team
|Malia Maunakea is a part-Hawaiian writer who grew up in the rainforest on the Big Island before moving to a valley on Oʻahu in seventh grade. She relocated to the continent for college, and when she isn’t writing can be found roaming the Colorado Rocky Mountains with her husband, their two children, and a rescue mutt named Peggy.
| Safa Suleiman was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She is a first generation American Muslim of Palestinian descent. Her stories are inspired by her children, Palestinian culture and the diversity of the American Muslim community. Safa joined SCBWI in 2016 and is represented by Ana Crespo at East West Literary.
Amanda Stone Norton
|Amanda Stone Norton, originally from Louisville, KY, has been in education for over twenty years where her practice has centered on social justice, leadership, diversity and inclusion. She earned a PhD in higher education with an emphasis in multicultural education from the University of Denver where she was first inspired to become a children’s book writer, creating culturally inclusive literature where all readers feel valued. In addition to writing, Amanda is an educational consultant and editor, presenting workshops on Montessori and place-based education, literary craft, white privilege, and cultural inclusion. She has been a member of SCBWI since 2015.|
|Born in the Great Plains of South Dakota, Andrea grew up surrounded by grasslands, cornfields, and brothers. As a mixed Mexican-American kid in the 80s Heartland, Andrea didn’t see herself reflected in her surroundings or her books. A misfit, in search of belonging and adventure, she hightailed it out of the prairie, living in Minneapolis, Mexico, Amsterdam, Chicago, Brooklyn, Oakland and now Denver. Along her journey, Andrea reconnected with her love of storytelling and discovered that she doesn’t have to fit in to belong. Today, she’s passionate about creating stories that connect, reflect and celebrate the beautiful complexities and abundant experiences of all young people. Andrea is represented by Adria Goetz at P.S. Literary.|
There are many resources for exploring diversity, equity and inclusion. Here are a number of them to get you started.
Sticks and Stones and the Stories We Tell
As part of SCBWI’s Equity and Inclusion Initiative, the Sticks and Stones and the Stories We Tell video is available free to members and the general public and focuses on how ten BIPOC creators turned racism into art.
Access the video here: Sticks and Stones and the Stories We Tell Digital Workshop
Resources collected by the SCBWI Southern Breeze region. Thank you!
How to outsmart your own unconscious bias A TEDX talk by Valerie Alexander
Straight Talk on Race, by Mitali Perkins: Challenging the Stereotypes in Kids’ Books: “Here are five questions that’ll help you and your students discern messages about race in stories.”
We Need Diverse Books: Resources for individuals and groups involved in many levels of children’s publishing
Cooperative Children’s Book Center: Children’s Books by and about People of Color Published in the United States.
The Danger of a Single Story, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: A Ted Talk on why no culture can be represented by one story.
Reading While White—Allies for Racial Diversity and Inclusion in Books for Childrens and Teens.
CELEBRATING OUR DIVERSITY
Inclusion on the Bookshelf, By Camille Jackson: “The lives of children with disabilities are adventurous, funny, romantic and active. There are many books available that contain characters with disabilities, but few that truly embrace social inclusion.”
Seeing Ourselves and Seeing Others in the Pages of the Books we Read, by Jess Lifshitz: “[E]very single child that walks through my classroom door deserves to see himself or herself in a book in my library. And every single child that walks through my classroom door deserves a chance to learn about others in this world from the books in my library.”
Suggested Reading for the ALSC Day of Diversity http://dia.ala.org/dayofdiversity
American Indians in Children’s Literature (book reviews and recommendations): “provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society.”
February is African American History Month by Sandy Brehl: African American characters and themes should be shared all year long, not just during February as part of Black History Month activities.
- Writing With Color: A blog dedicated to writing and resources centered on racial & ethnic diversity. We share writing advice, guides, book recs. and more. http://writingwithcolor.tumblr.com/post/95955707903/skin-writing-with-color-has-received-several
- Ableism/Language, by Lydia X. Z. Brown: A glossary of Ableist Phrases. http://www.autistichoya.com/p/ableist-words-and-terms-to-avoid.html
- Racism Begins in our imagination: by Grisel Y Acosta : “We’d like to imagine that racism is only created with extreme acts, like bombs or chains. The truth is racism begins in our imagination. It begins with our stories.” http://www.salon.com/2015/02/22/racism_begins_in_our_imagination_how_