The Brown Bookshelf has partnered with the Highlights Foundation to produce a year-long program to support and amplify Black stories, storytellers, and publishers. The goals are to lift up Black creators and also confront industry challenges and foster change.
According to the program announcement, Amplify Black Voices will feature monthly presentations from two distinct cohorts:
“The Storyteller cohort includes debut, midlist, and vanguard Black authors and illustrators across all children’s literature genres and formats, at no cost to the storyteller. Discover the 24 storytellers in the cohort.
The Publishing Teams cohort includes a diverse and inclusive gathering of executives, editors, and marketing and design staff from publishing houses. Our sponsoring publishers and organizations have empowered and funded Black creators and staff to participate while supporting this collaboration to dismantle the systems of racism”
Today is D.E.A.R. day– otherwise known as Drop Everything and Read. It’s a celebration of late author Beverly Cleary’s birthday; she would have been 105 today (April 12.)
The reference comes from one of Cleary’s most beloved books, RAMONA QUIMBY, AGE 8. The day is designed to remind families to celebrate reading and to make it a priority in their lives. We at MUF are always happy to carve out at least 30 minutes today just to read! And today, perhaps we’ll also have a cake and toast to Beverly Cleary and the wonderful legacy of literature she left us. (We’re also always happy to have cake!)
In addition to spending part of your day reading, you can hop on Twitter where Cleary’s publisher, HarperCollins Children’s, is looking for your Cleary remembrance tweets with the hashtag: #WeLoveBeverlyCleary
#DVPit and #DVCon creator Beth Phelan has launched a new, non-profit organization: DiverseVoices, Inc. Phelan’s mission: “empowering and advocating for book creators from marginalized communities in getting traditionally published within an industry dominated by white, cis-hetero, non-disabled voice” (From the announcement news release)
Phelan, who is DiverseVoices President and, separately, a literary agent with Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency, says she envisions mentorships, grants, a book club, and more–all with the aim toward helping more diverse creators get traditionally published. “We still have a long way to go in this industry with regard to equitable and inclusive publishing, so we’re currently working on expanding our team so that we can develop more programs to further our mission.”
Among the new programs on the horizon: DVMentor and DVDebut.
The DiverseVoices, Inc. team includes:
- Vice President: Kat Cho
- Treasurer: LeKesha Lewis
- Secretary: Norma Perez-Hernandez
- Claribel Ortega
- Pete Knapp