Did you attend BookExpo America last week? Did you notice that stepping into the Javits Center was like leaving New York City—trading an incredibly diverse city for an astonishingly white world of publishing professionals? We can do something about that. I just sent an email to the Conference/Education Programming team (you can find their email addresses here). Do you know anyone else who can help us make this happen? If so, please email me or leave a comment and/or reach out to them yourself. I met with Jill from Rhapsody in Books last week and we tried to think of ways to mobilize people around the issue of equity in publishing. Should we try to get a celebrity on board? Would Bill Cosby or Queen Latifah or Alicia Keyes lend their name to this cause? What about Spike and Tonya Lee, or Jada Pinkett Smith–black celebrities who have ventured into the world of publishing? Or could we dispense with celebrities and just try to get “major players” into a room and on the record? I’m open to ideas…
Greetings. My name is Zetta Elliott and I am an author/blogger/scholar. I would like to propose a session for BEA 2012 that would address the issue of equity in publishing. BookExpo is a wonderful event, yet one can’t help but notice the shocking lack of diversity at the nation’s largest publishing convention (held in the nation’s most diverse city).
At the London Book Fair, DIPNET (the Diversity in Publishing Network) holds an annual meeting to discuss their proposed UK Publishing Equalities Charter; I think BEA could benefit from holding a similar session in order to give publishers, booksellers, book buyers, and other members of the literary community an opportunity to strategize and share ideas around improving equity in the US publishing industry. Representatives from the AAP, ABA, and AAR could join authors, educators, and librarians to set concrete goals that would ensure that the 21st-century publishing industry accurately reflects this nation of readers and writers.
I will be presenting a paper at the Race, Ethnicity, and Publishing conference at the Université de Provence in March 2012; I would like to report to attendees that the US is taking steps to address the appalling inequity in its publishing industry. I regularly blog about this issue and would be happy to collaborate with you, should you need any help coordinating and/or advertising a session for BEA 2012.
Thank you for your time and consideration.