Check out our Google calendar for upcoming events on and off the blog as well as read a little bit about past events we've held since our January 2012 Kick-Off.

LOVE Media Workshop Invites CBC Diversity to Talk With Students

On July 23, 2013, CBC Diversity committee members Alvina Ling, Liz Waniewski, and Wendy Lamb participated in Leave Out Violence's Summer Media Workshop to introduce their students to the world of publishing. The eighteen or so 15-18 year old students in attendance were smart, inquisitive, and ready to relate how their experiences and what drew them to books lent them to specific roles in the publishing industry.

At the end of the presentation, and boy were there many questions throughout, Liz, Wendy, and Alvina spread out two boxes worth of YA books and asked the teenagers to have a quick discussion on covers with the three editors. Some of the observations included that they didn't like faces on covers because they don't want to see the main character immediately, they did not like NYT Bestseller on the cover, and they did not like covers that didn't portray what the book was going to be about. The students did like bright "happy covers", covers with medals on them, and covers with typography that illustrated how the book should make you feel.

CBC Diversity Travels to Boston During Children's Book Week 2013

Panelists From l. to r:
London Ladd, Katie Cunningham, Alyssa Mito Pusey,
Ayanna Coleman, Monica Perez, and Mitali Perkins
If you missed the first, but certainly not the last, visit CBC Diversity had to Boston on May 16, 2013, don't fret! The initiative along with its gracious host, Charlesbridge, and the wonderful panelists seen at right, got some great coverage in PW, which wrapped up some of the very interesting topics discussed during the 1.5 hour event. The panel was entitled Diversity on the Page, behind the Pencil, and in the Office and highlighted voices from three amazing editors (from Candlewick, Charlesbridge, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) an author (Mitali Perkins) and  illustrator (London Ladd). What PW didn't report on was the lively Q&A session after the moderated portion of the panel. Questions ranged from how to attract a more diverse pool of applicants when hiring within the children's publishing industry to how to avoid tokenism in your work.

CBC Diversity Presents Initiative to Librarians at ALA Midwinter

Amongst the brewing excitement induced by the prospect of finally learning the winners and honorees of the 2013 ALA Youth Media Awards, Alvina Ling (current chair of the CBC Diversity Committee), Ayanna Coleman (CBC Diversity Committee Liaison), and Caroline Ward (Coordinator of Youth Services at the Ferguson Library) took their seats on the very first CBC Diversity Discussion Panel held January 27th, 2013 at 3PM in Seattle, Washington.

One of the goals of CBC Diversity is to educate those within and outside of the publishing industry. The purpose of this panel was to explain the CBC Diversity Initiative to librarians and to highlight the resources the Initiative offers. These resources are aimed to help them more easily find books currently on the market that relate to the various children in their lives and services to help encourage those who wish to write, to write respectfully, inclusively, and in an informed manner.

The panel had well over 75 attendees, including librarians, teachers, agents, and publishing house staffers. The overall tone of the panel was hopeful and appreciative, but it was not missed that librarians feel publishers have a lot of work to do in terms of publishing diverse books. Topics included the realities of running a business--the need to show that there is a market for diverse books by buying those books, discoverability challenges for diverse books, appreciating the broad spectrum of people the term "diversity" applies to, the need for more resources for young writers, and the wish for more programs like this one to bring the different groups involved in the promotion of kid lit together to continue to bring about progress. Listen to the full panel discussion here.

CBC Diversity Committee Hosts a Panel to Discuss Children's and YA Book Covers

On September 25, CBC Diversity hosted a panel featuring all of the bloggers who contributed entries to the “It’s Complicated! – Book Covers” blog series:

From left to right, panelists noted below.

The lunchtime event, moderated by Alvina Ling, CBC Diversity vice-chair and Executive Editorial Director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, continued the conversation begun online, addressing the challenges the panelists have faced and successes they've had in selling/designing/writing books portraying diverse characters on the cover.

Safe Haven Provides Supportive Environment for Publishing Staffers to Discuss Obstacles to Diversity
Last month, CBC Diversity launched "It's Complicated!", a blog series focusing on the challenges in promoting diversity in children's books. The week-long dialogue began on May 21st and included posts & comments from a variety of voices from the industry and beyond.

To further the discussion among publishing professionals offline, the Committee held their first Safe Haven event at the CBC Thursday, June 7th. CBC Diversity Safe Havens bring together intimate groups of children's book publishing staffers to speak candidly about diversity and problem-solve collaboratively in a supportive environment. Topics addressed at last week's event included: the power of reviewers, searching out authentic sources to establish an authors' credibility, and diversity in book covers.

If you are interested in participating in the next CBC Diversity Safe Haven, tentatively scheduled for the fall, please e-mail to be placed on the waiting list.

CBC Diversity Committee Performs School Visits
In honor of Children's Book Week, a few CBC Diversity Committee members ventured out to Bushwick Leaders, a high school in Brooklyn, NY, and participated in 2 separate school visits. Each visit contained a presentation about how a book is made--told through the different jobs in publishing--from two members of the committee, a Q&A session, and (of course) pizza for the engaged audience of approximately 50 high school seniors. Check out Cheryl's blog post describing her visit in detail!  

CBC Diversity Committee Kick-Off Cocktail
On January 31st, the CBC launched its Diversity Committee! The evening included a discussion of the initiative, including personal stories from the founding members of the Committee, and a call to action for all attendees to keep the diversity conversation ever-present in the industry. Check out more pictures on the Children's Book Council Facebook page within the CBC Diversity Kick-Off album.
Alvina Ling, CBC Diversity Committee

A rapt audience listening to the
personal stories of committee members