Today I am off at Harper college in Palatine, Illinois for SCBWI’s annual Prairie Writer’s and Illustrators day, a conference for filled with authors, illustrators, editors and agents. There are contests, workshop sessions, portfolio reviews, and general information sharing and networking. This year they are featuring something new. Lunch and Learn sessions, where people will meet and discuss different issues. I will have a table where people will come to discuss diversity and multicultural issues in children’s books (which is just about my favorite topic). I’ve got handouts discussing
- Why we need diverse books
- What these authors and Illustrators can do
The discussion will include the #WNDB movement, some of the historical issues in getting diversity and multiculturalism into children’s books, how diversity is more than most people thing, the need for authentic voices, along with ways attendees can be more mindful of stereotypes and caricatures while still including diversity in all its facets (race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical and mental disabilities and much more) in their writing.
God, I’m on my soapbox already.
I’ll also be giving a shout-out to a new group forming, the Association of Children’s Authors and Illustrators of Color. We are authors and illustrators out to meet the need for children’s books featuring characters of color. Our website, ACAIC.ORG will be launching later this year.