SCBWI

Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Equity, Inclusion, & Diversity Resources for Authors & Illustrators

Equity & Inclusion Statement

Houston SCBWI commits not only to the SCBWI Mission Statement, but also to the SCBWI Statement of Intent on Equity and Inclusion. Our region centers on one of America’s largest and most diverse cities. It is with this in mind that “we accept the challenge and responsibility of becoming agents of change by affirming the need for increased representation in every facet of the children’s and YA book industry, including but not limited to race/ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship, and religion.”

If you have ideas, suggestions or concerns related to diversity issues in our region, please contact the Regional Team through our Suggestion Box

 

Diversity Resources for Writers & Illustrators

Basics

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.

School Librarian Talks to Students About ‘Whitewashing’ Children’s Book Covers, by Allie Bruce
A librarian discusses how a question from a student led to a series of conversations about the representation of race on book covers.

We need more diverse YA book covers, by Annie Schutte
A discussion with examples of books that do not show the diverse characters on the cover.

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 

American Indians in Children’s Literature
Book reviews and recommendations which “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.

Five Gay Picture-Book Prodigies and the Difference They’ve Made, by Barbara Bader
Diverse creators Maurice Sendak, Arnold Lobel, James Marshall, Remy Charlip, and Tomie dePaola whose brilliance and prodigy status shaped the direction of kid lit- for the better.

 

Craft

Writing inclusion isn’t about representing as many different things as possible, it is about readers finding a space for themselves in our stories, by Cory Silverberg
“Inclusion creates a space for them to explore not only multiple parts of their experience but also how those experiences are woven together in their bodies and lives.”

Writing With Color
A blog dedicated to writing and resources centered on racial & ethnic diversity. We share writing advice, guides, book recs. and more.

Describing Skin Tone, by WriteWorld
A discussion and list of resources. 

Ableism/Language, by Lydia X. Z. Brown
A glossary of Ableist Phrases

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.”

We Write Diversely. We Fail. We Write Again, By Katherine Memmel
An author’s discussion about writing diversely and how she did it wrong.

 

Self Work

If you’re looking for deeper readings to continue your personal education, this list and this list can get you started.

 

Many thanks to the Wisconsin region for beginning this great compilation. We welcome suggested additions to this list.