As many creative industries are examining their role in gender equality (or lack thereof), I’m writing to amplify the relevant and valuable posts being shared during Women’s History Month by #KidLitWomen and #WomeninIllustration.
Starting March 1st, we’re celebrating Women’s History month with 31 days of posts focused on improving the climate for social and gender equality in the children’s and teens’ industry. Join the conversation on Twitter #kidlitwomen and access all the #KidlitWomen posts this month on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kidlitwomen/
- Shannon Hale’s post kicking off #KidLitWomen is a reiteration of her powerful SCBWI conference keynote about young readers. It’s a must-read.
- Then, Christine Taylor-Butler’s analysis of Caldecott award winners puts numbers to an outrageous gender imbalance (particularly for the female-dominated industry of children’s publishing). Please note the near complete exclusion of women of color.
Meanwhile, #womeninIllustration is a Twitter hashtag amplifying published books by hard-working (and often under-recognized) women making picture books. Joyce Wan also created this helpful Pinterest board of picture books illustrated by women for librarians, educators, conference organizers, and parents looking for great books being made by women.
Last but not least, We Need Diverse Books continues to be an extraordinary organization seeking to “promote literature that reflects and honors the lives of all young people."
As an author, illustrator, reader, and WOC, I deeply value the solutions-oriented efforts of coalitions like #KidLitWomen, #WomeninIllustration, and #WeNeedDiverseBooks. I encourage everyone who cares about young readers and meaningful, representative library shelves to thoughtfully peruse what these groups are demonstrating and sharing.
Then, join them in their efforts.