The CBC Diversity initiative was founded in 2012, as part of the Children’s Book Council’s commitment to promoting diverse voices in literature for young people. We believe that all children deserve to see their world reflected in the books they read. We recognize that diversity takes on many forms, including differences in race, religion, gender, geography, sexual orientation, class, and ability.
In addition to championing diverse authors and illustrators, CBC Diversity strives to open up the publishing industry to a wider range of employees. We’ve taken an active role in recruiting diverse candidates, participating in school career fairs and partnering with We Need Diverse Books on its summer internship program.
New York, NY – September 28, 2018 – The CBC Diversity Committee is proud to announce
the winners of the inaugural CBC Diversity Outstanding Achievement Awards.These
awards will be given annually to professionals or organizations in the
children’s publishing industry who have made a significant impact on the publishing
and marketing of diverse books, diversity in hiring and mentoring, and efforts
that create greater awareness with the public about the importance of diverse
The winners were announced at the CBC Annual Meeting in New York City
on September 27, and an official ceremony and conversation with the winners
will take place on October 24 at a CBC Forum event. The winners will each
select an organization to receive one thousand dollars’ worth of children’s
books in their name.
Kapadwala, the CBC Diversity Committee’s moderator, said: “The committee had
the great joy and responsibility of reviewing nominations from across the
children’s publishing community. In making their selections, the committee has
summarized the accomplishments of these inspiring people and organizations.”
Interview with Saraciea Fennell, organizer of the first ever Bronx Book Festival (May 18-19, 2018).
How do you self identify?
My family is a wonderful mix of many things. I
identify as Afro-Latina/indigenous (Garifuna) from Honduras/Jamaica, and black
and Native American.
Tell us about the Bronx Book Festival?
I’m bringing the first book festival featuring
traditionally published bestselling and award-winning authors to the Bronx.
This project has been years in the making. The idea was seeded years ago after
I attended my first book festival as an adult. This festival will go a long way
to make the literary community of the Bronx visible and viable. I’m excited for
Bronxites of all ages to attend the festival and engage with
authors/illustrators and industry professionals. Representation is everything,
and who knows, maybe folks attending will find themselves aspiring to be the
next bestselling author or editor or marketing in the industry.
Who are some of the authors attending?
We have an amazing line up including our
keynote speakers Daniel José Older (Shadowshaper Cypher) and Elizabeth Acevedo
(The Poet X), featured panelists
include Heidi Heilig (The Ship Beyond
Time), the Bronx’s very own, Adam Silvera (They Both Die at the End), Lilliam Rivera (The Education of Margo Sanchez), and Kem Joy Ukwu (Locked Gray / Linked Blue).
Why did you decide to take on this initiative?
Bronx has a long tradition of literary culture including Edgar Allan Poe, James
Baldwin, Bronx Writers Center, and Bronx Loaf. Many contemporary authors and
other book folk have come from the borough. But because the Bronx is New York
City’s poorest borough, this vibrant, book-loving community has often been
overshadowed and underserved. I want to get people who look like me reading. I
want Bronxites living in a borough without a bookstore to see that
traditionally published authors are willing to come engage with the community.
My hope is that this festival will ignite passions for reading and maybe this
will be the seed that helps plant the roots for people to become editors,
marketers, authors and create a more diverse publishing industry.
You’ve been working in the industry for years
as a publicist. How did you get your start?
I have, it’s been a bit over 6 years now. I
got my start working as a publicity assistant at Simon & Schuster at an
adult imprint. It didn’t take long for me to realize that kidlit publishing was
the place for me! I love the work that I do and am amazed at the kidlit
Where can people learn more about the
People can learn more about the festival by
visiting wwww.thebronxisreading.com and they can also checkout the Kickstarter
campaign https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1895431533/bronx-book-festival-the-bronx-is-reading?ref=dje9sh and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at
Saraciea J. Fennell is a publicist in the publishing
industry. She’s worked with many award winning and New York Times bestselling
authors like Daniel José Older, Tui T. Sutherland, Peter Sís, Jennifer A.
Nielsen, Chris Colfer, Julie Andrews, Malala Yousafzai, Mike Jung, Deborah
Wiles, Javaka Steptoe, Jerry Pinkney, and many, many more. She is passionate
about books, and devours anything sci-fi/fantasy-related in books, TV and
movies. Fennell grew up in the Bronx and spent four years in the foster care system. If it
weren’t for books she’s not sure where she would be today. Follow her on
Twitter @sj_fennell and visit www.TheBronxisReading.com
for more information on the festival.