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Building Cultural Competency in KidLit

I usually live tweet diversity workshops/events I attend. I didn’t for the Building Cultural Competency in Children’s Publishing Symposium at @Highlights Foundation.

I wanted to be fully present. Even handwriting notes seemed a bit intrusive. Yes, it was that deep.

My biggest takeaway was that we all need to come to the page with questions - whether you’re a writer, reader, illustrator, editor, librarian or teacher.

-Who’s centered in the story?

-Who’s silenced or misrepresented?

-Is the story upholding stereotypes?

-What are YOUR identities and how do they shape what you’re writing, reading or suggesting that others read?

Then, take action.

That might mean #booktoss for biased books or deciding you are not the best author to write a particular story.

And it should always mean supporting more #ownvoices books and getting more of them onto shelves & into kids’ hands

Examining our books & ourselves is hard & necessary ONGOING work. Thanks to facilitators and speakers Edith Campbell, Dr. Laura M. Jimenez, Dr. Debbie Reese, Renee Watson, Paula Yoo, and Marilisa Jimenez for helping us get started (or encouraging us to keep going!), for holding space and for holding us accountable.

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