In 2014 a team of authors and other publishing industry professionals started the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. Their website, located here, identifies their mission statement:
Eight Cousins is very excited about this campaign as we have long valued and advocated for increased diversity in children's publishing. We are proud to offer a range of diverse books in our collection as well as expertise in the latest of great books for all kids. Please contact us if you would like help diversifying your personal or classroom library.
Using the Windows & Mirrors terminology as defined by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, we agree that all children deserve to see themselves (mirrors) in a book as well as learn about others (windows) in a book. Read Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop's article "Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors" here. Also, see this article for further background on the term.
Eight Cousins offers workshops for teachers and school librarians on new releases and integrating inclusive books into commonly-taught subject areas. Please contact Sara for details.
How we define diversity:
We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, Native, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities*, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
*We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalization.
Graphic designed by Tina Kügler, based on statistics publshed by the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Huyck, David, Sarah Park Dahlen, Molly Beth Griffin. (2016 September 14). Diversity in Children’s Books 2015 infographic. sarahpark.com blog. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2016/09/14/picture-this-reflecting-diversity-in-childrens-book-publishing/
Statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/literature-resources/ccbc-diversity-statistics/books-by-about-poc-fnn/
Released for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Huyck, David and Sarah Park Dahlen. (2019 June 19). Diversity in Children’s Books 2018. sarahpark.com blog. Created in consultation with Edith Campbell, Molly Beth Griffin, K. T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Madeline Tyner, with statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/literature-resources/ccbc-diversity-statistics/books-by-about-poc-fnn/. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/picture-this-diversity-in-childrens-books-2018-infographic/.
Where are the People of Color in Children's Books?, Walter Dean Myers, New York Times, March 15, 2014
CHILDREN'S BOOKS; 'I Actually Thought We Would Revolutionize the Industry,' Walter Dean Myers, New York Times, November 9, 1986
Education in America, The All-White World of Children's Books, Nancy Larrick, The Saturday Review, September 11, 1965, pp. 63-65