Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Children's and Teen Literature
As of 2017, over 2,000 local Charlotte-Mecklenburg school children have attended the Diversity Guest Author series I created. This is an example of the drive, creativity, results-oriented skills that I value as a librarian.
As my friend and author Guadalupe Garcia McCall said during her presentation at the Diversity Guest Author visit 2014, she wanted all the students to remember her words of encouragement. "If you take away one thing from my visit...You can survive any challenges you face with courage and with love from your family,"
Likewise, in 2017, I hosted the award-winning author Matt de la Pena as part of the Diversity Guest Author series. Mr. de la Pena told the students he had never seen someone like himself, a self-described "Mexican white boy" in books when he was growing up. As a result, upon discovering the love of reading in high school with The Color Purple, he decided to become a writer and write characters that he could identify with and that would be a mirror for boys like himself. That goal is what I believe is what librarians are supposed to do, find the books that can serve as mirrors and windows for future generations.
Authors in the series included: Matt de la Pena (see photo below), Kekla Magoon , Neela Vaswani , Guadalupe G. McCall, Joseph Bruchac , Justina Chen , Walter Dean Myers , Jacqueline Woodson , Sonia Levitan, and Carole Boston Weatherford .