We Need Diverse Books™ Following Up After Fouling Up: Real Talk About Real Apologies

We Need Diverse Books™ Following Up After Fouling Up: Real Talk About Real Apologies

06/02/2017, 2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

Room 1E16


We Need Diverse Books presents a frank and honest discussion on genuine apologies that acknowledge the impact of our errors and decentralize our fragility. As publishing grows more engaged with telling PoC/Native, LGBTQIA+, Disabled, religious minority, and other stories from historically marginalized groups, the potential for errors rises, especially when writers/illustrators and publishers aren't working from personal experience. Rather than avoid these issues, we must prepare for when we fail. This panel presumes that errors in judgement will occur and asks what our responsibility is for what happens next.

Session Take Aways:

  •   Why publishing more diverse books will mean more errors, why it’s important to acknowledge that, and why it’s important to persevere instead of ignoring the need for young people's literature that reflects our world

·       Components of performative, surface apologies and why they are both ineffective and damaging


·       Components of genuine, effective apologies and why they are critical for true commitment towards a more diverse publishing industry


Laura M. Jiménez, Lecturer at Boston University School of Education, has been published in scholarly journals including The Journal of Lesbian Studies, Teaching and Teacher Education, and the Journal of Literacy Research. Her work focuses on both literature and literacy with a special interest in graphic novels and issues of representation in young adult literature. She is currently working on several research projects including a large-scale critical content analysis that takes an intersectional lens to the ways women and girls are represented in graphic novels. Her blog, https://booktoss.wordpress.com/ features reviews of graphic novels and essays.


Speaker Bios:

Daniel José Older is the New York Times bestselling author of Salsa Nocturna, the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series from Penguin’s Roc Books and the Shadowshaper Cypher, including Shadowshaper (Scholastic, 2015), a New York Times Notable Book of 2015, which won the International Latino Book Award and was shortlisted for the Kirkus Prize in Young Readers’ Literature, the Andre Norton Award, the Locus, the Mythopoeic Award, and named one of Esquire’s 80 Books Every Person Should Read. You can find his and hear his music at http://danieljoseolder.net/, on youtube and @djolder on twitter. Shadowhouse Fall comes out in September. 

Alex Gino, author of Stonewall-Award winning GEORGE, loves glitter, ice cream, gardening, awe-ful puns, and stories that reflect the diversity and complexity of being alive. They would take a quiet coffee date with a friend over a loud and crowded party any day. Born and raised on Staten Island, NY, Alex has lived in Philadelphia, PA; Brooklyn, NY; Astoria (Queens), NY; Northampton, MA; and Oakland, CA. In April 2016, they put their books and furniture in storage and moved into an RV, and are currently driving around the country, happily watching the landscape change.

Kiera Parrott, reviews director, Library Journal and School Library Journal, began her career as a children’s librarian at the New York Public Library and later Darien (CT) Library, where she developed a lifelong love and respect for children’s and young adult literature. Now she oversees a team of talented editors and several thousand volunteer librarian reviewers who read and evaluate over 12,000 titles each year.

Justina Ireland, author, lives with her husband, kid, and dog in Pennsylvania. She has written Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows, both currently available from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers.  Her writing on the lack of racial equity in publishing has appeared in Story Magazine, Book Riot, and Fireside Fiction. Her forthcoming young adult book Dread Nation will be available in 2018 from the HarperCollins imprint Balzer and Bray and her adult debut The Never and the Now will be available Tor/Macmillan.  You can find Justina on twitter as @justinaireland or visit her website justinaireland.com.


  • Laura M. Jiménez


  • Daniel Jose Older


  • Alex Gino


  • Kiera Parrott


  • Justina Ireland



  1. Education
    Business of Publishing

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