We Need Diverse Books has announced that on March 18, 2016, the organization will bestow its first Walter Dean Myers Award upon a children’s author from a diverse background whose work features a diverse protagonist or whose work addresses the issue of diversity in a meaningful way.
The morning awards ceremony will be held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in collaboration with the Center for the Book and the Young Readers Center.
The award is named for author Walter Dean Myers, who died in 2014. Myers was a National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in 2012–2013 as well as an outspoken advocate for the importance of diversity in children’s and YA books.
“We are honored the Myers family granted us permission to name this award after the great Walter Dean Myers. He had an incredible influence in the world of literature and WNDB feels privileged to honor his legacy in this way,” WNDB president Ellen Oh said.
Christopher Myers, son of Walter Dean Myers, will serve as master of ceremonies and Jon Scieszka, the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will speak about Myers and his legacy. The Walter Award logo, designed by the artist Phyllis Sa, will be unveiled during the ceremony.