The Children’s Book Council, the nonprofit trade association for children’s publishers in North America, has revealed the winners of its second annual CBC Diversity Outstanding Achievement Awards. The awards are given each year in honor of children’s publishing professionals who have helped create and promote diverse books for young readers and foster more inclusive employment practices within the industry.
The 2019 winners, which were announced during the CBC Annual Meeting in New York City on September 25, are as follows:
Andrea Davis Pinkney: V-p and executive editor at Scholastic, Pinkney has also been named one of the 25 Most Influential Black Women in business and one of the 25 Most Influential People in Our Children’s Lives. In addition, she is a renowned children’s book author, an advocate for diverse voices, and partner to the librarian community.
Namrata Tripathi: As the founder, v-p and publisher of Penguin Young Readers’ Kokila imprint, which is dedicated to lifting up stories from the margins, Tripathi has published award-winning and bestselling books by diverse creators. Throughout her career, she has also served as a mentor for fellow publishing professionals from underrepresented groups.
The Brown Bookshelf: Launched in 2007 by Paula Chase and Varian Johnson in a collaboration with author Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrator Don Tate, this collective of 10 black children’s authors and illustrators strives to highlight the many black voices writing for young readers. The organization has helped raise awareness among gatekeepers through its 28 Days Later campaign, an annual, month-long showcase of the best works by black creators.
Just Us Books: For more than 30 years, Just Us Books founders Cheryl Willis Hudson and Wade Hudson have published children’s books that celebrate the diversity of black history, heritage, and experiences. The Hudsons’ middle grade anthology, We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices (Crown, 2018), exemplifies their commitment to activism and diverse storytelling.
Shifa Kapadwala, moderator of the CBC’s Diversity Committee, said in a statement, “The committee had the great joy and responsibility of reviewing nominations from across the children’s publishing community. In making their selections, the committee has summarized the accomplishments of these inspiring people and organizations.”
An awards presentation and conversation among the winners will be held on November 19 from 5–6:30 pm at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan. The winners will have the opportunity to select an organization to receive $1,000 worth of children’s books in their name.