Sisters in Crime, an organization for the advancement of women crime writers, has announced a new DEI annotative, The Equity Project. This year-long commitment to creating, supporting, and maintaining diversity, equity and inclusion through leadership training and skill building such as workshops, writing challenges, panel discussions, and online groups.
The Equity Project will be led by will led by independent culture and belonging consultant Kimberly A. MacLean, who has previously worked with such organizations as Google, Women Tech Makers, and the University of California San Francisco Hospital.
In a joint statement, MacLean and Sisters in Crime director Julie Hennrikus said that the creation of the Equity Project was prompted in part by a report on DEI in the publishing industry released by Sisters in Crime in 2016, which analyzed results from an internal members survey. In December 2020, the organization created an advisory committee to its national board focused on issues of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion, called the J.E.D.I. Committee. MacLean and Hennrikus called the Equity Project "a natural extension of that committee's work to bring this education to our membership."
Planned programming is still being solidified, but will include DEI webinars, workshops on translating empathy into writing, and activist-led roundtables and panels. All events will be held live online, with edited versions made available for asynchronous learning.
The Equity Project's inaugural year will serve as a "pilot project," with the intent of educating members as well as gauging membership responses to refine the initiative's offerings. At this time, Equity Project programming will be available exclusively to Sisters in Crime members.