As part of a continuing effort to encourage individuals from all ethnic backgrounds to consider publishing careers, the diversity committee of the Association of American Publishers recently released a video entitled Voices of Diversity: The Power of Book Publishing.
Produced and directed by Kaufman Films with the help of diversity committee member Greg Giangrande, senior v-p of human resources for HarperCollins, the 21-minute video is based on interviews with seven authors and more than a dozen employees of publishing houses. They share their thoughts on a range of topics, including the influence books have had on their lives, the "changing face of publishing" as companies increasingly strive to hire employees of various ethnicities, the collaborative nature of making books, the wide array of positions available within each house and the rewards of working in an industry that has the power to affect so many people. Among the writers featured on the tape are Maya Angelou, Walter Mosley, Amy Tan, Junot Diaz and Nikki Giovanni.
The AAP ordered 2,500 copies of the video, which it is now distributing to college career departments and to heads of houses and human resource personnel of its member companies. Publishers can also use the video as part of orientation programs for new employees.
Other ventures of the diversity committee include funding internships through the City College of New York's publishing program and providing support to internships at Howard University Press. The committee also coordinates efforts with the Recruit and Retain task force, a division of the AAP's trade executive committee, which on a more general level works to attract individuals to the publishing industry.