8$: ‘We Need Diverse Books’

8$ is a series which occasionally highlights interesting crowdfunding projects. Every day, the 8Asians team is inundated by many worthy pitches. We are unable to highlight every one that comes our way, or even the ones we might individually support. The projects selected for 8$ are not endorsements by 8Asians. (To be considered for 8$, we highly suggest you not harass the writers or the editors of 8Asians.)

8A-2014-11-09-WeNeedDiverseBooks-logoWHO: A team of folks led by President Ellen Oh, including: Aisha Saeed, I.W. Gregorio, Miranda Paul, Marieke Nijkamp, Lamar Giles, Caroline Richmond

WHAT: Indiegogo project: We Need Diverse Books

What is We Need Diverse Books™?

Reading is the ultimate form of empathy.

Though more than half of schoolchildren are minorities–people of color, LGBTQIA, and/or people with disabilities–the fact remains that too few of these children see reflections of themselves in the books they read. Books are more than mirrors– they’re windows as well. The more kids read, the more they understand not just themselves, but the Story of Us All.

We Need Diverse Books™ (WNDB) is a grassroots organization dedicated to advocating and supporting non-majority narratives.

WHEN: Deadline to contribute is Monday, November 24, 2014 (11:59pm PT).


With your donation, WNDB will be able to:

  • Diversify our classrooms: Through our Diversity in the Classroom program we will work with An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation, First Book, and the National Education Association to bring diverse books and authors into disadvantaged schools. Diverse authors will also visit other schools to give all children windows into different backgrounds and cultures so they can increase their empathy and understanding.
  • Support diverse authors: Through our newly announced Walter Dean Myers Award & Grant program “The Walter” will recognize outstanding diverse contributions by authors in Young Adult and Middle Grade literature, and provide funds to help develop new diverse authors and artists.
  • Promote diverse programming: WNDB will continue to have a presence at conferences across the country, aiming to foster positive, honest, and constructive discussions on diversity and show people that a diverse book is just a good book that any child can enjoy.
  • Develop educational kits: In conjunction with School Library Journal and the American Booksellers Association, WNDB is creating educational kits to introduce teachers, librarians and booksellers to select diverse books.
  • Host WNDB’s inaugural Kidlit Diversity Festival: It will be a celebration of diversity in children’s literature to be held in the Washington, DC area in the summer of 2016. The festival will showcase both diverse authors & illustrators, as well as authors who write diversely, with programming geared to promote the importance of our shared life experiences.
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About jozjozjoz

jozjozjoz is a taiwanese-american gal who lives and blogs underneath the hollywood sign and who doesn’t clean her fishtank unless the fish starts to do the backstroke. she is also able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but cannot stop from bumping into door handles, cabinet doors, and anything else that protrudes or has a sharp edge. she does not run with scissors for this same reason. she can pet the fur off a dog but don’t ask her to go anywhere near a horse. or a moth. or a roach. her dealings with L.A.’s finest (aka the parking violations department) are legend, as are her giant sneezes. Other than the two too many joz’s, jozjozjoz is a perfectly normal, relatively sane individual who defies the odds, reaches for the stars, and carries moonbeams home in a jar. She’d rather be a fish… but not in her own dirty fishtank. http://www.jozjozjoz.com
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