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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Announcing the Diverse Books for All Coalition!

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

October 19, 2022

We at Book Harvest have big news to share!

This week, a coalition of 27 organizations from across the US, led by the nonprofit social enterprise First Book, announced they are joining forces to address the lack of access to diverse and affordable children’s books. We are proud and honored that Book Harvest is a member of the Diverse Books for All Coalition. The inaugural work of the Coalition is being supported by a $1 million, 18-months grant to First Book from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

This work affirms Book Harvest’s deep commitment to what Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop calls “mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors.” At Book Harvest, we are devoted to ensuring that every child has access to books that reflect their own lived experiences and that provide an authentic portrayal of children whose backgrounds, abilities, and circumstances may be different than their own. In this way, children can develop an appreciation for the universe of human experience from their earliest years.

This week, the Diverse Books for All Coalition announced an ambitious goal: to double the number of affordable, quality children’s books by and about diverse races and cultures over the next five years.

What will the Coalition do?

  1. We will unify the market of nonprofits such as Book Harvest to leverage the power of aggregate buying to influence the availability and pricing of diverse books.

  2. We will frame and launch a unifying narrative at the national level to promote the importance of diverse books in response to book bans and challenges.

  3. We will provide critical support and resources to help educators advocate for, access, and use diverse books in their schools and communities.

  4. We will ensure that parents/caregivers have a voice in defining and advocating for representation.

What is the scope of the problem?

According to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the inequity in children’s book publishing is significant. In 2021, 3,183 children’s books were published in the United States.

Of those 3,183:

  • 436 were about Blacks/African Americans

  • 337 were about Asians

  • 234 were about Latinos/Latinas

  • 62 were about Indigenous people

  • 21 were about those of Arab descent

  • 6 were about Pacific Islanders

Of those 3,183:

  • 307 were written by Black/African American authors

  • 463 were by Asian authors

  • 311 were written by Latinos/Latinas

  • 47 were written by Indigenous authors

  • 21 were written by those of Arab descent

  • 8 were written by Pacific Islanders

Who is in the Diverse Books for All Coalition?

In addition to Book Harvest, the founding members of the Coalition are:

  1. First Book

  2. American Academy of Pediatrics-CA3

  3. Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

  4. Heart of America

  5. Home Grown

  6. Jumpstart

  7. The Leaders Readers Network

  8. National Association for the Education of Young Children

  9. National Black Child Development Institute

  10. ParentChild+

  11. Parents as Teachers

  12. Raising a Reader

  13. Reach Out and Read, Inc.,

  14. Reach Out and Read Greater New York

  15. Reach Out and Read Rhode Island

  16. Read On Arizona

  17. Reading Is Fundamental

  18. Room to Read

  19. Save the Children

  20. Start Early

  21. The American Federation of Teachers

  22. The Patterson Foundation

  23. Too Small to Fail

  24. UnidosUS

  25. We Need Diverse Books

  26. Zero to Three

The full press release announcing the Diverse Books for All Coalition is here.

As a proud member of the Coalition, we at Book Harvest look forward to updating you on our progress toward our big collective goals in the months ahead!


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