The Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 2.0) was created by Lee & Low Books with co-authors Laura M. Jiménez, PhD, Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development and Betsy Beckert, graduate student in the Language and Literacy Department of Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
Lee & Low Books released the first Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS 1.0) in 2015. Before the DBS, people suspected publishing had a diversity problem, but without hard numbers, the extent of that problem was anyone’s guess. Our goal was to survey publishing houses and review journals regarding the racial, gender, sexual orientation, and ability makeup of their employees; establish concrete statistics about the diversity of the publishing workforce; and then build on this information by reissuing the survey every four years. Through these long-term efforts, we would be able to track what progress our industry shows over time in improving representation and inclusion. Continue reading
Earlier this week, Literacy Specialist Katie Potter joined EmbraceRace in conversation about how to find and share books that develop kids’ racial and social justice sensibilities and help them become the community members our increasingly multiracial democracy needs.
If you missed the webinar live (or just want to watch it again), you can watch the recording of the webinar here.
We’re offering 20% off and free shipping* for webinar registrants through December 11! Just visit the Lee & Low website and use the code EMBRACERACE at checkout.
Not sure where to begin? Start with these booklists featured in the webinar:
Books that inspire resilience in kids of color
Books that encourage kids of all colors to be inclusive and empathetic
Books that support kids to think critically about racial inequity
Books that animate kids (and adults!) to be racial justice advocates for all kids
For more about using books to engage kids in conversation about differences, click here for Katie’s tip sheet.
About EmbraceRace: EmbraceRace is a multiracial community of parents, teachers, experts, and other caring adults who support each other to meet the challenges that race poses to our children, families, and communities.
Have additional questions or comments? Please leave them below in the comments!
*Free shipping on US addresses only. Coupon code not valid on Bebop Books titles and full collections.
It can be difficult to talk to children about tough topics. From bullying and prejudice, to discrimination and racism, children’s books have helped to facilitate these difficult conversations in an accessible and meaningful way. Below we’ve compiled seven of our many books that will help children come away with a better understanding of these complex issues and the world around them.
Don’t forget to round out your collection with our list of 10 diverse picture books that are not about oppression!
Today, we are proud to release I Am Alfonso Jones, a heartbreaking exploration of the Black Lives Matter movement and the impact that police brutality has on families, young people, and communities. Written by Tony Medina and illustrated by Stacey Robinson and John Jennings, this title offers a powerful entry to discussion as well as essential historical context to today’s discussions on police brutality. Below is the powerful foreword by Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy.
Today we are pleased to share this guest post from Librarian and Diversity Coordinator Laura Reiko Simeon on the power of book covers.
As February comes to an end, we round out Black History Month with a spotlight on William “Doc” Key, a self-taught veterinarian who taught his horse Jim Key how to read, write, and calculate math problems. Teaching a horse these skills might sound preposterous, but Doc was able to nurture Jim’s ability through kindness, patience, and empathy. Together they traveled throughout the United States and impressed audiences with Jim’s amazing performances. In the process, they broke racial barriers and raised awareness for the humane treatment of animals.
Here’s what Donna Janell Bowman, author of Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness, had to say about William “Doc” Key’s legacy and the amazing duo’s story:
January 16th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and to celebrate, we’ve gathered six books that highlight the works and accomplishments of civil rights activists and African American pioneers.
Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness is a biography of William “Doc” Key, a formerly enslaved man and self-trained veterinarian who taught his horse, Jim, to read, write, and do math. Together they became a famous traveling performance act and proponents for the humane treatment of animals around the turn of the twentieth century. In this interview, author Donna Janell Bowman discusses the power of Doc and Jim Key’s message of kindness and what inspired her to write about one of the most famous performing duos in the country.
LEE & LOW BOOKS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year! To recognize how far the company has come, we are featuring one title a week to see how it is being used in classrooms today and hear from the authors and illustrators.
Today, we are celebrating Tankborn by Karen Sandler. First published in 2011, Tankborn was one of the original launch books for our Tu Books Imprint, which publishes diverse middle grade and young adult literature. Since its launch, Tu has published nearly 20 titles for older readers featuring diverse characters, stories, and worlds. Tu Books also established the New Visions Award, an annual writing contest for unpublished authors of color (and today is the deadline for submitting your manuscript!). Continue reading
Thanks to movements such as We Need Diverse Books, #1000BlackGirlBooks, and vocal authors, writers, and readers, the conversation regarding diversity in children’s books has gained more traction. Studies such as the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s Publishing Statistics on Children’s Books and our Diversity Baseline Survey have helped to supplement these conversations, highlighting the need for more representation in children’s literature. We’re starting to see more stories that represent people from different backgrounds and different ways of life, and stories with protagonists and heroes that finally look like us. Here at LEE & LOW BOOKS, our mission is to publish children’s books about everyone and for everyone. So today, LEE & LOW staff share the impact and importance of diversity and what diversity truly means to them.