We stand unequivocally in solidarity with those who fight for Black rights, Indigenous rights, and the rights of all racialized people, as well as those in the LGBTQ2IA+ and disability communities. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, D’Andre Campbell, and countless others reflect a legacy and culture of white supremacy and settler colonialism. While the magnitude of the reckoning that followed is encouraging, the struggles it addresses are not new. Nonetheless, it has motivated our own reckoning here at ECW.
We acknowledge that the publishing industry is rooted in white supremacy and a number of other destructive ideologies, including patriarchy, ableism homophobia, and transphobia. As a consequence, many important stories have been overlooked or ignored. In publishing books that are predominantly by white authors, we have been complicit in this silencing, and we have to face the hard truth that our support and work for diversity in all its forms is not represented in the books we publish. Thus, as a cultural curator and as an employer, we have spent some time identifying concrete steps we can take to do better.
Our editorial team is committed to increasing diversity in our acquisitions and soliciting more work from under-represented writers. We are also seeking to expand our editorial team to include one or more BIPOC acquisitions editors, along with the full financial support for developing titles of their choice. But beyond that, we want to do our part to make writing and publishing more accessible for those who have been historically under-represented so that more stories do not go unheard. Our action plan includes:
We also want to make ECW a better place to work, and so we’ve taken several steps to help foster an environment of growth and security and to interrogate our own ingrained prejudices. We want all staff to realize their full potential. Our next steps are:
While our focus will be on diversity and equity in our own industry, we also commit to funding organizations that work for justice and a better society:
We work in publishing because we believe wholeheartedly in the power and transformative potential of art. We take the responsibility that comes with that seriously and will continue to listen, educate ourselves, and take action to make a more just ecosystem within our company and in the industry as a whole. We will continue to advocate that public and private funds be used to incentivize publishers to expand the diversity of those working in book publishing and to advance BIPOC publishing professionals in their careers. We will also continue to advocate for, and mentor, BIPOC owners and senior executives of publishing companies so that control and decision-making are placed in the hands of a more diverse group of people.
This action plan is a living document we hope will evolve with time, and we commit to it simply as a starting point. We welcome questions and comments, which can be directed to our co-publisher, David Caron: firstname.lastname@example.org.