February 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

The Brown Bookshelf’s Open Declaration Garners 691 Signatures

illustration by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

illustration by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

The Brown Bookshelf has written an Open Declaration, expressing commitment to standing with and for children “in the face of attempts to disenfranchise, dehumanize and to dismiss violence against marginalized people.”

The declaration was signed by 691 children’s book creators, agents, editors, librarians, and other children’s literature professionals and supporters. Among these are LeVar Burton, Don Tate, Jacqueline Woodson, Carole Boston Weatherford, Charles R. Smith, Jr., Vanessa Brantley-Newton, Kekla Magoon, Jay Asher, Pat Cummings,Tonya Bolden, and Jewell Parker Rhodes.

A post on the website of The Brown Bookshelf reads:

Although the comment section on this post is now closed, those who would still like to express their support can do so on the “living” version of this document located on our FaceBook page. Let’s continue to show our commitment to kids by creating, promoting, sharing, and pushing for books that accurately reflect their lives. Here, award-winning author, scholar, and advocate Zetta Elliott shares her perspective on how the publishing industry can help to “stem the tide of hate.”

“We’re thrilled at the response the declaration has received. We’re moved by the scores of people who have signed on to stand against hate and stand up for kids,” said children’s book author Kelly Starling Lyons.

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Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections & RA

Do you want to ensure that your library’s collections are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and well-read?

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We've developed a foundational online course—with live sessions on February 28 & March 14—that will explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections.


  1. I’m IN! Visit my website and click on The Books.

  2. Please add my name to the declaration.

  3. Please please add my name to your list!!! Thank you