DEIA Work in 2022

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With thanks to the booksellers, bookstore owners, and ABA staff who serve on the ABA’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion Council (DEIC) and who contributed to, and supported, many of these initiatives.

  • Reviewed ABA Institutes and offered feedback to improve accessibility, equity, access, and inclusion.

  • Reviewed educational programming for Institutes through a DEIA lens and offered feedback.

  • Offered ongoing support of virtual affinity groups and forums for BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ including hosting, spreading the word, and offering suggestions about format and timing.

  • Created new affinity groups for Disabled members and Neurodiverse members.

  • Reviewed Indie Next Reading Group lists and process to help support representation.

  • Revised ABA’s Code of Conduct to include microaggressions and education.

  • Created ABA’s Diversity Statement.

  • Contributed to PEN America journalist Angela Chen’s report on diversity in the industry: Reading Between the Lines: Race, Equity and Book Publishing.

  • Spoke with reporters about DEIA issues in the industry.

  • Met with Carrie Bloxson, Hachette’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer to offer input about DEIA issues in the industry and the needs of marginalized booksellers.

  • Discussed ways to support Jewish experiences and perspectives in the industry, starting with sharing a member’s list of Jewish book titles feature in BTW.

  • Met with presenters of an ABA DEIA workshop called “Ally? Accomplice? Co-Conspirator?! An Antiracism Seminar About Doing the Work” to offer insight about the world of bookselling.

  • Helped modify ABA’s annual publishing survey to ensure that questions related to publishers’ DEIA support were meaningful and useful.

  • Contributed to an Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month book list in BTW.

  • Educated the industry about how pop-ups, mobiles, and other non-traditional formats support DEIA by removing barriers to entry for marginalized booksellers. As a result several publishers and industry organizations expanded their definition of bookstores to include these other formats, thus improving support and access to grants for these booksellers.

  • Brought language that was offensive or racist in marketing materials to the attention of publishers. The result has been important dialogue about equity and inclusivity in the industry.

  • Conducted DEIA Training for the ABA Board and ABA staff

  • Hosted equity discussion series for ABA staff 

  • Created spaces for marginalized booksellers and owners to be recognized and celebrated in Bookselling this Week, for example, Celebrating Indigenous People’s Month and recognizing Indigenous-owned bookstores and Indigenous authors 

  • Updated ABA’s Land Acknowledgment and efforts to honor local Indigenous communities where Institutes are held

  • Created a Spanish Language Resource Guide for Bookstores

  • Created guides to highlight DEIA support and resources available at Institutes for all members 

  • Began work on DEIA Hiring Practices Recommendations for Publishers

  • Included DEIA questions in 3rd annual Publisher Survey of members and had subsequent conversations with publishers about their DEIA work and how we can all work together to make the industry more equitable and inclusive

  • Added a member dashboard to better track the ways that bookstore owners and booksellers identify (optional) and to share lists of stores that identify in various ways and choose to opt in, for example, a list of Black-owned bookstores

  • Modified Institute accommodations to improve inclusivity and support of all members, for example, adding ottomans in the quiet room, adding a lactation room, adding closed captioning for in-person keynotes, adding handicapped session seating, and adding an auxiliary rep picks room for those who need hearing accommodation beginning with Winter Institute 2023

  • Hosted a Juneteenth event at Children’s Institute 2022, planned and executed by staff with a personal interest. 

  • Supported DEIA training for bookstore owners and booksellers. For example:

  • Continued to center underrepresented voices in ABA education offerings. For example:

  • Worked to protect representation in books and the right to read through American Booksellers for Freed Expression (ABFE)


About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.


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