DEIA Work in 2023

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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. For example, establishing an ABA accessibility fund for members who need scooters for mobility during Institutes
  • Reviewed educational programming for Institutes through a DEIA lens and offered feedback
  • Offered ongoing support of virtual affinity groups for BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, Disability, and Neuordivergent booksellers, including hosting, spreading the word, and offering suggestions about format and timing
  • Created in-person affinity groups for BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, Disability, and Neuordivergent booksellers at Winter Institute and Children’s Institute
  • Updated ABA’s Code of Conduct
  • Spoke with reporters about DEIA issues in the industry
  • Hosted a dinner at Winter Institute for DEIC members.
  • Responded to a code of conduct violation report and worked with members of the DEIC to help our community grow together toward the goal of equity and inclusivity 
  • Created Rules of Engagement for DEIC
  • Opened DEIC nominations
  • Onboarded new DEIC members 
  • Continued to bring language that was offensive or racist in marketing materials to the attention of publishers 
  • Conducted DEIA Training for the ABA Board and ABA staff
  • Conducted an annual review of ABA DEIA efforts with ABA staff
  • Supported The Word: A Storytelling Sanctuary with a donation to help support their support of historically marginalized voices and underserved communities as well as their BIPOC Bookseller Awards
  • Created spaces for marginalized booksellers and owners to be recognized and celebrated in Bookselling this Week
  • Helped inform ABA’s Land Acknowledgment and efforts to honor local Indigenous communities where Institutes are held
  • Created guides to highlight DEIA support and resources available at Winter Institute in Seattle and Children’s Institute in Milwaukee 
  • Created DEIA Hiring Practices Recommendations for Publishers
  • Helped inform the annual publisher meeting agendas, prioritizing DEIA in the industry
  • Continued to waive membership dues for new BIPOC-owned stores
  • Continued to exceed benchmarks established to ensure BIPOC representation amongst authors, panelists, and speakers at Institutes. 
  • Continued to promote and support an Advance Access program for Underrepresented Voices 
  • Created DEIA training for bookstore owners and booksellers. For example:

    • Conflict Resolution and De-escalation Techniques 
    • DEI Idea Exchange
    • Designing and Implementing a DEI Program for Your Store
    • Emergent Concerns and Solutions Frontline Booksellers Face 
    • Creating Connections and Bridging Divides in Turbulent Times 
    • Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change 
    • Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace
  • Continued to center underrepresented voices in ABA education offerings. For example:

    • New Voices In Genre 
    • Creating Connections and Bridging Divides in Turbulent Times 
    • Serving Communities by Creating Space
    • Bookstores & Banned Books 
    • Discovery of Debuting BIPOC & Queer
    • Fighting for Queer Stories and Seeds of Change
    • Dr. Adia Harvey Wingfield: Gray Areas
    • Ruby Bridges and Nikkolas Smith: Inspiring Youth for Change Through Books
  • Continued to fight book bans that disproportionately impact authors of color, and protected the right of all readers to see themselves reflected in books through the work of ABA’s free expression initiative, American Booksellers for Free Expression (ABFE)
  • Reviewed potential Institute venues through a DEIA lens

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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