Welcome to the very first column from ABA’s Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion! It’s been a pleasure to serve as the committee’s first official chairperson since the ABA Board of Directors voted to turn the Diversity Task Force into a standing committee this past year.
As a member of the task force, led by then-ABA board president Robert Sindelar and the ABA board of directors, I’m so proud of the many accomplishments of a dedicated group of booksellers across the country and the hard work and commitment from the ABA staff to help make our trade organization as inclusive as possible in all we do.
Since 2017, the task force, now committee, has launched several initiatives, including:
- Creating a Facebook page
- Leading diversity-focused sessions at Winter Institute and BookExpo
- Providing guidance to ABA staff in programming and official organization language
- Establishing a Glossary of Terms for the membership to reference on BookWeb.org
- Organizing a Spanish book drive for Central American refugees on our Southwestern border
I’d like to recognize all the booksellers who completed their terms for the original task force — this committee is what it is today due to their advocacy: Paul Yamazaki of City Lights Bookstore, Melanie McNair of Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, Lane Jacobson of Paulina Springs Books, and DeAndra Beard of Beyond Barcodes.
For a list of our current committee members, visit the ABA page here.
One of our latest initiatives is this BTW column, to be written in coordination with ABA staff by members of the committee each month on a different topic or issue the committee is working on. We are so very excited for this new forum to share with our membership and we look forward to continuing to work on helping the ABA grow as an inclusive, equitable organization.
All the best,
Angela Maria Spring
Duende District Bookstore
ABA Board of Directors