Roberta stated the reason for this meet-up is to brainstorm what our chapter needs in terms of becoming more equitable, inclusive, and accepting of all people from all walks of life. She asked attendees to share their ideas on what type of programming, scholarships, and guest speakers our chapter needs.
The meet-up first briefly reviewed the Axel Report that SCBWI headquarters sent to members on May 20, 2022, which was shared on the screen.
The Axel Impact Studio is an independent group that gives not-for-profit organizations an assessment of what they might need to grow. As of now, there are no guidelines from SCBWI headquarters for a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness) committee, but that is what we are working toward forming—possibly with a director or co-coordinators and assistants and up to ten members on the committee.
What services are we not providing to those who feel marginalized? Roberta stated that we have given out membership scholarships already, but we need to hear who else needs them or what kinds of speakers we need.
The meet-up also briefly reviewed the link to the Southern Breeze chapter as an example of what another chapter is doing with regard to DEI. For instance, Southern Breeze mentions translators as a resource. They also include a link to equity and inclusion resources. We set a goal to find translators in our region.
The attendees then reviewed our SCBWI Long Island website, which currently has a page in place to offer scholarships and encourage diversity. Once the DEI committee is formed, we can build off of this page. Other ideas included:
- • Work with libraries to get the word out about grants for SCBWI membership and events.
- • Get out in the community to schools, fairs, other writing groups and create a flyer.
- • Come up with a mission statement for our region that could go on the flyer.
Roberta announced that the summer conference (August 5-7) will include a lecture by the chairperson of Axel.
The next Equity Inclusion meeting will take place on August 31 on Zoom, and hopefully, more people will attend.