The purpose of this meeting was to continue discussions from the first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness (DEI) Listening Tour meeting and to continue forward with developing a mission, goals, and a committee.
The group started the meeting by having an attendee read notes from the July 20, 2023 meeting. The group reviewed how to access the link to the Axel Report that SCBWI headquarters had sent to members on May 20, 2022. This report assessed how SCBWI may need to change and grow.
SCBWI headquarters has not provided DEI guidelines to the chapters. As such, each chapter is determining on its own how to move forward. At this meeting, the group discussed the following:
- * Subsidizing or offering scholarships to marginalized members for membership, workshops, and conferences.
- * Reaching out personally and via email to members to encourage them to join the DEI committee. The committee members should represent a variety of backgrounds. We should communicate that DEI is more than just racial/cultural diversity. Inclusion also covers gender, religion, disabilities, and more.
- * Creating a survey to ask members what they seek from the DEI committee. The survey should make name and email optional and offer both multiple choice and open answer options. Ideally, we should form questions in a way that will be approachable and personable in order to encourage participation.
- * Reaching out to other chapters with DEI committees to learn what they’re doing. Perhaps we could even ask a representative from the other chapter to attend our next DEI meeting to share thoughts on what’s working for them.
- * Communicating with libraries and schools to inform them about the availability of SCBWI Long Island members (such as DEI PAL members) for book readings and presentations. We could create a brochure that lists these members’ names, photos, and book covers.
- * Sending DEI members to marginalized or underfunded communities for author visits.
- * Developing a mission statement for our region.
The group reviewed the mission statement from the SCBWI Southern Breeze chapter to see what other chapters were doing. Roberta noted that much of that chapter’s mission statement was similar to the mission statement from SCBWI headquarters. Roberta suggested we include core parts of SCBWI headquarters’ mission statement for our own and then customize it to reflect the needs of our chapter.
The next DEI meeting will be scheduled in October (date TBD).