The American Booksellers Association's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee has selected nine booksellers--from among 45 nominated--to join the committee, Bookselling This Week reported. It is the first time the committee members were nominated; the current committee members were appointed. At the same time, of those current committee members, three are continuing and five are stepping down. The committee serves as a sounding board and advisory council on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, representation, and access facing the bookselling industry and ABA. It began in 2017 as the Diversity Task Force.
The new group, BTW wrote, represents "micro, small, medium, large, and extra-large stores and includes booksellers who identify as neurodivergent, disabled, fat, Latinx/Chicano/Mexican, LGBTQ+, Indigenous, Chinese American, African American, Black, and Afro Caribbean/American, as well as booksellers and bookstore owners, ranging from two years in the business to 30, and from all bookseller regions."
The new committee members are Luis Correa, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga., Paula Farmer, Book Passage, San Francisco, Calif., Lee Francis, Red Planet Books and Comics, Albuquerque, N.Mex., Morgan Haywood-Joy, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, N.Y., Rosa Hernandez, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash., Derek Holland, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo., Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, Mass., Candice Huber, Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop, New Orleans, La., and Amanda Kranias, Blue Manatee Literacy Project, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The continuing committee members are Melanie Knight of Books Inc., San Francisco, Calif., Michelle Malonzo of Changing Hands, Phoenix and Tempe, Ariz., and Sarah Hollenbeck of Women & Children First, Chicago, Ill.
Members leaving the committee are Hannah Oliver Depp, Loyalty Bookstores, Washington, D.C., and Silver Spring, Md., BrocheAroe Fabian, River Dog Book Co., Veronica Liu, Word Up Community Bookshop, New York, N.Y., Angela Maria Spring, Duende District, Washington, D.C., and Albuquerque, N.Mex., and Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.
ABA CEO Allison Hill said, "The DEIC worked hard to create a committee as diverse as possible in terms of all of the ways booksellers self-identify as well as in terms of region, store size, store format, and creating a mix of ages and store positions. We thank those who nominated people to the committee for their support of those booksellers and of the DEIC. We thank the committee for their dedication to the selection process."
She added: "It's been a long journey for this committee, but we are all benefiting from the results of this group's hard work. ABA's work around diversity, equity, inclusivity, and representation has grown thanks to their efforts, and the DEIC has become a pipeline to the ABA Board, with three DEIC members now also serving on the board. I have been honored to work with them and am inspired by their commitment to making our industry better."