On March 12, We Listen, Learn, and Create Community

The following post was written by Sasha Dowdy, a program specialist in the Library’s Informal Learning Office.

How do we learn to understand each other? Understanding those with whom we don’t share culture, or language, or appearance, is a skill, and a skill that can be honed from a very young age.

On March 12, the Library of Congress and We Need Diverse Books present “Listening, Learning, Creating Communities,” a virtual symposium on diversity in children’s literature, followed by the ceremony for the Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature. Watch the short promo video here!

This event will demonstrate how diversity in children’s books helps us better understand each other, resulting in a stronger sense of community. Award-winning librarian and educator Deborah D. Taylor will moderate the symposium, which features Traci Chee (“We Are Not Free”), Robin Ha (“Almost American Girl”), Daniel Nayeri (“Everything Sad Is Untrue”) and Kacen Callender (“King and the Dragonflies”).

The program will also honor authors Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed (“When Stars Are Scattered”), and Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam (“Punching the Air”).

Following the symposium will be the conferring of the Walter Awards, named for the late Walter Dean Myers, former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson will serve as the ceremony’s emcee. The event will begin at 1:00 PM EST and will appear on the Library’s Facebook page and its YouTube site (with captions). Learn more about the award recipients and honorees here.

Also featured is a conversation between current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jason Reynolds and Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden, as well as a segment about how each book featured in the symposium and award ceremony connects to Library of Congress digital collections. We look forward to connecting with you on March 12!

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