Scholastic is launching the Black Bookselling Conference: Connect. Build. Elevate, a free, virtual conference to take place on November 1. The conference aims to support Black-owned bookstores, Black booksellers, and advocates by creating a space for dialogue and action and to showcase a collection of Scholastic books centering the histories and present-day realities of Black people in children's literature while prioritizing Black stories, storytellers, and the communities they serve and reflect.
The live, broadcast event will include panels featuring authors and illustrators such as Tami Charles, Alaya Dawn Johnson, and Jamar Nicholas, as well as educators in children's literature. A highlight of the program will be an open forum with Scholastic trade staff to offer bookselling tools, merchandising materials, and resources.
To help plan the conference, Scholastic has formed a steering committee of Black booksellers from around the country, including members of the American Booksellers Association and the regional booksellers associations.
Julia Davis, owner of the Bookworm Bookstore, Powder Springs, Ga., and a member of the steering committee, said, "My hope for the Black Booksellers Conference is to help open the door to leveling the playing field. So often we struggle to get some of the big-name authors, the financing and so much more to help us to not only stay open but to help make a difference in our community. The Black Bookseller Conference could be a great asset not only to the booksellers but the publisher, allowing the concerns and differences to be heard plus providing education and resources that black bookstores don't always have access to."
Ellie Berger, executive v-p and president of Scholastic Trade Publishing, said, "We are thrilled to support the Black bookselling community from around the country with a much-needed platform focused on this vital group of professionals. With the strategic contributions from the steering committee, the Black Bookselling Conference will foster community while sharing an amazing slate of Scholastic authors and illustrators. We hope this conference sparks lively discussions and that participants feel empowered and walk away with new tools to enrich their bookstores."
For more information and to register, click here.