Jennifer Baker – We Need Diverse Books
Late Night Conversation, hosted by Erika Anderson
Our guest this week is author and activist Jennifer Baker. Jen has more than ten years of experience in publishing and is active in advocating for diversity in publishing. Bookending a day job in production, Jen writes essays, short stories, and other prose.
Listen to the full episode here:
Erika Anderson sat down with Jen to discuss her life in publishing, the importance of diversity for the future of publishing, and even the summer she spent alphabetizing books.
What We Need Diverse Books is about is the inclusivity of minorities–in that it’s not just people of color, it’s also LGBTQIA (intersex and asexuality), and disabilities. These are very marginalized groups. Disability especially is very underrepresented… It’s not just about having these characters in as the Sassy Black Sidekick, or the Angry Kid in the Wheelchair, or the gay teen who’s constantly freaking out about coming out of the closet. You want to have full-fleshed characters that aren’t stereotypical, where the book is not solely revolving around them being a diverse person, and that people can find empathy with….
ABOUT OUR GUEST
JENNIFER BAKER is social media manager for We Need Diverse Books, a non-profit organization that sprang to life from the #WeNeedDiverseBooks media campaign to increase minority representation (of all kinds) in children’s literature, as well as co-creator and production engineer for the new biweekly podcast Minorities in Publishing. Her daytime job is as a production editor and her night-time pursuits include writing essays pertaining to race, culture, and sexuality, as well as her short story collection & young adult novel with diverse casts.