Black Lives Matter: BookTrust statement
Black Lives Matter has changed the world; this is a critical moment. At BookTrust we give our wholehearted support and commitment to stamp out systemic racism and injustice against black communities in the UK and around the world.
- We are by nature a doing organisation; we act. Our work is focussed on making actual change in children's reading because we believe that what children read can transform their lives and change our society.
- Actions matter but so does speaking out and being counted. Initially, we responded to Black Lives Matter through practical, children's reading-led action as part of our long-term response to structural racism in UK society. We believed that our actions spoke louder than words. But we have become increasingly conscious that for ourselves and us as an organisation, for our Black partners, the Black children and families we serve, and the authors and illustrators we work with, acting but not saying can seem like silence, and silence can be construed to imply consent to the status quo. And that isn't good enough.
- We do not consent to the status quo. Black lives matter. Children of colour do not get an equal chance in the UK and it is not good enough that fewer than 10% of childrens book creators are people of colour.
- We will continue to take practical action to change the status quo.
- Our book buying and gifting to thousands of children, our book recommendations to parents, teachers and librarians and our events in schools promote the work of Black and ethnic minority writers and give children access to books which reflect the diversity of modern Britain.
- Our published research, BookTrust Represents, quantifies and describes the under-representation of Black and ethnic minority creators in published children's literature and the barriers that they face. We are committed to direct action and programmes of work to change this inequality.
- We strive to ensure that our organisation and staffing reflect our values and the diversity of society and we are proud that we have increased the proportion of Black and minority ethnic staff from 5% to 20% in the past five years.
- We mean what we say and our determination is real. We need to do better - as an organisation, as a sector and as a society. We have worked hard on this but we have so far to go - and we must and will do more. We commit to ensuring our work and our organisation actively work to combat racism and to make change.