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Diverse Since 1987

Firetree books

Many companies are “embracing diversity”.  This is their way of assuring you that they’ve decided to change how they work to include all of those people out there that they previously ignored. This may well include you – it certainly includes me. It’s the latest fashion. You could even say: “Diversity is the new black”.

Pictures of Verna Wilkins' earlier book covers

Unfortunately, diversity can’t just be put in. Diverse is something that you are, not something that you can just add. “Adding diversity” is what leads to telling the same old stories, just with a few minor characters re-coloured to match whichever person that was most recently hired.

Illustration of a black boy with a butterfly on his shoulder

Diverse organisations produce diverse work. Having people from a range of backgrounds brings a wider range of creative positions. That in turn enriches everything that happens. No one person can tell stories from all around the world – stories need to be told by the storytellers who’ve lived and loved the story.

If all an organisation has are the same “male, pale, and stale” people, they can’t tell those diverse stories, because they aren’t diverse. They will be reflecting only themselves in their output.

An enormous range of people have contributed to Tamarind since 1987. Tamarind never needed to embrace diversity – we lived it from day one. In fact, Tamarind was set up specifically to bring diverse materials to the world. In this, we succeeded.

Firetree books brings another diverse team to the publishing industry. Once more, we will be living the diversity needed to produce truly diverse output. Diversity is literally in our DNA. Watch this space.

Three illustrated book covers with diverse themes

Credit: mauvedeity

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