Here is our wonderful panel of diversity consultants. They keep their watchful eyes on our activities, keep us on our toes, double check our posts, and make sure we don’t exclude anyone through our word choices or representations.
Dora – 22
Gay – She/They
I’m a woman, Chinese, and a lesbian – like a triple-threat, ha! Growing up in Northern Ireland, I was quite literally the only ethnic kid around. Though I didn’t know it then, I would really have loved to see a Chinese (or other Asian) character in mainstream media that wasn’t there as just the foreigner, the exotic love interest, the martial artist, or the monk. I was always okay with my sexuality, but there definitely was (and is) a struggle to bring that in harmony with the values and expectations that were expected of me – so here I am, hoping to make it easier for kids after me!
Lindsay – 23
Gay/queer – She/Her
I am an artist and storyteller passionate about kid-friendly LGBTQ+ content. There aren’t enough inclusive stories out there for young people, and I want to help make them by any means possible: theatre, YouTube, blogs, even books! Follow me on twitter @thelamerest and keep up to date with my other projects on my website lindsayamer.com.
Sarah – 22
Straight – She/Her
I am a recent graduate and decided to join this panel because diversity can only make the world a better and more tolerant place, and where better to start than in literature? I’m especially keen to see mental health discussed more openly as despite 1/5 people suffering ill mental health at some point in their lives this is still a very taboo subject.
Isa – 24
Queer – She/Her
I recently graduated from a liberal arts school in the Twin Cities with an American Studies degree, which is an interdisciplinary field that critically examines the United States through an intersectional lens. I identify as Latina, queer, working-class, and neurodivergent. The majority of my activist work focuses on disability justice, prison abolition, educational reform for undocumented people and decolonizing borders. My love affair with books has led me to have a deep passion for diversity in literature. I am tired of the limitations that mainstream media has put upon the imagination of readers by not providing mirrors of characters and books that reflect our beauty and complexity as humans.
Iram – 22
Queer – She/Her
I’m a student living in London who is very interested in diversity in the media and within literature. As a queer South Asian woman, I never saw anyone like me in the media I consumed as a child (and to this day I still don’t), so I’m glad to be a part of something that aims to bring more diversity into literature.
I’m multiracial with black, Native American and white heritage, along with multiple hidden disabilities. It’s hard to find decent representation, and I want to help rectify the matter.
Caelen – 23
Bisexual – He/Him
Hi everyone, I’m a 23 year old English Literature and Spanish student. All my life I’ve been a huge reader, but looking back many of the books I enjoyed as a child and a teenager were incredibly problematic. I hope being on this panel will give me the opportunity to improve representation in the literature young people consume.
Sabeena – 30
Straight – She/Her
I am a book blogger focusing on reviewing Post-colonial literature and books by PoC at www.thepocobookreader.com As a hijab-wearing, Muslim woman of colour I’m passionate about authentic representation and meaningful inclusion in literature. Tired of stereotypes and tokenism in diversity and more interested in the substantial, nuanced voices of under represented communities because our stories matter- we are not surplus to requirements. @pocobookreader
Matthew – 35
Asexual – He/Him
Many things irritate me; bad grammar, the lack of disabled people featured in active (rather than passive) roles in fiction, and how it’s assumed that any male / female unit MUST have some undertone of sexual tension, whilst same-sex pairings don’t have to. In fact, where are the asexual superheroes? I’d buy that book … Disability needs to be showcased more in fiction, with disabled people being showed as people first and disabled ninth – if that. Fiction is a window on the world, and it should reflect it as much as help shape it. If I’d seen characters more like me, I would have savoured it beyond measure. I’m the trustee of a trans charity, and determined to put trans peoples’ interests front and centre wherever I can. Matthew blogs at www.matthewmunson.co.uk
Ruqayyah – 25
Straight – She/Her
I am in interested in diversity because as a child I was always excited to see stories about people who didn’t fit into the “default”. I also think the best way to understand other people is through positive representation.
Would you like to join our panel? As you can see, we are somewhat heavy on the women’s front, we don’t have any trans people, we need more people with disabilities, and people from different religious and cultural backgrounds. The job is small but important, and you get paid in books! If you think you could help advise us on questions of representation – please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Approximately 1-2 hours work a month)