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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A BISG Town Hall
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Understanding and improving how diversity, equity, and inclusion are addressed in book publishing has emerged as an industry priority in 2020. This "town hall" is the first in set of events to explore the topic. See full event description below. After clicking "Register," you may "Continue as Guest" to register for the town hall only. Alternatively, if you are interested in future BISG programming, please consider registering your email with BISG by following the "Click here to Register" link.

When: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
6:00 PM
Where: The Town Hall will take place via Zoom. Register now to receive login information.
Contact: Brian O'Leary
(646) 336-7141

Online registration is closed.
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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Town Hall:

Solutions Across the Supply Chain

BISG is convening professionals from across the supply chain to present action plans to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in their organizations and in the book publishing lifecycle, from concept to consumer. Attendees will hear about programs and practices that can serve as models from leaders representing different segments of the industry.

This evening of presentations and conversation will focus on solutions. It is intended to provide a platform for individuals in the industry to listen and be heard. Recommendations that are shared and and questions that arise may form a foundation for further exploration and collaborative problem-solving across the supply chain, and may inform further research and development by BISG, member companies, and partners in the industry.


WelcomeAndrew Savikas, CEO of getAbstract, Chair of the BISG Board of Directors

Introduction, event host Tracie D. Hall, Executive Director of the American Library Association

Presentations: Strategic Action Plans from Businesses and Trade Associations

  • April Powers, Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
  • Angela Bole, CEO of Independent Book Publishers Association
  • Ellen Bush, Chair of the Association of University Presses’ Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee
  • Andrea Weinzimer, SVP of Human Resources for Hachette Book Group

Presentations: What Works, from a Grassroots Perspective

  • Michael Mejias, founder of the Writers House Intern Program and Founding Member of Inkluded
  • Nicole Johnson, Executive Director of We Need Diverse Books

Panel Discussion with the Speakers, led by Tracie D. Hall

Questions and Suggestions from the Audience

Event Summary , Kathleen Reid, VP and Commercial Leader of Medical Learning at Elsevier and BISG Board Vice Chair

Closing Remarks, Kelvin Watson, Director of Broward County Libraries Division and BISG Board Treasurer


About the Speakers

Angela BoleAngela Bole is CEO of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the largest book publishing association in the U.S. serving. IBPA’s mission is to lead and serve the independent publishing community through advocacy, education, and tools for success. IBPA’s vision is a world where every independent publisher has the tools and knowledge needed to professionally engage in all aspects of the publishing industry. Prior to joining IBPA, Angela served two years as deputy executive director of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG).


Ellen C. BushEllen Bush serves as Chair of the Association of University Presses’ Equity, Justice, and Inclusion Committee and as Digital Initiatives and Database Director at the University of North Carolina Press. She has 25 years of publishing experience with literary journal, trade, and scholarly presses, and since 2016 has actively fostered workplace diversity and equity initiatives through an antiracist framework.


Tracie D. HallTracie D. Hall, Executive Director of the American Library, has worked at the Seattle Public Library, the New Haven Free Public Library (CT), Queens Public Library (NY), and Hartford Public Library (CT). In 1998, she was among the first cohort of ALA’s Spectrum Scholars, a grant program to diversify librarianship, and she served as the director of ALA’s Office for Diversity in the early 2000s. Before joining the ALA, Tracie D. Hall directed the culture portfolio at the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, developing new grant programs designed to catalyze and scale neighborhood-based arts venues, cultural programming, and creative entrepreneurship.


Nicole A. JohsnonNicole A. Johnson has over twenty years of experience in nonprofit leadership, program development, and resource development. Prior to joining WNDB, she launched Extraordinary Changes, an organizational development consulting firm, and she also served as Senior Director for Elev8 Baltimore, a full-service community schools initiative. In that role, she successfully planned a strategy to integrate learning, health, and family support services into the operations of four schools in East Baltimore. Over a 7-year period, she transitioned the initiative from start-up to sustainability, drawing upon her skills as a facilitator, strategic planner, grant writer, and youth worker.


Michael MejiasMichael Mejias has been at Writers House for two decades and founded the Writers House Intern Program in the year 2000. He designs and implements the program’s curriculum and manages its day-to-day operations. Through the program, he's helped place more than 300 graduates in their first publishing jobs with over a third of those students belonging to excluded groups. An advocate for diversity in publishing Mr. Mejias routinely partners with nonprofit organizations, including TEAK, NJ LEEP, We Need Diverse Books, and Girls Write Now for the purpose of creating career opportunities for young people of color in the book business.


April Powers

April Powers is the first Equity and Inclusion Officer in SCBWI’s almost 50-year history. Most recently the Managing Director of First Impression Rx, Powers helped companies, including the Center for Nonprofit Management, manage differences through training and diversity and inclusion strategy. She is a highly rated trainer for Fortune 50, government, and nonprofit companies. Her work includes LGBTQI+ bench-marking through the Human Rights Campaign, project managing a cultural dexterity roll-out, and delivering certified training in the areas of Generational Diversity, Intersectionality, Unconscious Bias, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, LGBTQI+ Understanding, Empathy, Customer Service, Effective Teams, Effective Communication, Positive Workplace, Difficult Conversations and Cultural Competence.


Kathleen ReidKathleen Reid is VP and Commercial Leader of Medical Learning at Elsevier where she leads go to market strategy initiatives for Elsevier medical text and reference books, eBooks and continuing education solutions to support physician lifelong learning. Prior to this, she was Marketing Director for Elsevier’s Nursing Performance Portfolio, hospital solutions such as MD Consult, and Drug Information solutions from Gold Standard. 


Andrew SavikasAndrew Savikas is CEO of getAbstract, the global leader in business book summaries for corporate learning, offering a library of more than 20,000 summaries in 7 languages that help authors and publishers find new readers. Prior to that, Andrew was CEO at Safari Books Online, and before that a vice president at O'Reilly Media, where he ran the highly regarded Tools of Change for Publishing conferences in New York and Frankfurt, and served on the board of the IDPF.


Kelvin WatsonKelvin Watson, Director of Broward County Libraries Division, has made transformative changes in his two and a half years with Broward County. He has led ambitious and innovative initiatives that have positioned the Broward County Libraries as a community leader by streamlining access to resources, introducing new technology, developing partnerships & new collaborative relationships with internal agencies and external organizations.


Andrea Weinzimer Andrea Weinzimer is the SVP of Human Resources for Hachette Book Group, Inc., and serves as a member of the Executive Management Board. Andrea originally joined the company in 2001 when it was a part of Time Warner. In 2006, when the Company was purchased by Hachette Livre, she helped manage the transition to new ownership. During her tenure, it has been named a Best Company to Work for by Crain’s New York Business for three consecutive years (2009 – 2011). She is a member of the American Association of Publishers (AAP) Compensation Committee and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). She received an award from the 5 O’Clock Club for her outstanding compassion and decency to employees.


More information on the event will be posted here as speakers, program content, and discussion topics are confirmed.

After clicking "Register," you may "Continue as Guest" to register for the town hall only. Alternatively, if you are interested in future BISG programming, please consider registering your email with BISG by following the "Click here to Register" link.


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Phone: 646-336-7141 |