15 STEPS TO DOING BETTER

What does ‘doing the work’ really mean? (What does it mean on the days when you feel tired, worried or stressed?) We heard about the thoughts and the prayers; we saw the black squares, then heard the ensuing silence. As 2020 comes to a close it feels like day-to-day ally efforts towards equity are faltering. Having anonymously surveyed Black people across publishing, BAE identified the main issues that affect Black (and possibly all non-white) employees in publishing. Below is the outcome and our answer, in 15 points/50 words. Read it every time you’re making a publishing decision and feeling stuck, resentful, confused, or tempted to take shortcuts that uphold the status quo. It is no black square, no thoughts, no prayers. But, if you live by it, it’ll tell your Black co-workers everything there is to know about your commitment to real change – today, tomorrow and every day that follows.

15 STEPS TO DOING BETTER
‘How do we make change happen?’ – FutureBook 2020

  1. DEMYSTIFY PUBLISHING 
  2. ABOLISH NEPOTISM
  3. ACCEPT TASTE IS RELATIVE
  4. VALUE LIVED EXPERIENCE
  5. COMP BOOKS BEYOND RACE
  6. OUTSOURCE SENSITIVITY READS 
  7. CREATE CLEAR PROGRESSION PATHS 
  8. DISMANTLE THE ‘BAME’ ACRONYM
  9. MAKE D&I INTERSECTIONAL
  10. DISAVOW WHITE SUPREMACY
  11. TRANSCEND ‘UNCONSCIOUS BIAS’
  12. INVEST IN BLACK AUDIENCES 
  13. COMPENSATE BLACK AUTHORS EQUALLY 
  14. RESPECT BLACK EXPERTS EQUALLY
  15. STOP PIGEONHOLING BLACK TALENT

We invite those in the publishing industry to reflect on this weekly as individuals and review this monthly as businesses.

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