On Thursday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) had a meeting with the Association of American Publishers to discuss the issue of representation in the publishing world. The following statement from CHC Chair Rep. Joaquin Castro was shared after the meeting:
“Today members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus expressed our profound disappointment and collective outrage to the board of the Association of American Publishers about the serious lack of diversity in the publishing industry.
“Since there is not even an industry-wide baseline of demographic data for all entry level employees to senior executives and overall publishing statistics, we asked each of these publishing houses to commit to transparency as the first step to accountability. The only way to achieve progress is to clearly understand where we are today. By and large, the publishers agreed with the need for more transparency and will follow up with numbers.
“American publishers have incredible power, and responsibility: the books they publish, the authors they provide with
“I challenged the publishers to imagine what it’s like to be an 8-year-old Latina and never to read about someone who looks like you, who comes from your community, who contributed to our nation’s success—I asked them to imagine what that feels like for nearly one-in-five Americans.
“We appreciate the open conversation and listening, but more importantly, we are awaiting action because we have been here before. We demand change.”