A key turning point for #DignidadLiteraria as we continue to see progress from Macmillan Publishing toward transformational changes that include BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) authors and leadership.
Oakland, CA—Macmillan Publishing announced in an email to #DignidadLiteraria and memos to staff on Tuesday (6/23) that their CEO, John Sargent, is stepping back from day-to-day management. A new 13-member Trade Management Committee will take over “to make room for new voices” in leadership. Macmillan explained that the Trade Management Committee will track the progress of key initiatives, including diversity and inclusion across the company and in their publishing programs, and report on results. This move confirms information received from our sources as to internal changes at Macmillan that might bode well for race relations, including those between Macmillan and the Latinx community.
“These updates on a recent change to the leadership structure at Macmillan, one that fundamentally changes the group of people at the table where key decisions are made concerning our company strategy and priorities, including with regards to Diversity and Inclusion,” stated Macmillan President Don Weisberg.
The announcement comes on the heels of Macmillan’s submission to #DignidadLiteraria and Presente.org of updated plans for Latinx inclusion as per their agreement at our historic February 3rd meeting.
The following is a statement from #DignidadLiteraria and Presente.org:
“Institutional changes at Macmillan, one of the ‘Big 5’ in publishing, were made possible through the power of organizing and coalition-building. The announcements demonstrate that change can be affected when pressure converges on injustice and inequity—and when we demand our full dignity and representation. In addition to the activism across the country spearheaded by #DignidadLiteraria and Presente.org, Macmillan’s concessions resulted from employees of color taking a stand within the organization, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus standing with us and demanding transparency and change, and the solidarity of organizations like Latinx in Publishing and Dominican Writers.
“Macmillan’s announcement can lead the way for others in Big Publishing to transform their decision-making process, offering diverse perspectives at the executive level. As the country responds to the injustices faced by Black, Indigenous and people of color and at a moment when Black people are leading a powerful movement for justice and transformational change, we will continue to push the conversation on what ‘Dignidad’ looks like in the industry, and discuss ways we can promote dignity and justice beyond the pandemic, violent policing, and systemic racism.”
Presente.org is the nation’s largest online Latinx organizing group; advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture.
#DignidadLiteraria is a network of committed Latinx authors formed to combat the invisibility of Latinx authors, editors and executives in the U.S. publishing industry and the dearth of Latinx literature on the shelves of America’s bookstores and libraries. #DignidadLiteraria believes in the social and political power of wholly authentic Latinx voices and that it is the duty of the publishing industry and literati to use their full power and privilege to elevate these voices.