Part 3 of 4
The burden of responsibility
What I hear from people working in the industry is that they feel a burden of responsibility when it comes to inclusion. And when you feel burdened, it stifles creativity. They often feel that they should already know how to make books inclusive, instinctively, and if they don’t this reflects badly on them. But how can you make books inclusive if no one has ever shared the basic principles with you?
Committing to change will empower you and your staff. Ensuring an understanding of the foundations of inclusion, and how to approach inclusion in the books you publish will open up a new level of creativity. Not only that, but having foundational knowledge about inclusion will impact every book you publish, your standing in the industry and children’s lives. And it might just give you a passion and momentum you didn’t know existed.
"Eye-opening – I've learnt so much."
Doing this work is not easy. It will challenge what you think about yourself, about society and about diversity. Once you have this knowledge, you’ll look back at past projects and see mistakes, or missed opportunities. But we can only do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time, so it’s important to learn from this rather than self-criticise.
"It’s been a humbling process to confront the biases I may subconsciously be bringing to my work. But taking the time out from the day-to-day to think and learn is a crucial process in overcoming them."
You need to be ready to face your biases. To challenge your thinking. To open up and discuss difficult issues. Because facing these things is what leads to change. And what leads to true inclusion.
But the challenges have been worth it.
"For many years, I approached issues of Diversity and Inclusion with good intentions but little actual knowledge or confidence. I now feel bolstered by this knowledge and inspired by the creative ideas that have been generated."
"I'm really enjoying challenging my mindset, learning more about inclusivity and accessibility, and thinking about how I can apply this learning to current and future projects."
If you've got this far I know you care about this. I know you want to make a difference.