Thursday, February 2, 2017

SCBWI stands for freedom of expression, for inclusion, for absence of hate, and for equality of opportunity for all!

From the February 2017 Insight, the SCBWI member newsletter... 

A Timely Editorial

There's no doubt that we are living in a highly charged political environment. Everyone has an opinion and is expressing it vigorously, as well we should.  This freedom of expression is one of the precious rights guaranteed to Americans by the First Amendment. All of us at SCBWI cherish our First Amendment freedoms, which are so crucial to the work of writers and artists.

The SCBWI is made up of 25,000 individuals, individuals whose beliefs range broadly across the political spectrum. There is no one profile of an SCBWI member; nevertheless, we are bound together by a common goal. This goal, as stated in our mission statement, is "to support the creation and availability of quality children's books around the world by fostering a vibrant community...and to act as a consolidated voice for writers and illustrators of children's books worldwide."

In working towards this goal, we believe SCBWI members share certain core values. As creative people, we promote and advocate for freedom of expression. As providers of windows into all worlds, we support inclusion, diversity and equality of opportunity for all individuals. As visionaries for today's children, we strive to avoid hate and hate-speech while promoting acceptance and understanding. As teachers and role models, we hope to inspire young people to be curious, to question and think critically and humanely about the world they are inheriting.

The climate of our nation, and increasingly of the world, has become deeply polarized. It's easy for all of us to resort to social media to express our opinions, frustrations and feelings. With that fact in mind, it's important to state here that the SCBWI as an organization does not represent a particular political point of view. We would hope that you, our members, never confuse individual political points of view expressed by our staff, board or your fellow members, with those of SCBWI. Although we encourage the expression of individual ideas, they do not represent the organization. What does represent the SCBWI are the GOALS we've listed above. We stand for freedom of expression, for inclusion, for absence of hate, and for equality of opportunity for all. These are not political ideologies, but expressions of our shared human values.

Each and every one of us should be free to create. Children should be free to read. Our hope for these times is that our organization can stand for positivity, that our shared consolidated voice will be a beacon of freedom and love and civility, and that these values rise above ideology in support of the best possible future for our children.

 ---- Lin Oliver, Stephen Mooser and the SCBWI Board of Advisors

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