This week, the New York City Young Men’s Initiative (YMI) is celebrating National Library Week (April 8th – April 14th) through a coordinated social media campaign highlighting the importance of diverse representation within children’s literature. During this week-long celebration, YMI will partner with libraries citywide to feature select children’s literature, submitted by librarians, which underscore the importance of diverse representation. Each submission will include a photo of a librarian holding their selected book, as well as a caption explaining why they chose their selection. We will amplify each submission across our social media platforms.
“Literary diversity can inspire young people from all backgrounds to envision possibilities they may have once thought impossible,” said Charissa Townsend, Acting Executive Director of New York City’s Young Men’s Initiative (YMI). Townsend goes on to say that, “Research continues to suggest that – when children are introduced to more diverse and inclusive narratives – all kids benefit. With the support of some of the finest public libraries nationwide, we hope that this campaign will continue to build upon an already growing movement to better diversify children’s literature.”
The New York City Young Men’s Initiative was created in 2011 as a public-private partnership to address increasing disparities among black and Latino men between the ages of 16 and 24 in education, employment, health, and justice. The YMI mission is to develop and champion policies, programs and partnerships that holistically support the success of young men of color throughout NYC.
YMI accomplishes its mission through broad policy recommendations, changes and agency reforms and by connecting the city’s young men of color to individuals, opportunities, and organizations which improve the quality of their lives and lead them to a more successful future.
To learn more about the campaign, please email Chris Yarrell, Director of External Affairs within the Young Men’s Initiative, atCYarrell@cityhall.nyc.gov .