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Congressional Hispanic Caucus Statement on Lack of Diversity in American Publishing

Jun 11, 2020
Press Release

SAN ANTONIO, TX — Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) issued the following statement after the CHC meeting with the Association of American Publishers:

“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 opportunities, the narratives they advance, and the stories they tell, all contribute to our national identity and to our ability to build a more perfect union. 

“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.”

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.