Help make Seattle's literary scene more diverse and inclusionary

In case you couldn't tell from our diversity reports or our thoughts on the current discussion on cultural appropriation in fiction, we take issues of diversity seriously here at the Seattle Review of Books. We don't always get it right, but we try. And we think it's always important for Seattle's literary community to keep issues of diversity in mind.

That's why I want you to know about the second in a series of free workshops on racial equity in the literary arts that's sponsored by Seattle: City of Literature. This workshop will be on "Implicit Bias," it takes place on September 27th, and you can RSVP for it right here.

In the workshop, Dr. Caprice Hollins will "will encourage participants to challenge the impact of racial sterotypes and implicit bias" in an effort to learn "how these unspoken and often unconscious stereotypes create barriers to genuine relationships and influence our attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs about one another." Hollins has over two decades of experience talking about these matters with organizations like Seattle Public Schools.

I interviewed City of Literature's interim executive director, Stesha Brandon, about the series of workshops a few months back. You don't need to have attended the last workshop in order to attend this one.

Every few months in Seattle's literary scene, someone will make a dumb statement about race, or host a panel of white dudes, or thoughtlessly encroach on someone else's culture. And every time this happens, the person in the spotlight will claim cluelessness. "I didn't realize," they'll say. "I should've known better." It's through conversations like this that we do realize, that we do learn how to do better. If you're part of an organization that deals with the literary arts in Seattle, I urge you to send someone to this workshop to listen and to report back what they've learned. This is how you avoid thoughtless mistakes; I'm so grateful to City of Literature for leading the way with these talks.