Planting seeds

PPGJLI launches 100 black authors campaign


Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute (PPGJLI) is launching the 100 Black Authors campaign. The campaign will promote cultural preservation through the arts and humanities and build an ecosystem for new literary artists. We are planting seeds of social change by training, equipping, and motivating the next generation of Black authors. The goal is to publish 100 Black authors over the next 10 years, and make the City of Saint Paul an arts and cultural hub.

Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline
Our nonprofit organization seeks to promote literacy and diversity in books. Youth are more likely to read stories in which they see themselves or their culture represented. We have instituted numerous programs focused on increasing child literacy rates. Our award-winning program, Leaders are Readers, brings diverse authors into local schools and provides an enriching learning experience.
A child’s ability to read affects their success throughout life. Youth that cannot read by fourth grade are more likely to drop out of school, be incarcerated, and live in poverty. PPGJLI is dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and creating new pipelines to success. PPGJLI focuses on promoting literacy by increasing access to diverse books in order to help Black children discover the joy in reading.

Promoting Diversity in Books
Diversity in books has long been a talking point in the publishing industry. It may seem that there are more children’s books with African American characters. It is a false perception born of increased awareness of the deficit rather than actual numbers.
According to Word Rated, the number of Black authors and Black characters in children’s books is declining – again. In 2020, the number of Black characters in children’s bestsellers decreased by 23 percent. There was a 31 percent decrease in children’s bestsellers written by Black authors. A mere 12.12 percent of children’s books feature characters that are Black or African.
Youth are more likely to see a book with a black bear or black dog on the cover than a Black girl or Black boy.
A 2018 study conducted by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center of Education (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, showed that children’s books in 2018 had a main character that was an animal rather than an Asian, Black, Latinx or Native American child. Only 10 percent of books had characters that were African or African American; 7 percent were Asian Pacific Islander/Asian Pacific; 5 percent were Latinx; and 2 percent were Native American/First Nation.
PPGJLI is making a commitment to change those statistics with its new initiative. The nonprofit organization is leading the way to increased literacy and cultural identity among children in the BIPOC community, while providing opportunities and a voice for new Black writers.
Learn more PPGJLI 100 Black Authors Campaign and current writing competitions:
Host a book drive to support the Leaders are Readers program:
Through her organization, Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute, Dr. Artika Tyner seeks to plant seeds of social change through education, training, and community outreach.


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