Inclusion and diversity are words that roll off the tongue but what do they really mean in school curricula, in contemporary literature? How important is it for students to see themselves in the stories they read?
Jael Richardson was a Toronto District School Board Writer-In-Residence in 2013 and 2016. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and she lives in Brampton, Ontario where she founded and continues to serve as the Artistic Director for the Festival of Literary Diversity. She is the author of, most recently, The Stone Thrower.
Amal El-Mohtar has won the Nebula and Hugo Awards for best short story and the Rhysling Award for best short poem.
Cherie Dimaline is a Métis author and editor who in 2014 was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, and became the first Aboriginal Writer in Residence for the Toronto Public Library. Her most recent book is The Marrow Thieves.
S.K. Ali is a teacher based in Toronto whose writing on Muslim culture and life has appeared in the Toronto Star. Her family of Muslim scholars is consistently listed in the The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World, and her insight into Muslim culture is both personal and far-reaching. A mother of a teenage daughter herself, S.K. Ali’s debut YA novel Saints and Misfits is a beautiful and nuanced story about a young woman exploring her identity through friendship, family, and faith.
Republic of Childhood:
We are grateful to the support of the Community Foundation of Ottawa and Canada, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, RBC, the Ottawa Public Library and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.
Our advisors, the National Research Council of Canada and the Conference Board of Canada, have generously provided expert insight and guidance.