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Writers Against Racism: Scarves, Lemonade Stand, and Malinda Lo

Great idea, Beverly H.!

My Summer Scarf ‘Lemonade Stand’ Contest HAS commenced! Here’s today’s écharpe, which comes courtesy of a dear friend and colleague, K.L.  Thanks, friend, for sending me the headscarves!

My Head Scarf - 'Lemonade' Contest - Scale of 1 - 5 - Five is top

I am also catching up on an important article I missed – argh – A Healthy Dose of Diversity by author and Day of Dialog participant, Malinda Lo, who discusses diversity in YA. As I’ve mentioned, since chemo, I’m ‘re-greasing’ my reading wheels, little by little and taking articles in biteable bits.  Reading a book is still a challenge for me. :(

"Diversity in YA Literature" panelists left to right: Cindy Pon, Malinda Lo, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Paul Griffin.

Last summer, Cindy [Pon] and I realized that we would both be releasing Asian-inspired YA fantasies within a week of each other. We saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and that’s why we decided to band together and launch a national book tour that focuses on diversity.

Here’s another blurb from Lo’s article that resonated with me.

“Everyone’s perspective on diversity is rooted in their situation in life. So let me tell you about where I’m situated. I am a first-generation immigrant to the United States; I moved here when I was three and a half years old with my parents, who fled Communist China in 1978. But I am also biracial; my paternal grandmother was white (English, specifically). I grew up middle-class, but knowing that we came to this country with nothing but two red suitcases. I was one of only three Asian Americans in my overwhelmingly white high school class in Lafayette, CO. I worked hard to get into Wellesley College, and then into Harvard and Stanford, where I earned master’s degrees in East Asian Studies and Cultural Anthropology.”

Lo celebrates diversity and I encourage you to read the article in its entirety – CLICK HERE.  Our students need a strong dose of diversity on a daily basis. Then MAYBE, just maybe, it will be a part of their everyday diet.


  1. B Herrera says:

    I give this scarf a four. I like the orange one better, so far. As for reading, it took me months to start reading again, and I normally even read menues front to back! So, you are doing great! And I love the quotes about diversity and perspective. My mother’s perspective is different from mine, and my kids’ are also different. Why? We each crew up in a slightly different environment. That’s why change is so slow. We all carry a bit of our parents’ perspectives and are slow to let go, so we pass on a smaller bit to our own children. And our experiences throughout our lives add to and subtract from our perspectives. And just like teachers, we tend to let one bad person influence our opinion on a whole group of people. But today I am hopeful. I see the old prejudices, sometimes in the eyes of young people, but I see so much more of the new acceptance. There is a glimmer of success in the war against racism and prejudice of all kinds. I think that is why those who don’t want to change are yelling so loudly and seem to be in the majority. It is just the noise, not the numbers that make them seem like they are spreading when in truth it is acceptance that is spreading. At least, that is my optimistic outlook today.

  2. Hi, Amy,
    I hope you are doing well and having a good summer!
    I just had a thought — have you tried switching to audio books for the time being?
    I wonder if they would be more restful to read right now (though sometimes I like to imagine the character’s voices on my own).

    I find my attention span to be a little shorter these days. I wonder if this will change the format of fiction over the long term. More economical use of language? Deeper meaning? Humor that unfolds gently but quickly — a smart amusement. It seems that our time and attention is very valuable right now. So are good editors…

    Thanks for bringing Malinda Lo to my attention. Some younger people in my life have mentioned her to me. Time to pay attention!

    Blessings to you!

  3. Beverly, I love your comments! They make me think about life in ways I haven’t done so. My mind drifts so much, lately and your thoughts focus me better.

    Amy, audio books are a good idea, and I have not thought about it yet. Thank you for the suggestion. I will keep you posted on how it goes. It’s just my focus is not consistent right now. SO FRUSTRATING!!!! Yes – Malinda Lo is someone to watch. She’s solid and deep.