The People’s Town Hall
Harnessing our Collective Power and Imagining the Future of Book Publishing | JUNE, 26 2020
In recent weeks stakeholders across book publishing have responded to our current moment—the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic, the uprisings in response to the state-sanctioned murder of Black people, the wages shared on public spreadsheets, the advances posted to hashtags—by trying to shift focus from the violence of white supremacy and racial capitalism to matters of diversity and inclusion.
The response has consisted largely of town halls and listening sessions, initiatives that ultimately demand solutions of the most exploited. We, the workers most systemically and historically oppressed in publishing, are exhausted, and angry, and disempowered. But, we’re getting organized.
Discussion between Carla Bruce-Eddings, Senior Publicist, Catapult/Counterpoint/Soft Skull Press; Nicole Counts, Senior Editor, One World; Ebony LaDelle, Associate Director, HarperCollins Publishers; and Danny Vazquez, Assistant Editor, MCD / FSG, for a conversation on the state of the industry and its future. Moderated by Uli Beutter Cohen, founder of Subway Book Review.
We want to hear from you—we want to know the true concerns of our colleagues. And we want to help build solutions. Let us know how you feel by filling out the following Google Form: https://bit.ly/3fsn6ug
What will it take to sustain a broad coalition of workers across book publishing dedicated to building collective power and creating the space, time, and resources needed to imagine a more equitable future? Drawing from other industries, ancestral wisdom, lived experience, we call for a town hall of our own in response to the corporate initiatives of the last few weeks. We hope to convene in The People’s Town Hall, a space to voice concerns about the failures of the present, and ideas for the future of the publishing industry. We invite professionals across the industry from assistants to executives, and from all walks of life to join, listen, and learn.
Imagine what our future might hold . . .
What would we like to see?
What can we build outside the auspices of our workplace?
How can we build decentralized channels of communication and organization?
What does collective power look like?