155 years ago—on this day, June 19th, word of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached slaves in Galveston, Texas, a date celebrated as the end of slavery in America.
Less than a month ago—on May 25th, George Floyd was choked to death by a policeman, an act of racism that comes time and again.
Freedom is not here yet.
We share the outrage. We stand with Black Lives Matter.
Here are some things we’re planning to do at Gotham:
We will increase the number of people of color on our faculty. We’ve always seen lots of diversity among our students, and we want our teachers to reflect that diversity.
We will offer scholarships on an annual basis—for courses of study in creative writing, professional development, and college essay coaching, plus fellowships designed to help writers publish their books.
There will be multiple openings every year in each category, available to all people of color, with places reserved for Black applicants.
We will conduct discussions on diversity as part of our Zoom talk show, Inside Writing. The first will occur on Thursday June 25th, 1-2 pm Eastern Time. The episode is called Inside Diversity in Publishing; the moderator and panelists will be people of color. It’s free, but you need to sign up in advance.
And we’ll be coming up with more ideas as we listen and learn.
If you’re thinking this is long overdue, you’re right.
President, Gotham Writers Workshop