CILIP has announced that Margaret Casely-Hayford, the chair of charity ActionAid UK, is to lead a review into the diversity of its Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals prompted following a backlash over the 2017 Carnegie Medal longlist, which did not include a single black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) writer.
The 20-strong longlist included authors such as Mal Peet, Meg Rosoff and Horatio Clare, but was criticised for not including anyone from a BAME background. In response, the independent review into the children's book awards will identify how equality, diversity, inclusion and participation can best be "championed and embedded into [CILIP's] work".
Casely-Hayford, a "long-standing champion" of board diversity, is a retired lawyer who has held a range of non-executive positions at organisations including NHS England, the Co-op, Great Ormond St Children's Hospital Charity and the Geffrye Museum. As a board apprentice ambassador, she has previously advised young entrepreneurs, those embarking upon board careers and organisations on governance.
Casely-Hayford said she was "so pleased" to be chairing the review and stressed the importance of representation for young people. “It is so important for young people growing up that they are genuinely included in the world around them", she said. "Stories and pictures are the oldest way in which we record and represent our environment and our place in it. Which is why I am so pleased to be working with CILIP to ensure the UK’s oldest and most prestigious awards for outstanding writing and illustration for children and young people are the best possible champions of inclusion, participation, diversity and equality.”
Nick Poole, CILIP c.e.o., added: “We are so proud of the awards, our hard-working judges and partners; and of the thousands of young people that discover new writing and illustration through the awards each year. The review is a welcome opportunity to promote positive change by championing equality, diversity, inclusion and participation. We are so grateful to Margaret for her support and commitment and we look forward to working with her through the review process.”
The review was launched today (Monday 26th June), and will seek views from the "widest possible range of stakeholders", according to CILIP. A consultation will run in the autumn of 2017 before the review report is published in early 2018. Recommendations from the review will come into effect from the autumn of 2018 onwards.