Children's book author and illustrator Christopher Myers ('Firebird' and 'My Pen') delivered the keynote address at the CBC's Annual Meeting on September 22, 2016 in New York City. The son of the late National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and diversity advocate Walter Dean Myers, Christopher spoke to members of the publishing industry about his commitment to helping young people tell their stories, however traumatic.Through his work at the International Youth Library in Munich, Myers spoke with child refugees and helped them find a voice to share their harrowing journeys. He believes that publishers have the power and the duty to effect slow but significant change for the better.
Authors, editors, and publishers ‘take the time to tell a story well,’ [Myers] stated, and this is deeply valuable. Looking for a quick fix to a very complicated problem is no real solution, he suggested. While protecting black lives is urgent, an injustice is done ‘if we only matter when the bullet hits us… Our mattering has to extend into the past and future,’ and this provides an opportunity for those people who are the keepers of the distilled voices and experiences that are our stories. (Publishers Weekly)