SCBWI Diversity Director resigns after not mentioning Islamophobia in anti-Semitism post


A black Jewish tolerance official from the world’s leading children’s book writers group has left her post after failing to mention Islamophobia in a post about the rise in anti-Semitism cases.

April Powers, who was the Chief Fairness and Inclusion Officer of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), left her post after being outraged because she did not mention Islamophobia in her statement about rising crime rates against Jews .

The police officer claimed to be black and Jewish in a welcome video last June. She shared a statement stating that Jews have the right to live in safety.

Bowers’ post shared earlier this month reflects the alarming surge in anti-Semitic hate speech and violence earlier this year.

Although the statement did not specifically mention Islamophobia, it did invite people to “join us, don’t look away, and speak out against all forms of hatred, including anti-Semitism.”

However, the post was criticized for not containing comments about Islamophobia and Palestinian discrimination and hate speech.

Bowers later apologized for not including Islamophobia in her statement and confirmed that she had parted ways with SCBWI.

In a statement shared on SCBWI Facebook On Sunday’s page, Bowles said: “By issuing an anti-Semitism statement, our goal is to stay away from politics. I deleted the anti-Palestinian and anti-Israel posts, which in hindsight seemed to be incorrect.

“I have ignored the rise of Islamophobia and deeply regret this oversight. As a person who strongly opposes Islamophobia and any form of hate speech, I understand that the intention is not an influence, and I am sorry.”

She added: “Although this does not solve the pain and disappointment you feel due to my improper handling of this moment, I hope you can accept my most sincere apology and SCBWI’s resignation. I hope all of you will be here. We succeed in our work because the children in the world need your stories. All the stories.”

SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver then added: “I can assure you that this painful week is a crucial learning experience for SCBWI. On our 50th anniversary, we are committed to correcting any harm we have done. , And redouble our efforts to promote fairness and tolerance in the field of children’s books.”

The statement was widely condemned in its comment section, and hundreds of people shared their views on Bowers’ decision to leave the organization.

One person said: “I totally disagree with this decision. Why are there any anti-Palestinian or anti-Israeli comments on a post on anti-Semitism? The April statement on anti-Semitism did not mention Israel or Palestine. It is shocking that she should apologize for making a statement that should have been uncontroversial.”

Another added: “So anti-Semitism no longer deserves your attention, just because Islamophobia is also a problem? I am disgusted. Although anti-Semitism has risen incredibly recently, you withdrew your pro-Jewish statement. . Not Israelis-Jews. Our pain is no longer important to you just because other people are also suffering.”

The third commenter posted: “This is ridiculous [and] Show that you do not support Jews. Why does she condemn other things when focusing on anti-Semitism? This is the so-called child whose life is important. You can condemn one form of hatred and not include the other-it doesn’t mean you don’t care about anyone else. “

Weekly newspaper SCBWI has been contacted for comments.

April Powers confirmed that she has left her position at SCBWI.
SCBWI/SCBWI

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