#HFGather: In Conversation to Celebrate and Amplify Latinx Voices in the KidLit Community

Sep 16, 2021 | Essential Conversations, HFGather, Latinx Voices

Quick Clips from the #HFGather

Panelists share what the term Latinx means to them
Panelists on identity
Panelists on language as part of identity

See the playlist of all clips from the #HFGather.

In our latest #HFGather, five children’s and YA authors joined us in conversation to celebrate the start of Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month:

  • Alex Villasante
  • Mia García
  • NoNieqa Ramos
  • Ismée Williams
  • Hilda Eunice Burgos

They shared a wealth of resources for Latinx authors and illustrators, and ways for educators, librarians, booksellers, and other members of the Kidlit community to amplify Latinx voices during this month and throughout the year.

The Conversation: Resources and a Celebration

Alex opened the conversation by sharing that if there was a representative from every Latin American country in the evening’s conversation, there would be more than 30 panelists; all with a different idea of what it means to be Latinx. (For more information about the term Latinx, see Alex’s post about it here.)

She then invited all the panelists to share their thoughts about what it means to be Latinx, and then dive into the resources and questions to be shared during the evening.

An overview of the information covered is included below with approximate time stamps, and the full recording is at the bottom of this blog post.

  • 2:30: All the panelists shared what being Latinx means to them.  They talked about familia, embracing differences and similarities, and building new meaning via community.
  • 13:50: Mia led a conversation about Las Musas, a craft and mentorship resource for Latinx creators.  For more information about getting involved with Las Musas, listen to this part of the conversation and visit the Las Musas website.
  • 19:30: Ismée led a conversation about the Latinx Kidlit Book Festival, a celebration of Latinx authors and illustrators for educators, students and book lovers.  She also talked about opportunities for educators to submit questions to the organization to be answered by creators during the festival.
  • 32:00: The panelists talked about the upcoming Latinx Symposium at the Highlights Foundation.   This conversation centered around the idea of considering ¡Drama! as a facet of Latinx identities.  Panelists shared their experiences of being labeled “too much” or “not Latinx enough,” and how explorations of identity, craft, and the publishing business would be featured in the symposium.
  • 38:45: The conversation turned to why and how we can and should amplify Latinx voices, benefiting creators, kids, caregivers, and families as a whole.
  • 40:00: The panelists explored and discussed language use and intersectionality in stories and characters, with a focus on how it can help kids and how children’s publishing is evolving in this area.
  • 54:00: After a question from an attendee, Mia shared ways that creators can get involved in Las Musas at different points in the publishing journey.
  • 59:30: The conversation turned back to language, with a discussion of bilingual books and publishing, and how making language choices can serve your story.
  • 1:00:00: The panelists discussed an in-progress database of books by Latinx creators, and how it can be used by educators and caregivers for sharing books with kids and authors and illustrators for research and inspiration.

Thank you to Alex, Mia, NoNieqa, Ismée, and Hilda for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us.  It was a beautiful event.

Full Recording

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