As members of the Association of Canadian Publishers, we stand in solidarity with those who have taken to the streets in protest against the ongoing, brutal, and systemic anti-Black racism that remains foundational in our culture. This racism is both overt and passive. As a result, Black people are subjected to violence at the hands of the institutions meant to protect them, and they face persistent barriers to economic opportunities to which others are privy.
As publishers we hold the privilege of editorial choice, making decisions about what voices and what histories, stories, recipes, or poems are published, found in bookstores, reviewed, promoted, and brought to readers. In Canada, according to a recent ACP study, only 3% of paid positions in the Canadian publishing industry are held by Black people and only 18% by BIPOC. This lack of fair representation of Black and other racialized editors, designers, publicists—indeed across all roles in publishing—reflects the longstanding and urgent need for active and accountable change in the Canadian publishing industry at every level. It points past education and calls us to action. It demands that we seek out and uproot systemic anti-Black bias and racism in our midst. The Association of Canadian Publishers is committed to this endeavour, in order to reform and reshape our industry and create meaningful change.