This year's nominations, perhaps more so than ever before highlighted a diverse selection of voices — including, notably, 15 of 20 books by women, nearly half written by people of color, and diverse themes addressing everything from the legacy of slavery to modern day immigration and displacement.
Lifting up the voices of women, minorities, LGBTQ folks, undocumented immigrants, and other marginalized populations has everything to do with ensuring Global Citizen’s vision: a world free from extreme poverty by 2030. Enshrining these voices as equal to those of individuals in the traditional nexus of power — white, heterosexual, male voices — in everything from literature to sports empowers future generations of individuals to get an education, strive for equality, and in turn institute policies that benefit all people equally regardless of gender, race, or class.
"I think it is so important not to look at [the National Book Award's diversity] as a taking over, but instead a widening of the table,” Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation, told Elle magazine . “The table has room for us, too, now. And I hope that we see a shared table for all voices in this country and this world for the foreseeable future."
Global Citizen is bringing you 20 powerful, global books by 15 women and five men. Some of them were nominated for the National Book Award and others were not, but they all address issues near and dear to Global Citizen — from women’s empowerment, to climate action, to refugee resettlement.