The Latinx community in the U.S. is the fastest-growing demographic, yet they remain poorly represented in all narratives.
This reality is part of a much deeper problem, where heterogeneity and the American social fabric continue to be perceived as a hermetic whole, especially in the educational system.
Young immigrants and young people of color in the country still do not have access to a literary and cultural frame of reference that speaks directly to their intercultural process, which often manifests itself in poor academic performance or circumstances of exclusion.
Nearly one in four students in public schools in the United States are immigrants. Of these, between one-fourth and one-third are undocumented, according to a study published by the Center for Immigration Studies.
Recent research has determined that classroom interaction is more efficient once teachers recognize “knowledge is socially constructed” through literary and artistic references that speak directly to this diversity.
The reality, however, is that Latinx children do not tend to read stories by or about other Latinx in the U.S. academic system, NPR reported. The U.S. publishing industry remains overwhelmingly white, according to the Cooperative Center for Children’s Books, which found that only five percent of books published for young readers are by or about people of Latino origin.
That’s why a new group of writers, publishers, and literary agents have organized themselves into the LatinxPitch for Kid Lit initiative, bringing to light ideas and pitches of Latinx authors who tell real stories about children of color in the country.
As explained by NPR, LatinxPitch for Kid Lit held its first Twitter event through the #LatinxPitch hashtag a few weeks ago, garnering 1.5 million impressions, and more than 160 agents and publishers networked with authors and their audiences.
“It’s really important to sort of roll up our sleeves and help each so that we can create opportunities,” said author/illustrator Jorge Lcera, one of the organizers of the virtual event. “It all came about because there was a sense in the publishing industry that they were having a hard time finding authors in these communities. As we put more and more of these events on, you can’t have that excuse anymore, right? Like, here we are.”
LatinxPitch for Kid Lit has decided to hold the event once a year in September and invites “unagented and agented kidlit Latinx authors, author-illustrators and illustrators” to submit any type of story or topic that falls under the initiative’s umbrella using the #latinxpitch hashtag from their personal Twitter accounts.
The authors must share a short 1-2 minute video answering some questions that you can get here.
It is time to share the true stories of our community, and open spaces for new generations to have a mirror that invites them to embrace their diversity.