Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Equity & Inclusion

Welcome to our SCBWI NM EI Team Page

Our Vision

For all children to see themselves in books.

Our Mission

SCBWI New Mexico including West Texas is a unique region. In defining who we are, we must acknowledge a complex history, rooted in a past predating New Mexico as a territory or state.  This history includes brutal episodes of violence, enslavement, and domination between a number of people groups. Today, as we strive to live together, we recognize our region as one  of flourishing cultures and traditions that deepens with the inclusion of each new culture. Our Land of Enchantment also inspires our creativity through singular skies, majestic mountains, and beautiful, vast southwest deserts. Within this nexus of time and place, we are a community that desires to encourage and promote one another’s work, welcoming and seeking out everyone who aspires to write, illustrate, or translate works for all children.

Our Goals

● Expand our membership to reflect our diverse state.
● Provide resources for our members.
● Increase our visibility through our programs, events and community outreach.

Book recommendations

Background Information: (We Need Diverse Books) (Statistics of Diversity in Publishing) (Native American Blog – Debbie Reese)

SCBWI Diverse Author Websites

Buddy Program

The Equity and Inclusion Team is announcing a new initiative (April 2021) to support all new members. We have developed a new Buddy Program. Laurel Goodluck and Khadijah VanBrakle are coordinating this effort along with our team.

PLEASE CONTACT Laurel Goodluck at if you wish to become a buddy or if you have any questions. We appreciate your support as we brainstorm ways to make new members transition to a new group with individualized support.

What is a buddy system? It is a system to team you up with an experienced member of our chapter. They will be helpful as a point of contact to answer your questions, share insights and guide you as a new member of what our chapter has to offer.

How it works:

  • You will be assigned a buddy from our volunteer pool.
  • Your buddy will share their email and phone number for communication, but you both should decide which communication method you both prefer.
  • Note: This is not a mentorship – someone to guide you in your craft; but rather a program to help you get to know SCBWI-NM.
  • Length of time: 1-2 month, but you and your buddy may decide on if you’d like to extend the time.
  • We ask that you fill out a brief questionnaire pre/post your buddy experience.

Meet our EI Team

Laurel Goodluck, Lead: has a background in Counseling and Family Studies. She is a citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation as well as a member of the Tsimshian Tribal Nation. She is a PB writer and was awarded a We Need Diverse Books PB Mentorship in 2019 as well as a NM Writes Grant. In 2023, the Heartdrum imprint of HarperCollins will publish Rock Your Mocs, illustrated by Madelyn Goodnight. She has two more PB acquired with announcements soon.

Sandra Aguirre-Magaña is an international bilingual storyteller, educator, and author from El Paso with recent performances and workshops at The Tejas Storytelling Festival, El Paso area school districts, and other national venues. Her stories stem from a proud storytelling culture inspired by her family. She believes stories are not only a means of communicating the commonality of our human experience but also a catapult for promoting mutual understanding and respect for all people and cultures.

Chris Eboch is the author of over 60 books for children, including nonfiction and fiction, early reader through teen. She has experience with traditional publishing, self-publishing, and educational publishing and is developing a program to recruit more diverse voices to educational publishing. Chris is a popular writing teacher and developmental editor. She has spoken at SCBWI and other events around the world. Learn more at

Kersten Hamilton the critically acclaimed author of PB such as RED TRUCK and FIRST FRIEND: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends, MG fiction including DAYS OF THE DEAD and the GADGETS AND GEARS series, and the YA novels of the GOBLIN WARS trilogy. She was drawn to participate in the Diversity Board because of the difficulties she has face as a writer with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and autism.

Michele Hathaway Tuton has a great desire to raise awareness about mental health and the needs of artists with these challenges. She also is on the team as an ally. Michele writes middle grade and picture book fiction and nonfiction.

Khadijah VanBrakle is a Muslim woman of color who writes about characters, like her three daughters, who are both Black American and Muslim. She thinks it’s vital for teens from those intersections in the Islamic community, in the United States, to see themselves on the printed page. She’s been an active member of SCBWI-NM since 2012.


We Need Diverse Books–Grants, awards, mentorships, a resource page with articles on diversity, for writers, illustrators, teachers, parents, publishing industry. 

Kweli Children of Color Conference–A conference for BIPOC writers and illustrators that celebrates and supports our unique voices, our nuanced stories, our truth. Spring. 

Heartdrum imprint at HaperCollinsPublishers that highlight the voices of Native creators and accepts unsolicited submissions. 

Indigenous Comic Con Festival or Indipop–An event that showcases work of Native and Indigenous creators in the world of pop culture.  

Cynsations Blog by Cynthia Leitich Smith–NY Times bestselling author of books for young readers and author-curator of Heartdrum. Cynsations interviews plus Children’s and YA Lit Resources. 

National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) Bilingual Book Festival–takes place in April each year and features K-6 books in Spanish and English and Native Languages. The festival includes author readings, a book fair, student storytelling, poetry performances, workshops and more. 

NM Writers Grant Program–Awarded to two writers who reflect our diverse state. Grantees are honored as special guests at the NM Writes annual dinner.

The New Mexico Writers annual,a variety of literary endeavors. Grants are awarded at Plaza in Santa Fe.

Pitch events for BIOPIC

DVpit–A biannual Twitter pitch event for self-identifying, historically marginalized authors and illustrators in October

Asian Pacific Islander Pit – Pitch event for Asian/Pacific Islander writers and illustrators in May.  The inaugural event will be held on May 4, 2021. #APIpit. 

Latinxpitch–A Twitter pitch event specifically for Latinx creators held on September 15th 

BIPOC Bookstores in New Mexico

Red Planet Books and ComicNative American (Laguna Pueblo) owned
1002 Park Ave SW, ABQ 87102
(505) 361-1182

Additional Resources


SCBWI Podcasts–brings our members engaging podcasts with leaders in the children’s book field.

Book Friends Forever Podcast–award winning author/illustrator Grace Lin, and one of NYC’s top editors, Alvina Ling. Go behind the scenes of kid lit.

 The Children’s Book Podcast–hosted by Matthew C. Winner and features insightful and sincere interviews with authors, illustrators, and everyone else involved in children’s books.



SCBWI National Statements

SCBWI statement on the intent of Equity and Inclusion

SCBWI article on diversity