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.

Our Activities for 2021

● Establish a New Mexico and West Texas team
● Establish a vision, mission, goals and activities
● Establish a “Buddy System” for all new members
● Sensitivity training for our EI Team
● Share resources on website as well as social media

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, chairperson: has a background in Counseling and Family Studies and is a Mandan, Hidatsa
and Tsimshian tribes. She is a PB writer and was awarded a We Need Diverse Books PB Mentorship in 2019 as
well as a NM Writes Grant. She has three PB acquired with announcements soon.

Michele Hathaway Tuton is currently the New Mexico RA and has experience with mental health challenges in her family. She is also on the team as an ally. Michele writes middle grade and picture book fiction and nonfiction.


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

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