Introducing the MCBD Board of Advisors! These fine folks were hand-picked based on their commitment and passion for diversity in children’s literacy are on the front lines of education and community building.
Deedee Cummings is a licensed attorney and therapist in Louisville, KY. She is a graduate of the first Historically Black College for women in the country, Bennett College in Greensboro, NC, and the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. Deedee holds a Bachelor’s of Psychology, a Master’s of Education in Counseling Psychology, and a Juris Doctorate degree. Over her career spanning more than two decades, she has experienced how easy it is for us to become discouraged, even to the point of giving up. Working in foster care proved especially tough.
Deedee began writing books as a way to help process the trauma of this work, and also has assisted dozens of foster children with writing their own stories. She focuses her writing on powerful, inspiring, and uplifting messages intended to center us, connect us, motivate us, and remind us all to begin again. Deedee and her husband Anthony experience a wide range of growing pains with three children ranging in age from 9 to 25! You can learn more about her and her work on her website makeawaymedia.com.
Karin Fisher-Golton is the author of the award-winning board book, My Amazing Day: A Celebration of Wonder and Gratitude, four folktales for a reading program for people with dyslexia, and poems in several anthologies. As a freelance children’s book editor, she helps authors realize their visions and reach young audiences effectively. She’s given particular attention to how children’s books reflect our world since studying children’s literature in an Elementary Education program, almost thirty years ago. Her writing life has been interspersed with teaching children in a variety of lively settings, most recently as an afterschool poetry teacher.
Karin worked with the MCBD team to change the yearly date of MCBD so that it would not conflict with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day designated by the United Nations “to instill the memory of the tragedy in future generations to prevent genocide from occurring again.” Read more about that here: https://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/tag/karin-fisher-golton/.
Based in the San Francisco Bay Area—just a few miles from Berkeley, California where she was raised—Karin feels fortunate to live in one of the most diverse areas in the world. Learn more about Karin and her work at: https://karinfisher-golton.com.
Maritza Martinez Mejia
Maritza Martinez Mejia, is a Colombian poet, writer, and speaker who lives in Florida. She is the founder of Proyecto de Escritura LuzDelMes an online Group whose objective is to create bridges of communication and collaboration between English and Spanish authors and Cultural Promoter of “Desayuno Literario Internacional LuzDelMes” to promote Bilingual Literature.
For her service to the community, she is the award recipient of the Crystal Apple Award 2006. Maritza received the Virtues Christian Poetry Award 2015, Latino Book Awards for Best Translation English to Spanish, and Best eBook non-fiction 2016. Nominated to the Carmen Luisa Pinto 2016, Author’s Talk Book Show 2017, and Foundation Somos Poetry 2018. Collaborator to Radio Sion, NY at the “El Mágico Mundo de los libros”, Visítame Magazine, and Southern Writer’s Magazine.
Six bilingual books published, Vanilla and Chocolate (2012 & 2017), Grandma’s Treasure (2014), Poems, Thought s and more (2015), and memoir Hazel Eyes (2010) translated into Spanish as Ojos Avellana (2016), Luz del mes (2018).
Graduated from Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca in Commerce and Foreign Language, A.S. in Travel Industry Management from Broward State College, and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities and Certificate in Women’s Studies from Florida Atlantic University.
Member of Florida Writer’s Association, South Florida Writer’s Association, Multicultural Children’s Book Reviewer, and Academia Norteamericana de Literatura Moderna Internacional Capitulo Florida.
Jodi Murphy is the founder of Geek Club Books, an autism nonprofit committed to creating a world where autistic individuals are fully accepted, valued, and have a voice. She is the producer of the Dorktales Storytime Podcast, a family-fun series of geeky retellings of classic fairy tales and true stories about hidden heroes of history.
Previously, Jodi was a freelance marketing specialist working for clients in a variety of industries, a journalist in the luxury lifestyle industry, and co-founder of Nesting Newbies, one of the first independent lifestyle digital magazines.
Jadyn is a student at American University in Washington, D.C. majoring in Justice/Law and Film. With previous experience working in a public library for many years, Jadyn sees how accessibility to representative content can impact a community.
One of Jadyn’s most memorable moments is speaking (and fist-bumping) with Michelle Obama at one of her favorite bookstores in D.C. She hopes that serving on the advisory board will provide MCBD with a young, passionate perspective on the importance of BIPOC voices in all forms of media, especially children’s books!
She is also on the board of Little Black Library where she serves as Library Outreach.
Jimmie Quick is an unlikely homeschool advocate, and yet her entire livelihood now revolves around this school choice option. As a public school teacher with National Teacher Certification in Early Adolescent Language Arts, she had every intention of sending her daughter to school. But when kindergarten rolled around, they were expats in China. Instead of being a worst case scenario, homeschooling was the ideal environment for her creative child to thrive, and Jimmie loved it!
Using a literature-rich curriculum with lots of exploration in the fine arts and hands-on science, she homeschooled Emma all the way through high school. Living in China provided invaluable opportunities for travel and a bilingual childhood. Emma is currently in a gap year between college and graduate school.
Jimmie works as a self-employed marketing consultant, helping companies in the homeschool niche. In her hometown of Memphis, TN she volunteers as a head coach for tutoring second graders via Arise2Read. To learn more, follow her on Twitter.
Barbara B. Richardson, Ph.D.
Barbara is an African American mother of two and grandmother of five. She grew up in racially segregated Williamsburg, Virginia. Her community consisted of only two groups of people — African Americans and Anglo-Americans. In 1954, she entered Wheaton College, a women’s college in New England, where she was the only African-American graduate in the class of 1958.
After finishing college, Barbara worked as a social worker in the Department of Social Service (DSS) in Boston. Being unable to help clients realize the goal of the DSS – creating financially independent families – Barbara decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Social Work at Howard University.
After completing her Master’s degree, she worked with racially and culturally diverse families in New York City and Philadelphia. From her experiences with these families and with immigrants from around the world, she learned that race was not the source of differences. It was culture.
Barbara and her family settled in Altadena, California. She wanted to ensure her children had access to learn about culturally diverse peoples and the differences between race and culture. She found the Children’s School at Pacific Oaks College, a children’s pre-school at the Quaker-founded Graduate college, where her children attended from ages three until six.
While her children progressed through primary school, Barbara joined the faculty at Pacific Oaks College, where she directed and taught courses in the Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling (MFCC) degree program. Simultaneously, she earned her Ph.D. in Education at Claremont University Center in Pomona, CA, with the dissertation topic, Parenting Black Children in a Racist Society.
As a mother, social worker, and educator, Barbara saw the need for children of all cultures to see themselves reflected in the books they read. Today, Barbara enjoys diverse picture books, raising orchids, traveling, and the company of her children’s families.
Tamara is an author, speaker, and entrepreneur. She is rewriting and updating her
children’s book series. The seven-book series Just Imagine…What If There Were
No Black People in the World? about African American inventors, scientists, and
other notable African Americans in history. The first two books in the series Jaxon’s Magical Adventure with Black Inventors and Scientists and Jaxon and Kevin’s Black History Trip Downtown are published. She has also created companion books which include a coloring book, activity book, and Jaxon’s Journal to accompany the first book
in the series. She’s written a picture book, Cameron Teaches Black History, for Scholastic that will be available in June 2022.
The other books in the series are (3) Women Inventors and Scientists (4) Jaxon Meets Black Cowboys from the Old West and (5) Jaxon’s Black History Trip to NASA (6) African American Artists, Sculptures and Other Arts, and (7) African American Composers, Classical and Concert Musicians and Opera Singers are forthcoming.
She presently writes the weekly Black History column for the Post Newspaper; she’s written articles for the Richmond Pulse and recorded 2-minute Black History vignettes for the gospel station KDYA. She also writes a weekly eblast of regarding multicultural books and historical information. Her podcast Once Upon a Time in Black History will launch in April 2022.
Tamara speaks on the importance of teaching Black History all year, including engagements as the keynote speaker for the Las Vegas NAACP, Chevron’s Black History Month program, the Tuskegee Airmen Corporation’s 32nd Annual dinner in Denver; and speaking engagements with the El Cerrito NAACP, various Rotary groups, Richmond Kiwanis Clubs, Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, and various other organizations and schools.
She teaches a Professional Development Class on how to incorporate Black History into lesson plans and curriculum all year – providing educators with information, examples, samples, and lesson plans.
She is the owner of the Multicultural Children’s Bookstore in Richmond, CA. The bookstore focuses on books from many cultures and genres including African American, Latino, Asian/South Asian, Native American as well as Biracial, Disability, Diversity and LGBTQI, Social Justice, STEM Teen/Adult, Babies, Graphic Novels, and Black History books.
Affiliations: Bay Area Girls Club (Advisory board), Youth Service Bureau (Board), Rotary (member previous board member), Kiwanis (member), Richmond Chamber (Board), BAIPA (member previous board), EduGlobal Las Vegas (Board), Friends of Richmond Library (Board). Learn more from her website, bookstore website, and find her on Facebook, Twitter @ tamarashiloh102, and Instagram @mcb_bookstore.
Nancy Tupper Ling
Nancy Tupper Ling is a children’s author, poet, bookseller, and librarian. Basically, she surrounds herself with books! Occasionally, she creates a few books of her own, including:
My Sister, Alicia May; The Story I’ll Tell; Double Happiness; The Yin-Yang Sisters and her latest, For Every Little Thing, with co-author, June Cotner. To learn more, check out her website and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Dr. Valerie Williams-Sanchez
Valerie Williams-Sanchez, Ph.D. is an author/illustrator of the self-published children’s book series called the Cocoa Kids Collection®. She is a passionate advocate for multicultural literature, “OWN voices” self-publishing, and empowered literacy for readers of all ages. A fully employed brand and marketing executive, Dr. Valerie’s involvement with MCBD is a part-time endeavor that is an extension of the advocacy and interests she has cultivated through academia and her professional life.
Specifically, Dr. Valerie earned her doctoral degree in literacy through St. John’s University, New York; a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, New York, and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Further, Dr. Valerie studied Spanish art, history, language, and culture at the Universidad de Salamanca, in Spain, as an undergraduate.
Dr. Valerie is a former journalist in the U.S. and Spain, who has written and contributed to articles and essays in publications like the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Miami Herald, Orange County Business Journal, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Injuve Magazine (Spain), and More Magazine, online.