BOSTON – Aug. 20, 2020 – Learning Company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) reinforced its commitment to racial justice with a major book donation aimed at amplifying Black voices while getting books into hands of children and families in need. HMH is in the process of donating over 50,000 titles by Black authors to more than 15 youth-serving nonprofit organizations across the United States.
Donated through HMH’s Books for Equity initiative, the curated list of titles explores issues of race and features Black main characters, including works by Toni Morrison, Kwame Alexander, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Margaret Walker, Melba Pattillo Beals and many more. Recipients of the donations include City Year, Girls Write Now, Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, Communities In Schools of Central Texas, and more.
Boston-based Camp Harbor View, in light of the need to cancel in-person camp programming, used the books to support families with “camp kits,” delivered to 600 families in significant need of at-home engagement for their children. Boys & Girls Club of Harlem included the donations in “summer fun kits” to summer campers and other community youth. Nonprofit youth writing and literacy organization 826 Boston, which empowers traditionally underserved students to tell their stories and learn communication skills, in particular seeks to provide books featuring characters of color to the students they work with.
“It is imperative that Black authors, characters, and stories are prominently featured in diverse libraries so that 826 Boston students and young people everywhere can find their life experiences reflected in the books that they read,” says Jessica Drench, Executive Director of 826 Boston. “We are deeply grateful for this generous and meaningful donation from our friends at HMH."
HMH is committed to social justice and learning as a fundamental right. The amplification and empowerment of diverse voices is part of HMH’s commitment to racial justice, as is its mission of supporting teachers and communities in making society more open, just and inclusive for all.
“At HMH, we are working at actionable ways to be an antiracist organization, and this includes creating literary and educational content that amplifies Black voices and centers the experiences of people of color, then ensuring these stories reach readers and learners,” says Ellen Archer, President of HMH Books & Media. “As a learning company, it is our responsibility to do all we can to foster a holistic understanding of our world and honor the diverse communities we serve.”
Through its Books for Equity program, HMH proudly donates its award-winning educational materials, children’s stories, and general interest titles—roughly 1 million books annually—with the goal of bolstering home libraries for those most in need. Through partnerships with nonprofits including First Book, World Vision, Save the Children, and hundreds of others, HMH reaches children and families in underserved communities throughout the United States and around the world. Earlier this year HMH made urgent donations of over 85,000 books to partners including First Book, Save the Children, Book’em, Children’s Hospital of New Orleans, The Food Bank of the Rockies, and more who are supporting students without access to the internet with quality books at home.
About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ: HMHC) is a learning company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 3 million educators in 150 countries, while its award-winning children's books, novels, non-fiction, and reference titles are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt