Black diversity chief out after failing to mention Islamophobia in statement rejecting antisemitism

The Washington Times:

A Black Jewish diversity chief at a nonprofit group for children’s book authors resigned amid backlash after she neglected to specifically condemn Islamophobia in a statement denouncing antisemitism.

April Powers, chief equity and inclusion officer at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, issued a statement this month saying the organization denounces “all forms of hate, including antisemitism,” citing an uptick in crimes against Jewish people. Critics apparently took issue with Islamophobia not being specifically mentioned in the statement.

Ms. Powers apologized in a statement announcing her resignation Sunday, saying she “neglected to address the rise in Islamophobia, and deeply regret that omission.”

“As someone who is vehemently against Islamophobia and hate speech of any kind, I understand that intention is not impact and I am so sorry,” she wrote. “While this doesn’t fix the pain and disappointment that you feel by my mishandling of this moment, I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies and resignation from the SCBWI.”

Ms. Powers, who introduced herself as being Black and Jewish in a welcome video last June, explained in a post Tuesday on her personal Facebook page that she was not fired or forced to resign from the nonprofit, Newsweek reported.

The organization’s executive director, Lin Oliver, issued a statement Sunday accepting Ms. Powers’ resignation and apologizing to “everyone in the Palestinian community who felt unrepresented, silenced or marginalized.”

“SCBWI acknowledges the pain our actions have caused to our Muslim and Palestinian members and hope that we can heal from this moment,” Ms. Oliver wrote.

More at The Washington Times

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