Shawnta’s corporate career in professional development ignited a commitment to lifelong learning which only grew stronger when she began working with children. Her writing addresses crucial topics like loving ourselves, helping others, overcoming challenges, celebrating diversity, and championing inclusion – in a way that makes them accessible, understandable, and engaging for even the youngest learners.
It’s heartfelt and empowering, yet rhythmic and fun!
In our home, we turn to books for both entertainment and answers. My partner and I read to our child every night, even as a baby. I found the books we were most drawn to offered opportunities for social and emotional learning. Even more special were those whose illustrations depicted a diverse range of lifestyles, abilities, and ethnicities.
Whether it be color of skin, country of origin, religion, ability, sexuality, or more, there are many ways to be a minority. As I’ve shopped for books, I’ll admit to having been frustrated by the lack of books available which include representation of kids and families from diverse backgrounds, compared to the untold volume of titles with mainstream views and characters. Now more than ever it is critical that minorities not only see themselves represented in the offerings of day-to-day culture, but also that others be exposed to the broader world at large as early as possible, in as many ways as possible. Then, together as friends and allies, we can champion our differences while discovering all that we share.
Whenever I work on manuscripts of my own, I keep these thoughts in mind. I envision the wide range of readers who may one day see my words. My goal is to write stories that help all children find their faces, places, beauty, and opportunity, in their communities and beyond. It brings me such joy and purpose to strive to create pieces others can use to help navigate challenges, make special memories, and develop powerful voices for years to come.
Shawnta lives with her beautifully multicultural family near Milwaukee, WI.