Letter of Support and Solidarity: Board of Directors

Dear Friends of the Midwest Writers Workshop:

You’re probably receiving a lot of statements lately in response to recent acts of racial violence in our nation, and you may even be feeling fatigued or overwhelmed by all of those messages. Even so, we know as writers that words have the power to make a positive change. We know our organization must not remain silent during this time, and we must add our voices to the collective chorus of those broken-hearted about the senseless killing of Black people. We not only acknowledge and show our support for the Black community, but that we stand in solidarity with all those doing incredible civil rights work in response to the ongoing racial violence and systemic and institutionalized discrimination in the United States and beyond.

As an organization, we recognize we may not have always made the best choices when it came to how we responded to our own internalized biases and prejudices. There had been an instinct to make excuses, but in recent years, and through some very pointed changes to our board of directors and our organizational structure, we have owned those past mistakes and made changes as an organization. There is always still work to do, and we promise to listen, to continue to grow, and to make positive changes.

There is an obvious need for change in our nation now. We must listen with open hearts and minds, and we must do the work to make the world a better and safer place for everyone. As an organization, we will do all that we can to promote change and diversity through the choices we make — from those who serve on our board of directors to the choices we make for our events and programs. The Midwest Writers Workshop has always valued and supported diverse voices, and we will continue to develop and keep taking steps to ensure we are always a welcoming, safe, and inclusive community for all writers.

Midwest Writers Board of Directors

Julie Tuttle Davis – President

Larry D. Sweazy – Vice President

Kelsey Timmerman – Treasurer

Lylanne Musselman – Secretary

Michelle Gage

Leah Lederman

Angela Jackson-Brown

Stephen M. Terrell

Angelia White Stone

Maria Williams-Hawkins

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