President's Message - O Autumn! Autumn!

Fall’s arrival in my longtime home of Louisville, Kentucky makes me think of my beloved childhood trips out West, which as a native St. Louisan, meant car travel to Oklahoma City, where my mother grew up. It brings thoughts of my childhood desire to venture even farther West—to meet her cousins who’d moved from Oklahoma to California and to replicate my St. Louis grandmother’s visit to Colorado. These thoughts resonated with my responses to children’s book author and civil rights activist Mildred Pitt Walter’s interview for the Library of Congress, in which she details her move from small-town Louisiana to Los Angeles. As one of many African Americans who were part of the Great Migration, Walter speaks movingly about how she carved out a place for herself in her new home city and, as a teacher and activist, worked to empower the students at her largely African American public school and to make businesses and institutions responsive to the city’s growing African American population.

I have also been thinking of the West because of the 2020 Children’s Literature Association Conference, Sustainability Through Story: Eco-Justice, Children's Literature, and Childhood, which will occur in Bellevue, Washington, June 18-20. Hosted by the University of Washington, the conference promises to be an exceptional opportunity to explore children’s literatures and cultures from many perspectives. The conference organizers and ChLA’s Conference Advisory Committee are working to accommodate members and to ensure that our meetings reflect as much as possible the spirit and practice of sustainability. Our organization’s website now has a link with information on registration and for reserving lodging at the conference hotel: I hope that you will join me in Seattle.

I am also excited to announce that the 2021 Children’s Literature Association Conference will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, June 10-12, 2021. Its theme will be the Arcade. Please watch for updates from the conference planning team, which is headed by Paige Gray, Rachel Dean-Ruzicka, and Mandy Suhr-Sytsma. If you are interested in hosting or co-hosting a future ChLA conference, please contact Jamie Reed. If you are interested but have questions, Jamie can also help. We are currently accepting proposals for the 2022 Conference.

As I conclude, I will remind you to Click on Project Muse to read Children’s Literature and the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly. Remember that you can gain access to the journals through the ChLA website. As the journals’ parent organization, we earn income when readers gain access to their articles through Project Muse. Because ChLA is a non-profit organization, this income is vital for us to continue our support for the study of children’s literature. Please urge colleagues, students, and other readers of studies on children’s literature to Click on Project Muse to read our excellent journals.

Thank you for your attention and your continued membership and involvement in ChLA. I look forward to seeing you in June 2020.

Best wishes,
Karen Chandler Signature
Karen Chandler
ChLA President, 2019-20

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