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n innovative program introduced five years ago to help elevate Christian authors of color and their work in the predominantly White publishing industry has changed hands, with the “old White guy” behind the initiative leaving it in the hands of a reputable Black editor.
“I had always had in the back of my mind that it’d be great for Publishing in Color to be led by a person of color,” Brian Allain told Faithfully Magazine during a mid-September interview.
So, he stepped aside in March and transferred ownership of the program he founded in 2017 to Joyce Dinkins Publishing, LLC.
Dinkins, a former executive editor at Our Daily Bread Ministries, had been a longtime friend of Publishing in Color. She was among the few people Allain first turned to when he began socializing the idea of a conference that would specifically bring authors of color and representatives of the publishing industry together.
As Allain turns his attention away from Publishing in Color to focus on other programs and a harrowing medical diagnosis, he says his yearslong efforts promoting racial equity in publishing have been validated by testimonials he gets from past conference attendees.
One notable account came at the end of 2018. Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien, a fashion writer and former Miss Black New Jersey pageant queen, bubbled over with joy as she shared with thousands of YouTube subscribers how a Christian publisher had recently offered her a three-book deal.
Saint-Elien, currently a fashion editor at Cosmopolitan magazine, was an aspiring author before an agent she had randomly cold-emailed suggested she attend what would be the very first Publishing in Color (PIC) conference happening not far from her home.
At the conference, Saint-Elien met with “top publishers” and even dined with an acquisitions editor from Revell, a subdivision of Baker Publishing Group. The intimate encounter, a rarity for aspiring authors, led to the publication of three books, including Claim Your Crown: Walking in Confidence and Worth as a Daughter of the King.
Saint-Elient, 23 at the time, said her attendance at the PIC conference was by divine design.
Christian Publishing’s Diversity Problem
The general publishing industry undertook a significant baseline diversity survey in 2015, but Christian publishers have only just begun assessing the ethnic, racial, and gender numbers among their own ranks.