Some months ago, I made a bit of noise about some of the frustrations I was having with RWA. Doing that helped me connect more with other RWA members. It also ticked some people off. Most importantly, it put me in the position of either needing to quit RWA or do something to help make it more welcoming to authors like me — writers who have often felt they were in a second RWA because of the race and/or gender and/or disability of themselves or their characters.
Recently, I’ve been serving on the RWA’s ad hoc diversity committee. Our findings were shared with the board at their most recent meeting, and the acceptance of these and the move for change has been impressive. A brief summary of this has appeared in the recent RWA eNotes, and I expect there will be more news on this in the future. But I am looking forward to a more inclusive and accessible RWA that recognizes the diversity and intersectionality of its members.
On the local level, I have also been elected as one of the Vice President’s of my local chapter, RWA-NYC. I’m looking forward to a lot of hard work and an immersive learning experience that in the end hopefully helps us all write — and sell — more books and more types of books.
I have many friends who have left the RWA, some because of these issues. I’m not ready to say, “it’s time to come back,” but I hope you’ll keep on eye on this process and that we’ll do a good enough job that you’ll consider it in the future.
(P.S., while these comments are about my activity with RWA and RWA-NYC, I’m speaking only for me).