FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 1, 2021
INCLUDAS Founder Joins BookTalk Event’s Board of Directors
(Eugene, OR) — INCLUDAS Publishing is thrilled to announce that Luda Gogolushko, its founder, has joined BookTalk Event’s board of directors.
Founded in March of 2021, BookTalk Event is a virtual space where creatives in the book industry can meet new authors and content creators, while taking part in thought-provoking, critical discussions surrounding representation in storytelling. The board of directors, selected in October 2021, will recommend and approve individuals for management positions within the organization, propelling the nonprofit’s mission further in 2022 and 2023. The other three newly instated board members are Reni Amayo, the author of Daughters of NRI and founder of ONWE Press; Loan Le, the author of A Pho Love Story and an editor at Atria Books; and Mel Gill, the owner and founder of Steamy Lit.
Joining BookTalk’s board of directors was a natural role for Gogolushko to accept. In 2015, she founded INCLUDAS with the mission of publishing books that represent disabled fictional characters and disabled authors, illustrators, and editors. INCLUDAS aims to encourage more discussions surrounding inclusivity and disability diversity in the book publishing industry.
“Seeing readers take action themselves to push diverse conversations forward about books is the energy this world needs. When BookTalk first approached us in their early stages of planning their first virtual event, supporting their mission was the least INCLUDAS could do as its first sponsor,” explains Gogolushko.
Azanta Thakur, BookTalk Events’s founder, created the event as a way of uniting the literary communities on TikTok and Instagram (referred to by users as BookTok and Bookstagram, respectively).
“The process to select a board of directors was a strenuous one — mostly because creating and launching a nonprofit is a new experience for us all,” Thakur says. “What Luda and INCLUDAS stand for is exactly what our mission for BookTalk is: to support and raise voices in marginalized communities, and to help connect readers to books they may not have otherwise found. Working with Luda was truly a dream, and she helped BookTalk to become exactly what I had hoped for. When I reached out to her to see if she was interested in joining the board of directors and she expressed nothing but enthusiasm, the whole team was over the moon.”
“Change in the publishing industry is a very slow and difficult process, but we’re in this exciting time where underrepresented voices and stories are finding their platforms. Readers care about diversity and inclusion, and by building strong communities we are able to become the diverse leaders this world has been waiting for so long,” says Gogolushko.