Festival Celebrating Ohio Authors Pledges to Boost Diversity

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Organizers of a well-established book festival featuring Ohio authors say they agree with concerns the event lacks diversity and plan to do something about it.

The Ohioana Book Festival made its pledge Friday on Twitter after receiving complaints that the event includes too few authors of color and from the LGBTQ community.

Only about 10% of authors at this year’s event, held Saturday, were from minority communities. David Weaver, executive director of the Ohioana Library Association that hosts the festival, said the goal is to have more.

Ruth Awad, a Columbus poet who is Arab American and bisexual, said she was “deeply concerned” to be one of so few minority authors represented. She has suggested the association hire a diversity committee to review the issue.