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Alaina Lavoie

Alaina Lavoie

Date: Thursday, April 22 | Noon - 12:45 p.m. EST

Alaina Lavoie is the communications manager of We Need Diverse Books, where she was previously a volunteer for three years. She also teaches in the MFA program at Emerson College and is a book reviewer for Booklist, the review magazine published by the American Library Association. She was awarded a 2017 Bookbuilders of Boston scholarship for her work advocating for marginalized voices in the publishing industry. Her work has been published under the byline Alaina Leary in the New York Times, Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, The Boston Globe Magazine, The Oprah Magazine, Refinery29, Good Housekeeping, Bitch, Glamour, Publishers Weekly, The Chicago Tribune, and more. She lives with her wife, two literary cats, and a rainbow bookshelf.

Session Description: Diversity is often thrown around as a buzzword, but what does it actually mean for editorial professionals to prioritize equity, inclusion, diversity, and anti-racism? What are the barriers that marginalized editors face and how can our industry better support editors? As an editor, what can you do to create meaningful, lasting change in our industry? We have also faced an unprecedented year—what does it look like for editorial professionals to continue thriving under extreme challenges? How can we continue to grow our careers while taking care of our mental health? What does rest look like during uncertain times, and why is it just as important as the work? As a high-risk disabled person who experienced the loss of her father in 2020, Alaina Lavoie will speak to the importance of seeing yourself and fellow editors as people first and professionals second, and the balance of adjusting your workload and expectations of yourself to match the collective trauma of a global pandemic. 


Anissa Gray

Anissa Gray

Date: Friday, April 23

Anissa Gray is a Senior Editor at CNN Worldwide and a contributor to Emmy and DuPont-Columbia award-winning coverage of some of the most consequential stories of our time. She began her career at Reuters as a reporter, based in New York, covering business news and international finance. Born in St. Joseph, Michigan, Gray studied English and American literature at New York University. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her wife.