Black History Month: Publishers

Happy Black History Month! This February, in honor of Black History Month, MOI will be featuring different people we work with. We want to celebrate their successes and share how excited we are about what they're doing. Now: our publishing partners, from Wise Ink Creative Publishing. (They're the ones who help make our Young Authors' Book Project so great!)


Dara Beevas

Wise Ink Creative Publishing

What does Black History Month mean to you?

It means celebrating black excellence. It means taking time to acknowledge, remember, and highlight the contributions of black Americans—and that doesn't just mean reading about famous black Americans. Our history includes so many black Americans who rarely get talked about. Every Black History Month, I try to uncover something extraordinary I didn't know about a moment or person in black history. 

Why are you involved with MOI?

I love how MOI helps young people tell stories. Stories are so important. Stories help us connect with each other, connect with ourselves, and they even help heal where there is pain. MOI is such a special place for using stories to empower and inspire creativity. 

Who were some of your favorite authors of color as a child?

I loved reading Mildred Taylor who wrote Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Mildred Taylor's books were mostly set in Mississippi during the Depression. Her writing was so captivating and always told stories that helped me understand how hard black people had to work to become free and pursue their dreams.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I'm hoping that in 2018, Wise Ink publishes fifty new young voices! We believe that young people becoming published is a big deal and we've so far helped more than 125 young people tell their stories. 


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Danielle Byland

Wise Ink Creative Publishing

Danielle has been working in overdrive to get our Young Authors' Book Project book, The Bold, Untold North, ready for print, so we weren't able to chat with here, but here's her bio from the Wise Ink website:

Danielle Bylund has previously worked in marketing and graphic design and has been an editor for multiple nationally known literary journals (and some lesser known). She served seven years in the United States Coast Guard, where she cultivated her love of travel and community engagement. She holds a BA in English from Columbia University and an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University. She is passionate about creating a collaborative community of writers who feel supported by their partnerships.

In addition, Danielle volunteered at MOI before beginning her work with Wise Ink—what a happy coincidence that we still get to work with her now. We love seeing our volunteers go on to do even more exciting things.

MOI will be celebrating all month with features and reading lists, so keep an eye out all month for more Black History Month blog posts! Check out our previous post on our board members here!