71 stories tagged 'UNITED STATES'

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Celebrating International Literacy Day With Worldreader

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Celebrating International Literacy Day With Worldreader

Since 2010, Penguin Random House has donated more than 550,000 digital books to Worldreader to help children read in underserved schools across Sub-Saharan Africa. To celebrate International Literacy Day in 2020, we encouraged our readers to help bring more books to children. With every book purchased on our website, we donated $1 to Worldreader.

In these pictures, a classroom full of students in Kibera, Kenya eagerly reads. In their hands they’re holding a library of thousands of books – including lots of favorite Penguin Random House books. The ability to read and learn gives these students a chance to improve their lives. And that ripples through to their families and their communities. As Worldreader’s largest global publishing partner, we are proud to help advance literacy around the world.  We have donated hundreds of licenses for Worldreader e-reader programs in sub-Saharan Africa, linking literature of all reading levels and age groups to schools and libraries throughout the region.

We proudly partner with Worldreader to help create a world where everyone is a reader.

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PRH Featured on CNN

U.S.
Commitments


PRH Featured on CNN

Penguin Random House’s donation of 750,000 books to First Book as part of READ TOGETHER, BE TOGETHER is featured on CNN International’s “Impact Your World” series. This special series showcases how companies around the world are giving back during the COVID-19 crisis.

This donation is one of the many ways Penguin Random House is helping communities affected by the pandemic. To meet the urgent need expressed by educators coping with school closures as a result of COVID-19, the donated books will be sent to programs and schools that are currently delivering books, food, and supplies to our youngest citizens who are isolated and locked out of a learning environment.

See the video on CNN here.

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Our Approach to Diversity & Inclusion

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Our Approach to Diversity & Inclusion

As Penguin Random House, we hold a collective belief in ensuring that diverse voices are elevated and heard. And we can and must do better. We must give a platform to an even broader range of voices, especially more authors and illustrators of color. Establishing more inclusive business practices—including reflecting the diversity of our world in our staff—is a necessity for us to help build an inclusive society. For us, more diverse publishing is not just a moral imperative.

We hear, and support, the demands for change from our colleagues, authors, partners, and readers, and the wider community. These four pillars are guiding our global approach to diversity and inclusion in our business around the world.

Leadership Investment in Diversity & Inclusion. Effective leadership is at the core of systemic change and we are committed to investing in that change through unconscious bias, antiracism, and inclusivity training. We acknowledge that leaders need to take more proactive ownership of our efforts in order to relieve the burden on employees from marginalized groups and junior employees.

Diversity & Representation. While we have a globally diverse workforce, we are committed to making our employee population even more representative of our society. We will increase the number of books we publish—and promote, market, and sell—by people of color.

Career Growth. We believe that diversity and inclusion is crucial to the development of all employees. Our Human Resources teams have created tools to help employees have more purposeful conversations with their managers about career advancement. We are actively making advancements to increase the clarity and consistency regarding opportunities for career and compensation development in order to ensure that employees are prepared, supported, and well situated in how to advocate for their career path.

Psychological Safety and Belonging. We understand that it is important for employees to be their authentic selves within the workplace, and that managers play a key role in establishing the climate that allows them to do so. We seek to create a more psychologically safe, inclusive environment that allows employees to bring their full selves to work and voice their ideas and opinions without fear.

These four pillars are the guiding principles by which Penguin Random House will foster a more diverse, equitable and inclusive company culture. Like our publishing, we locally implement our global diversity and inclusion position. On this page, you will find a selection of the programs and initiatives that are underway in support of these overarching pillars.

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Black Lives Matter

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Black Lives Matter

At Penguin Random House, we believe in and strive to create an environment of belonging and respect for all. We as individuals and as the collective leadership of this company recognize the urgent need to forge a path toward positive change. Black Lives Matter. Black Stories Matter and Black Voices Matter—and as publishers, we commit to using the powers of our creativity and ingenuity to lift those voices up in the world.

A list of anti-racist books and resources can be found here.

U.S.

100%

SOLAR POWER


On sunny days, the Crawfordsville, Indiana, distribution facility will be 100% powered by solar parks. This renewable energy will be both produced and consumed locally.
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Employee-Driven Action to Combat Climate Change

International
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Employee-Driven Action to Combat Climate Change

Our employees across the territories are leading teams, such as the Sustainability Subcommittee in the United States and the Environment Team in Australia/New Zealand, to make grassroots efforts to combat climate change. In the United States, the Sustainability Subcommittee is an employee-led group of engaged colleagues who are dedicated to positively affecting the environment. In tandem with our corporate efforts, through awareness campaigns and events, the Subcommittee aims to have a positive impact in our communities and the environment where we work and live.

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United Fight Against Climate Change

U.S.
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Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial Colleagues


United Fight Against Climate Change

Our Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial team in Miami kicked off its first year of corporate volunteering in 2019 with hands-on activities at main community organizations, including Miami-Dade County parks. Our employees planted 200 native plants at a county park to attract butterflies and other important pollinators, and also decorated a rainwater barrel with characters from our most popular children’s books to capture rainwater to irrigate the plants.

To further our efforts in the fight against climate change, the team in Miami collaborated to pack and sort donations for United Miami Way of Miami-Dade following the destruction Hurricane Dorian inflicted on the Bahamas.

U.S.

10%

REDUCTION OF CARBON EMISSIONS


Since 2014, Penguin Random House has already exceeded its carbon reduction by 10% and is well on the way to further reductions of 20% by 2025.
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Publishing a Digital Cookbook to Aid America’s Restaurants

U.S.
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Publishing a Digital Cookbook to Aid America’s Restaurants

In an effort to support America’s restaurant industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, we published Family Meal: Recipes from Our Community, a digital-only cookbook benefiting America’s restaurant workers. All proceeds from Family Meal support the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. It is one humble attempt to do our part to support the places and people that make our cities special.

The book’s publication coincided with #GivingTuesdayNow, which took place for the first time on May 5 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. This global day of unity inspired us to join forces to support those in need during this global crisis. So we united the best way we know how—by bringing together authors from across Penguin Random House to serve up something truly special. Our family of more than 50 chefs and home cooks have opened their kitchens to share a look at the food they’re cooking at home right now—food that comforts, sustains, and helps them feel connected to the world outside.

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Read a Story, Change Their Story With Save the Children

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Read a Story, Change Their Story With Save the Children

Together with Brightly, our website dedicated to helping parents, caregivers, and educators find books and reading tips for every age and stage of a child’s life, we joined with our long-standing partner Save the Children to support its annual reading campaign—Read a Story, Change Their Story. The 100 Days of Reading campaign aims to combat the summer slide—which will be further exacerbated because of the unprecedented school closures due to COVID-19—and the content that Brightly has provided, including reading lists and educational activities, will greatly support kids and families in need.

To further increase our impact, we teamed up with zulily, the online retailer dedicated to bringing special resources to its customers every day, to help provide books to children in need across the nation with the first-ever summertime “Buy 1, Give 1” campaign. During the campaign, the special sales events featured a curated selection of children’s books, and each Penguin Random House book purchased labeled with “Buy 1, Give 1” triggered a new children’s book donation, up to 50,000 books, from Penguin Random House to Save the Children.

Worldwide

Climate Neutral

BY 2030


Penguin Random House will be Climate Neutral by 2030.
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Supporting Black-Owned Bookstores

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Supporting Black-Owned Bookstores

In honor of Juneteenth in 2020, we donated 100% of net proceeds from our website that day to a fund that will support Black-owned bookstores. We are partnering with Bookshop.org, an online retailer, to manage the fund for these bookstores. The process will parallel Bookshop.org’s existing program for sharing profits with independent bookstores. In addition to the Juneteenth donation, we made three additional contributions in June, July, and August, with disbursement to bookstores expected to begin in September.

Our contributions were split equally among all participating bookstores, and can be used to support any activity that promotes books and reading in the local community, such as school programming, author event technology costs, and basic monthly operating costs.

This program supports Black-owned independent bookstores with brick-and-mortar storefronts that are open or have a history of their storefront being open to the public for 20 hours a week or more, in a U.S. location. To find out more about how to participate, please email partnerships@bookshop.org.

U.S.

16.7 Million

BOOKS DONATED


Penguin Random House U.S. has donated more than 16.7 million books since 2014, the company’s first full year as PRH.
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Company-Wide Read to Facilitate Discussions and Change

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Company-Wide Read to Facilitate Discussions and Change

As part of our long-term Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Action plan, we introduced our first-ever company-wide read, How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, and will facilitate discussions across our company on this important topic. Employees are encouraged to share their ideas and perspectives openly with one another, fostering learning, understanding, and belonging.

U.S.

60,000

VOLUNTEER HOURS


Penguin Random House U.S. offers more than 60,000 hours of paid volunteer time for employees every year.
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Dinner on the House

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Dinner on the House

Dinner on the House is an annual employee volunteer experience designed to serve those who may need a helping hand during the holiday season. Every year, our employees travel to the City Harvest Food Rescue Facility in Queens to fill 1,500 boxes with holiday meals for families-in-need.

Worldwide

WE ARE STILL IN

WITH THE PARIS AGREEMENT


In 2019, Penguin Random House reconfirmed its 2017 support of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
U.S.

1st Publisher

TO JOIN REBA


In 2018, Penguin Random House U.S. was the first book publisher to sign on to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA).
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READ TOGETHER, BE TOGETHER Initiative

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READ TOGETHER, BE TOGETHER Initiative

Our two children’s divisions, Penguin Young Readers and Random House Children’s Books, in partnership with Meredith Corporation’s Parents, launched READ TOGETHER, BE TOGETHER (#ReadTogetherBeTogether), a nationwide initiative that celebrates the importance and power of reading with young children. Originally slated to launch in summer 2020 with nationwide retail, educator, and consumer activations, the program began in March, in light of COVID-19, with a series of daily virtual storytimes with bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators, as well as celebrity readers.

As part of READ TOGETHER, BE TOGETHER, we are donating 750,000 books to First Book. To meet the urgent need expressed by educators coping with school closures, the donated books will be sent to programs and schools that are currently delivering books, food, and supplies to our youngest citizens who are isolated and locked out of a learning environment. In addition to the book donation, we are also covering the cost of shipping the books to First Book, valued at $25,000.

U.S.

LEED-Certified

SINCE 2008


Penguin Random House’s U.S. headquarters was the second existing building to be LEED-certified in 2008, and was recertified in 2014.
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Walking for a Cause

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Walking for a Cause

The Global Walk is an annual, company-wide fundraising event held in New York City, which supports local nonprofit organizations that align with our commitment to social responsibility and giving back to communities in need. Past fundraising recipients include The Legal Aid Society, Project HOPE, Girls Write Nowi, Too, Arts Collective, and Barbershop Books, among others. Over the past five years, employees have raised more than $240,000 for our beneficiaries.

Worldwide

100% Worldwide

USE OF SUSTAINABLE PAPER


By 2020, all paper sourced by Penguin Random House worldwide for its books will come from certified mills.
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Out of Print Donates to Help Independent Bookstores

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Out of Print Donates to Help Independent Bookstores

In response to the difficult financial choices so many of our indie bookstore partners are having to make in the wake of COVID-19, Out of Print, one of Penguin Random House’s companies, found itself in a unique position to help. For a couple days, 25% of sales on its website were donated to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), to lift bookstores hit hardest by the social-distancing efforts and forced closures across the nation. This special retail event raised $19,500 for booksellers in need.

The $19,500 raised will help 19 families of bookstore employees to pay the rent and cover expenses for a month. Binc has more than 400 claims in process, and more are expected. Out of Print plans to continue to use its platform and merchandise to show appreciation and to assist various teacher, librarian, and bookstore groups during this crisis. The fundraiser was included in a special offer for tote bags that also served as a bit of “retail therapy” for readers while they supported the bookstores they love.

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Bringing Books to Juvenile Courtrooms

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Bringing Books to Juvenile Courtrooms

In 2018, we collaborated with the Legal Aid Society in a new campaign called Let Them Read, which brings books into courtrooms for young New Yorkers to read while they wait for their cases to be called. We donated more than 200 titles for the launch of the pilot program in Brooklyn. Books were historically not allowed in courtrooms, but attorneys successfully made the argument that providing books would give young New Yorkers something productive to do while waiting in court. To learn more, click here and here.

U.S.

$187,500

TEACHER GRANTS AWARDED


The Penguin Random House Teacher Awards for Literacy awards public school teachers cash grants and book donations.
U.S.

PEN America Supporter

LONG-TIME PARTNERSHIP


The publishing industry’s leading supporter of PEN America, Penguin Random House U.S. helps fight for the freedom of expression.
U.S.

1,000,000+

CHILDREN’S BOOKS DONATED


Penguin Random House U.S. donated more than one million of its children’s books to First Book in the Obama family’s name.
U.S.

$2.7 Million

COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED


Since 1993, Penguin Random House U.S. has been awarding high school students scholarships through its Creative Writing Awards.
U.S.

Sponsor

OF THE BLACK CREATIVES FUND


Penguin Random House U.S. expanded its partnership with We Need Diverse Books to create the Black Creatives Fund, which will encourage and amplify the work of Black writers who are seeking publication, to bring more Black voices and stories to the world.
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Indies With Impact Bookstore Grants

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Indies With Impact Bookstore Grants

Together with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), in 2019 we announced a new grant opportunity for independent bookstores. Indies with Impact honored two bookstores that work in tandem with a community nonprofit or organization of their choice in a program that strengthens their local communities and encourages a passion for reading. We launched this grant to recognize, support, and strengthen the already robust connections bookstores have with their communities. To learn more, click here. To learn more about our 2019 winner, click here.

U.S.

200+

EMPLOYEES INVOLVED


More than 200 employees are actively involved in the Diversity & Inclusion Council at Penguin Random House U.S.
U.S.

#1 Forbes

AMERICA’S BEST MID-SIZED EMPLOYER


In 2018, Penguin Random House U.S. was ranked as the #1 best Midsize Employer in America.
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DK's Sustainability Working Party

International
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DK's Sustainability Working Party

DK’s global Sustainability Working Party was created to deliver plans on sustainability as volunteers from our offices around the world meet monthly to create and execute our global strategy. The meetings also act as a forum to discuss ideas that will drive forward sustainability initiatives. We also have local colleague-led Green committees dedicated to encouraging sustainable behaviors among colleagues, including reducing printing and single-use plastic. These committees also participate in local and global events throughout the year to raise awareness about environmental causes, such as Earth Day and World Environment Day.

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Supporting Local Booksellers With #SaveIndieBookstores

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Supporting Local Booksellers With #SaveIndieBookstores

We are committed to supporting bookstores as special places that provide a source of comfort, information, and imagination to their local communities. As ever, we strive to be the best partner, now and in the future, for our bookselling community, and we remain supportive of those retail partners who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis.

In response to COVID-19, we expanded our support with a new initiative to donate 30% of book purchases made on our website to the #SaveIndieBookstores campaign of our long-standing partner, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc). This initiative directly benefited booksellers who urgently needed financial help with medical bills, household expenses, and other essentials.

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Response to Australian Bushfire Crisis

International
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European Space Agency

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NASA Worldview, processed by Pierre Markuse

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NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Response to Australian Bushfire Crisis

In late 2019 and early 2020, Australia was ravaged by the worst bushfires ever experienced in the country. Across four states, lives and livelihoods were lost, homes destroyed, and our wildlife and their natural habitats critically impacted. PRH Australia, with the support of PRH Canada and PRH U.S., raised $75,000 through fundraising events across all sites, and that money was subsequently distributed to Australia Red Cross and wildlife rescue organizations in the most severely impacted states of New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia.

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DK’s Green Pledge

International
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DK’s Green Pledge

At DK, we care deeply about an ethical supply chain and taking positive actions beyond that of a publisher. Our Green Pledge was launched in early 2020 and pulls together all the important work we do to maintain an ethical supply chain, and the positive steps we are planning for the future. Our work is split into four key areas—materials, environment, safety, and sustainable supply chains—and these will continue to be the focus of our efforts. Our Green Pledge acts as an essential framework for our processes, identifying what we have achieved so far in our sustainability goals and what our next steps will be to maintain an ethical supply chain. To learn more about the pledge, click here.

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Conversion to Renewable Energy Credits

U.K.
U.S.
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Conversion to Renewable Energy Credits

We successfully made the transition to purchasing Renewable Energy Credits at our distribution center in Westminster, Maryland, offsetting 100% of its electrical usage and making it possible to support clean energy. Both of our warehouses in the United States now purchase wind credits to offset 100% of their power. Our offices in the United Kingdom also completed their transition to renewable energy in October 2018, and our New York City headquarters is on track to reach 100% wind energy credits by the end of 2020.

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Reduction of Packaging Waste

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Reduction of Packaging Waste

We have been making conscious efforts to reduce our packing materials. In our Returns department, we’ve programmed our shipping machine to create custom-sized cartons for returned books that need to be put back in inventory. This machine creates shipping cartons in the exact sizes required to hold the books, which means that we use less corrugate and no plastic bubble packing material to fill in empty spaces. If needed, we use scrap corrugate to create filler, but, in general, this machine has helped us greatly reduce our packaging waste.

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First Book Publisher to Join REBA

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First Book Publisher to Join REBA

In 2018, we were the first book publisher to sign on to the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) and the 78th company overall to join. REBA is a membership association for large-scale energy buyers to help identify barriers to clean, renewable energy and develop solutions to meet rapidly growing demand. We believe that, as a publisher, we are able to contribute solutions and information on sustainable printing and paper sourcing, and we are thrilled to learn how we can be more sustainable overall from other companies. To learn more, click here and here.

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Penguin Random House Teacher Awards for Literacy

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Penguin Random House Teacher Awards for Literacy

In support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and in recognition of the urgent need to recruit and empower educators of color, together with the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), we reimagined our annual Teacher Awards program for 2020, which we began cosponsoring and administering in 2019.

This year, in lieu of distributing grants for its two competitions, the National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers and the Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry, we made a $25,000 joint donation on behalf of both award programs to the Early Career Educator of Color Leadership Award Program (EC-EOC), which supports early-career teachers of color as they build accomplished teaching careers in literacy education.

Built upon the Penguin Random House Teacher Awards for Literacy, which began in 2012 and has awarded more than $180,000 in teacher grants to date, this NCTE partnership awards two separate and distinct grant awards of $10,000 each: The National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers honors a teacher who inspires their students to read all genres of writing, and the Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry recognizes a teacher who inspires their students to love poetry.

Our partnership with the NCTE recognizes the nation’s most dynamic and resourceful teachers who creatively inspire and instill a lifelong love of reading and poetry in students. The National Teacher Award for Lifelong Readers and the Maya Angelou Teacher Award for Poetry honor teachers’ recognizes and supports educators doing innovative literacy work within their schools and local communities. The awards are open to full- and part-time teachers in public schools, and winners are awarded both cash grants and book donations. To learn more about the awards and our recent winners, click here.

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Company Initiatives for Climate Week NYC

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Company Initiatives for Climate Week NYC

Run by the Climate Group, Climate Week NYC is a place for the world to showcase amazing climate action and discuss how to do more. We supported the weeklong event with our Sustainability Subcommittee holding a series of events and learning opportunities for our colleagues. We had the opportunity to participate in our ongoing company-wide sustainability efforts with activities such as a PRH Green Book Club in-house author event, a mug drive to reduce single-use cups, and Green Mindful Moments, which are short themed company posts that provide tips for ways we can exercise more conscious, sustainable practices in our day-to-day work lives.

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Commitment to the Paris Agreement

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Commitment to the Paris Agreement

In 2017, we joined industry leaders in signing on to the We Are Still In initiative to express our unwavering support of the Paris Agreement on climate change. In 2019, we confirmed again our support for the Paris Agreement as the U.S. government began the process of withdrawing from it. We joined other global companies to call upon the U.S. government not to withdraw from the agreement. To learn more about the We Are Still In initiative, click here.

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Celebrating Earth Day

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Celebrating Earth Day

To celebrate Earth Day in 2019, our Sustainability Subcommittee hosted the first-ever Penguin Random House Green Week. Green Week aims to bring a greater awareness to ways colleagues can live greener, more sustainable lives. The group organized events and activities that were devoted to areas such as environmental conservation, composting and food waste, recycling, and how to get involved and take action locally, as well as programs to help reduce the use of plastic, paper, and energy.

This year, our Sustainability Subcommittee reimagined Green Week for a virtual setting to inspire colleagues to learn more about how to conserve our natural resources, take action locally and at home during this period of social distancing, and provide resources for how to live a greener life. Through an author event and daily green-living tips, our employees directly received actionable resources and information to positively impact our world and environment.

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Joint Donation to Help Protect the Amazon

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©2011CIAT/NeilPalmer

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©2011CIAT/NeilPalmer


Joint Donation to Help Protect the Amazon

On Amazon Day in Brazil, we made a joint donation with our Brazilian publishing group, Companhia das Letras, to the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA), which has worked for 25 years to defend the Amazon and Brazil’s rich socioenvironmental diversity. ISA works with Indigenous communities, quilombolas and extractivists, and historical partners to help protect Indigenous territories and develop sustainable economic alternatives to the exploitation of their lands. We believe that sustainability and environmental protection are a worldwide effort, and we are committed to our ongoing social impact efforts. To learn more about our joint donation, click here.

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DK U.S. Donates More Than 3,000 Books During Lockdown

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DK U.S. Donates More Than 3,000 Books During Lockdown

Nurturing curiosity and supporting causes is a top priority for DK colleagues, and the U.S. team has made several book donations to organizations that promote literacy and serve a crucial role during the COVID-19 outbreak. We donated 2,000 books to First Book to support children affected by U.S. school closures, and gave 300 books to Bess the Book Bus, a Florida-based mobile literacy outreach, to be distributed across the country. Having recently visited the Lower East Side Girls Club, which helps girls and young women on the Lower East Side of New York City, we provided books to be included in care packages for members who may have lost their safe spaces because of the pandemic.

DK also supported two nonprofits in California. To encourage science education, we donated STEM-related titles to Community Resources for Science, which serves schools in low-income communities, and donated more than 500 books to Project Books and Blankies, which provides books to shelters, literacy and after-school programs, classrooms, libraries, and more.

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Transition to LED Lighting

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Costar Group


Transition to LED Lighting

In an effort to reduce our energy use, we installed LED lighting on all floors of our New York City headquarters, and we are installing additional LED light fixtures in our Maryland office and distribution center. LED lighting is 80% more efficient than traditional lighting and emits less heat, thus leaving a lighter impact on the environment. Our collective change to LED lighting will save more than 2,143,000 kilowatt-hour annually, significantly reducing our electricity usage, and the transition at our distribution center alone will create a 67% reduction compared to our former energy consumption from fluorescent light, the equivalent to the removal of 1,515 metric tons of CO2 or the annual electricity use of 175 homes.

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Leading Support in Industry for PEN America

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Leading Support in Industry for PEN America

We are the publishing industry’s leading supporter of PEN America, the U.S. chapter of the world’s leading international literary–human rights organization. PEN’s mission is to defend free expression, elevate marginalized voices, and foster dialogue across boundaries, a mission that mirrors our own core values. As a global community of writers, editors, designers, and free thinkers, we are passionate about upholding and protecting our right to free expression, and, through our partnership with PEN, we celebrate the courage of individuals who constructively challenge censorship and taboo, no matter the odds.

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Empowering New Yorkers to Give Back

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Empowering New Yorkers to Give Back

In celebration of our five-year anniversary as Penguin Random House and to ensure that our authors’ voices carry beyond the page and into our communities, we partnered with the MTA Metro-North Railroad and Grand Central Terminal to create a charitable-giving opportunity through an in-transit reading experience. We created an app that allowed commuters and visitors to download free Penguin Random House book excerpts from inside Grand Central Terminal, on station platforms, and in the Park Avenue Tunnel. A special 5-minute Reads section on the app triggered a donation; for every five minutes read in this section, we donated a book to our charitable partner, Save the Children, up to 25,000 books. The books were distributed through community events, family activities, and holiday celebrations at parks, schools, and libraries. This charitable component empowered New Yorkers to give back to those in need while engaging in a fun, worthwhile activity To learn more about the campaign, click here.

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Reduction of Paper and Single-Use Plastics

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Reduction of Paper and Single-Use Plastics

Globally, we have increased our efforts to reduce single-use plastic and printing in our offices. Simple solutions have helped us make significant impacts, like using branded Penguin Random House mugs instead of one-time-use paper cups, defaulting to double-sided printing to reduce paper waste, and sharing motivation and encouragement in email signatures to limit printing. In the United Kingdom, we’ve implemented reduction projects to remove single-use plastic from shipping boxes and replaced it with reused cardboard. Transitioning to e-contracts alone has reduced paper consumption in the United Kingdom by more than one million units a year. In Australia, we initiated a “Keep Cup Drive” and saved an estimated 70,800 single-use paper cups from the landfill. In India, we took a pledge to make our office plastic-free and increase our efforts toward reduced energy consumption. India replaced all packaged plastic water bottles with Penguin-branded glass bottles; uses biodegradable paper for waste, has a default setting to print double sided, and automatically deletes print commands after a few hours of no response; and introduced Green Hour every week to avoid using electricity and appliances such as laptops and printers.

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Employee Support for Global Climate Strike

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Employee Support for Global Climate Strike

We are committed to climate and environmental protection, and that includes encouraging our colleagues to participate in global movements. As millions of people around the world participated in climate strikes by walking out of their homes, schools, and offices to join in the action for change, our offices in the U.S. and Canada supported our employees who wanted to participate in their local strikes, and they were not required to use paid time off to participate.

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Raising Donations With the Penguin Hotline

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Raising Donations With the Penguin Hotline

An annual event since 2014, the Penguin Hotline runs during the holiday season and is staffed by employee volunteers. Hundreds of employees are on call to help recommend books to anyone trying to find the right title for someone on their holiday list, and the Hotline is “publisher-agnostic,” meaning recommendations can come from various publishing houses. In 2019, the Penguin Hotline also featured various best-selling Penguin Random House authors including Celeste Ng, Jasmine Guillory, and Emma Straub, who personally answered requests. The Hotline also partnered with LitWorld, a nonprofit that addresses global literacy and human rights; we donated $2 for every reader request, up to $10,000. We donated to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, in support of the zoo’s conservation efforts to protect African penguin habitats. To learn more about Penguin Hotline, click here.

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Employee Book Donations for Our Anniversary

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Employee Book Donations for Our Anniversary

Our fifth anniversary as Penguin Random House in July 2018 provided an unprecedented opportunity to unite around the globe to get more books into the hands of more readers. Through a special anniversary global book donation, we offered every Penguin Random House employee worldwide a selection of free books to donate to any philanthropic or nonprofit organization of their choice. Thousands of our employees joined the campaign, and we were able to provide more than 72,000 books to children and adults in need. Recipient organizations included schools, libraries, hospitals, rural development NGOs, and organizations that serve homeless and incarcerated individuals.

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Nonpartisan Campaign to Encourage Voting

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Nonpartisan Campaign to Encourage Voting

We launched Book the Vote, a nonpartisan, company-wide initiative dedicated to encouraging voter registration and turnout, ahead of the 2018 midterm elections to ignite the country’s sense of civic duty by inspiring participation in elections. We provided tools for brick-and-mortar bookstores to create their own displays, community nights, and initiatives toward this shared purpose. We established Book the Vote to encourage every citizen to vote and to highlight just how essential this civic duty is to our democracy. To learn more, click here and here.

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Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation

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Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation

In January 2019, we partnered with the American Library Association to create the Penguin Random House Library Award for Innovation. The award recognizes the libraries and staff who have overcome hardship and adversity to creative lasting innovative community service programs that inspire and connect with readers. It awards $10,000 to a principal awardee and four runners-up $1,000 worth of Penguin Random House titles each. To learn more, click here. To learn more about our 2019 winners, click here.

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#BookstoresAreHolidays With Binc

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#BookstoresAreHolidays With Binc

In December 2019, we partnered with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) on their year-end fundraising campaign. Launched on Small Business Saturday and running through December 31, 2019, we matched all donations made to Binc, up to $15,000. In addition, we also donated $1 for every social media post on Instagram and Twitter that used the hashtag #BookstoresAreHolidays. Binc assists booksellers who have been impacted by disasters or personal financial hardships, and, by November, the Foundation had already assisted 90 booksellers and their families in 2019. The total of $30,000 raised by the end of the year helped at least 13 additional booksellers and their families through economic hardship. To learn more about the campaign, click here and here.

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#BannedTogether for Banned Books Week

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#BannedTogether for Banned Books Week

We are unwavering in our support of writers who seek out truth in their stories, and the readers who embrace them. We commemorate Banned Books Week in September annually, and in 2019 we were thrilled to be #BannedTogether. For every Penguin Random House book purchased during Banned Books Week, we donated $1 to the American Booksellers for Free Expression, up to $20,000. To learn more about our 2019 campaign, click here.

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Free Books at Shakespeare in the Park

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Free Books at Shakespeare in the Park

We have been a longtime supporter of Shakespeare in the Park, one of the cornerstones of the Public Theater’s mission to bring performing arts to New Yorkers. Since 1962, more than 5 million people have experienced more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare’s work and other classical works and musicals. We have supported the Public Theater through monetary donations, as well as by distributing free books to theatergoers waiting in line for tickets. Throughout the years, this has become one of our most popular volunteering opportunities, and many of our bestsellers have been gifted to eager readers. To learn more, click here.

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Giving Back During the Holidays

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Giving Back During the Holidays

Giving back is central to the Penguin Random House experience, and we have created a culture in which employees are encouraged to engage with their communities, both in and out of the office. In December of 2019, a time of joy for some but much need for others, a team of colleagues at Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial in Miami spent their lunchtime feeding those facing housing insecurity. They volunteered at the Miami Rescue Mission, making a donation to provide 250 meals.

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Under One Roof for WorldPride

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Matthew Riemer, Leighton Brown, and Garrad Conley

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Under One Roof for WorldPride

In celebration of WorldPride in 2019, we hosted a live storytelling event, filled with ebbing moments of reflection and jubilance, and featuring some of our leading authors in the LGBTQIA+ community. Attendees were treated to cocktails, light snacks, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, as well as a copy of We Are Everywhere by event hosts Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown. All proceeds from the event were donated to the Lambda Literary Foundation. Authors featured included Sarah McBride, Garrard Conley, Tara Clancy, and Blair Imani, as well as Karah Preiss, cofounder of Belletrist. To read more about the event, click here.

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Writing Boot Camps for Aspiring Authors

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Writing Boot Camps for Aspiring Authors

With the mission to empower aspiring authors from all backgrounds in underserved communities nationwide, we partnered with the Authors Guild Foundation to produce a series of Writing Business Boot Camps across the country. From the end of 2018 to spring 2019, these six boot camps were free to participants due in part to an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and we sent two employees per city to share their publishing and work experience with the writers. Local published authors helped lead each session, alongside representatives from the Authors Guild and Penguin Random House, bringing a variety of experience and knowledge to the program. To learn more, click here and here.

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Advocacy With #MigrationStories

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Advocacy With #MigrationStories

In September 2019, Penguin Classics published The Penguin Book of Migration Literature, a global anthology that looks at our rapidly changing world. Every year, millions of people move to a new country, and these migrants constantly reshape their places of origin and arrival. We believe that, in today’s climate, it is more important than ever to advocate for migrants’ rights around the globe. Penguin Classics led a special social media campaign calling for audiences to share #MigrationStories that have shaped their lives, in order to spread the message that the story of global migration is one we are all part of. A custom section on our website featured five nonprofits, and, as part of our annual matching gifts program, we matched employee donations up to $10,000 in total. To learn more, click here.

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Uncovering Bias Workshops for Our Employees

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Uncovering Bias Workshops for Our Employees

We recognize that creating an environment of inclusivity at our company is as important as publishing a diverse list of authors. We believe that understanding and recognizing the unconscious biases that underlie our beliefs and inform our decision-making is a fundamental first step to achieving this goal. In 2018, we partnered with Steps Drama, a global consultancy that promotes learning and behavior change, to tailor workshops based on real-life scenarios at Penguin Random House that would create a unique learning experience for employees. In 2019, our colleagues trained by the Steps Drama team took over to deliver the workshops internally. Uncovering Bias Workshops are held throughout the year.

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Literary Drag Queen Story Hour

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Photo courtesy of the New York Public Library


Literary Drag Queen Story Hour

During Pride Month in 2019, our LGBTQ Network partnered with Drag Queen Story Hour to produce an exciting Literary Drag Show at the New York Public Library (NYPL) as part of the Library After Hours: Pride Edition. The show featured performances by six top drag queens, who put on exhilarating acts with a literary focus, including readings, lip-syncing, talks, and costume changes into beloved characters such as Little Red Riding Hood, Tinker Bell, and Gandalf. Attendees also had a chance to view the NYPL’s exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. To read more about the event, click here.

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Employee-Led Diversity & Inclusion Council

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Employee-Led Diversity & Inclusion Council

We want everyone who works at Penguin Random House to feel like they belong. To help do so, in 2018 we formed a Diversity & Inclusion Council comprising employees from all areas of our business. The Council is dedicated to facilitating a company culture that fosters inclusion and equity, supporting a broad, wide-ranging spectrum of perspectives. The Council proactively makes recommendations for ways to enrich our culture by amplifying underrepresented voices and providing welcoming and open spaces that empower our employees to publish books that truly reflect the diversity of our world. Diversity & Inclusion Council members have also established Diversity Committees in each of our divisions. With more than 200 employees actively involved, many of these divisional committees have organized special task forces that focus on an array of topics to create a positive, engaging, and inclusive working environment.

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Partnership With Girls Write Now

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Partnership With Girls Write Now

Girls Write Now is a nonprofit organization that pairs underserved young women and gender-nonconforming youth with professional writers as lifelong mentors and role models. We first began working with Girls Write Now in 2017 to produce their annual anthology, which features the voices of the program’s mentees in print. Today, we continue to work with Girls Write Now on a variety of additional initiatives to help foster the professional growth of the program’s mentees, including employee engagement workshops around editing, a partnership to source candidates and get priority referrals for our internship program, and the enlistment of our authors as keynote speakers in the Girls Write Now Live reading series at the New-York Historical Society. To learn more about Girls Write Now, click here. To learn more about the Girls Write Now anthologies and the Agents of Change Award, click here and here.

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Amplifying Diversity in Classrooms

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Suzanne Kaufman

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Suzanne Kaufman

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Amplifying Diversity in Classrooms

We have been listening to educator feedback that developing empathy and respect is a priority in increasingly multicultural classrooms. With this information in mind, together with one of our children’s publishing divisions, Random House Children’s Books, we partnered with First Book on a campaign that centered on the essential themes of diversity, acceptance, and inclusion in its back-to-school efforts in 2019, donating 15,000 copies of a First Book–exclusive, affordable paperback edition of All Are Welcome, written by Alexandra Penfold and illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman. The book features a school with children of different ethnicities, religions, and abilities and from different family structures playing side by side. To learn more about this campaign, click here.

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Books for Special Olympics Youth Athletes

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Books for Special Olympics Youth Athletes

In 2019, we partnered with Special Olympics and the American Library Association to participate in a pilot program to support Special Olympics Young Athletes (SOYA). SOYA is a sport and play program for children aged 2 to 7 with and without intellectual disabilities, where kids learn sports, such as running and throwing, as well as social skills, such as sharing, being team players, and following instructions. SOYA also helps support families, teachers, and caregivers in order to bring inclusive learning and play to communities across the country. To help continue this engagement at home, we donated 500 copies of R. J. Palacio’s We’re All Wonders and 500 copies of Dr. Seuss’s The Sneetches, which were included in special Young Athletes backpacks at participating libraries. To learn more, click here.

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Creative Writing Awards for Students

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Creative Writing Awards winner


Creative Writing Awards for Students

One of our signature programs to identify and celebrate emerging writers since 1993, the Creative Writing Awards is part of our ongoing commitment to promote diverse voices and stories. Creative Writing Award winners have gone on to become professional and award-winning writers. In 2019, we partnered with We Need Diverse Books to expand the scholarship program nationally and award  high school seniors with $10,000 college scholarships for their winning entries. The winners met with author Natasha Díaz, editors, and other publishing professionals before reading their work at an awards ceremony at our headquarters in New York City. To learn more about the program and our recent winners, click here.

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Committed Allyship With Our LGBTQIA+ Community

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Committed Allyship With Our LGBTQIA+ Community

The Penguin Random House LGBTQ+ Network was created in 2013 and aspires to create community among the LGBTQIA+ individuals at Penguin Random House by providing a supportive environment to all employees who share the common idea of nurturing workplace diversity, creating a forum for professional and social opportunities, and aiming to increase awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues, authors, and books.

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DREAMing Out Loud Workshops

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Chris Jackson (Photo credit: Antoine Braxton)


DREAMing Out Loud Workshops

In May 2019, we hosted students from across several campuses of the City University of New York (CUNY) as part of PEN America’s DREAMing Out Loud, a program aimed at students of diverse immigration statuses enrolled at CUNY schools. In collaboration with PEN America and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, we hosted a daylong seminar on the publishing industry at our headquarters in New York City. The career symposium featured panel events with professionals from Penguin Random House and provided participants with one-on-one editorial mentoring from professional writers. Keynote speaker Reshma Saujani, author of the international bestseller Brave, Not Perfect and founder of Girls Who Code, discussed her career as an activist and offered inspirational messages from her latest book. To read more about the seminar, click here.

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One Million Books Donated in the Obama Family’s Name

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One Million Books Donated in the Obama Family’s Name

We are proud to have donated one million of our children’s books in the Obama family’s name to First Book, our longtime partner dedicated to providing books to programs and schools in low-income communities. Plans for the one-million-book donation were originally announced in 2017 when Penguin Random House acquired world publication rights to publish books by President and Mrs. Obama. In 2019, in celebration of Giving Tuesday and our publishing partnership with the Obamas, we increased our giving with an additional donation to First Book. The special Hope Love Give campaign paid homage to the themes of hope, love, and generosity in the beloved Penguin children’s classic Corduroy, and we matched donations from Giving Tuesday to the end of the year, altogether donating an additional 300,000 children’s books while inviting readers to participate in helping us fulfill the book wishes of underprivileged kids across the country. To learn more, click here and here.


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