29 stories tagged 'CANADA'

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Celebrating International Literacy Day With Worldreader

CANADA
U.S.
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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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Our Approach to Diversity & Inclusion

WorldWide
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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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Sparking Imaginations With the Raptors 905

CANADA
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Sparking Imaginations With the Raptors 905

Penguin Random House Canada is committed to doing our part to create a fairer society, including by promoting equitable access to meaningful and inspiring reading experiences for marginalized readers. In July 2020, we worked together with First Book Canada and the Raptors 905 basketball team to give one thousand copies of five books by Black authors, about Black characters, to two hundred grade five students in the team’s home region of Peel, Ontario. The kids will read one book a week for five weeks for a total of 905 minutes of reading, coming together at the end of each week to talk about what they’ve read with each other, the book’s author, and community leaders including representatives from Brampton’s Festival of Literary Diversity, with Raptors 905 Head Coach Jama Mahlalela leading the conversation. We’re grateful for the opportunity to help this group of young readers keep connected with each other, engaged with stories that reflect their own identities and experiences, and fired up by their imaginations this summer. To learn more about this program, click here.

Worldwide

Climate Neutral

BY 2030


Penguin Random House will be Climate Neutral by 2030.
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Confronting Racism and Social Inequity

CANADA
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Confronting Racism and Social Inequity

In response to protests against anti-Black racism following the murder of George Floyd, we looked inward to identify what part we play in the problem and, potentially, in the efforts to solve it. As publishers, we are dedicated to amplifying the voices of Black authors, but we know we need to do more to support the efforts for change they and other members of Black communities in Canada, as well as Indigenous and other marginalized communities, are leading. We created an anti-racism action and accountability plan to work toward a more diverse and truly inclusive company, industry, and society. As part of that plan, we made donations of $20,000 each to the Black Legal Action Centre, the Black Health Alliance, and the Nia Centre for the Arts, three Black-led organizations that work in the service of racial equity in their respective areas for members of Black communities in Toronto and nationwide. Beyond this crucial moment, we’re committed to providing ongoing support to organizations working in the area of anti-racism.

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.
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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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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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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Supporting Cancer Research With Read for the Cure

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Supporting Cancer Research With Read for the Cure

Penguin Random House Canada is the founding presenting partner of the national Read for the Cure event series, which recently announced that nearly $100,000 was raised at events in 2019. This is money that goes directly to funding entire projects through the Cancer Research Society. Since 2006, this annual event series has raised more than $1.6 million for cancer research. Employees volunteer at events, and Penguin Random House Canada authors take part in each event. Authors who have participated in past include Margaret Atwood, Vincent Lam, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Linden MacIntyre, Carol Off, Michael Redhill, Catherine Gildiner, Lisa Wingate, Rebecca Makkai, and Miriam Toews.

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Providing Books for Children of Essential Workers

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Providing Books for Children of Essential Workers

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we donated 100 children’s books All About Kids, a Toronto daycare center, so that they could safely provide reading material for the children of essential workers in their care—enough to make sure that the kids would still have something to read while used books were thoroughly sanitized before returning to the rotation.

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Support for the Toronto Public Library

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Scotiabank Giller Prize


Support for the Toronto Public Library

We support the Toronto Public Library (TPL)—the world’s busiest urban public library system—through contributions to their Foundation, including a recent donation toward the construction of the new Jack Rabinovitch Reading Room. Rabinovitch founded the Giller Prize in 1994 to recognize excellence in Canadian literature, and, after he passed away in 2017, his family generously donated his extensive personal library to the TPL. This new 2,500 square-foot reading room will house the collection, making this diverse and important body of Canadian literature accessible to the public and providing a space for authors to read and work. In addition to this donation, we are also proud to support the TPL with contributions to their community bookmobiles, after-school programs for youth, and author readings.

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Supporting Food Banks at the Toronto Public Library

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Supporting Food Banks at the Toronto Public Library

After the Toronto Public Library’s branches were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of locations were repurposed to serve as pop-up food banks. We joined forces with the Toronto Public Library Foundation to help add kids’ books to the food hampers being distributed there for young readers who are without Internet or library access while schools and branches remain closed, as well as donated books for distribution to families in shelters. In total, we donated 2,000 books for young readers as part of a matching campaign that saw us pledge 500 books for every 500 books the Foundation purchased using donations from members of the public.

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Thanking Nurses During the COVID-19 Crisis

CANADA
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Thanking Nurses During the COVID-19 Crisis

In honor of National Nursing Week in May and the World Health Organization’s designation of 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse, we joined forces with Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN) to send a message of thanks to nurses in our home province for their heroic work on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis caring for the sick and vulnerable and protecting the health of our communities. Working together with beloved Canadian author Margaret Atwood, we contributed copies of her recent novel, The Testaments, to be included in care packages that went out to WeRPN’s more than 13,000 members, which also contained gifts of tea, treats, and lotion from other major brand partners. To learn more about our recognition of nurses, click here.

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Getting Books to Families With First Book Canada

CANADA
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Getting Books to Families With First Book Canada

In 2020, we continued our long-standing partnership with First Book Canada with a special focus on getting books to families, both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We donated more than 5,000 books to newcomer, refugee, and Indigenous families across Canada in support of national not-for-profit consortium Mothers Matter Centre’s sixth Adopt-a-Reader campaign, which challenged parents to read with their kids for 15 minutes a day for 15 days and logged nearly 9,000 hours of family reading time this year. When the pandemic struck, we worked with First Book Canada to deliver workbooks to families in Scarborough, Toronto, to help kids starting home-schooling, and have signed on to our partner’s campaign to get one million books to low-income families without home libraries or Internet access while schools and local libraries are closed due to COVID-19. To learn more about First Book Canada’s one-million-book campaign, click here.

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Celebrating Pride in Toronto

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Celebrating Pride in Toronto

Our pop-up Penguin Cart was on-site at the Toronto Pride Parade in 2019, where we partnered with local LGBTQIA+ store Glad Day Bookshop to sell books and host authors, including Gigi Gorgeous. We also raised funds on social media for The 519, a Toronto-based agency that provides services and support for LGBTQIA+ communities, and hosted an in-office drop-in for employees that featured a range of queer-authored and -themed books for staff to take home.

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Employee Support for Global Climate Strike

CANADA
U.S.
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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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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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More Than 200,000 Books for First Book Canada

CANADA
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More Than 200,000 Books for First Book Canada

In our ongoing partnership with First Book Canada, we donated more than 200,000 books in the first half of 2019 to support youth in underserved communities across Canada. At the end of the year, we launched our holiday book-matching campaign that ran from Giving Tuesday to December 31, 2019. For every $4 donation, we donated one book, up to a total of 20,000 books, providing twice as many books to children in need. To learn more about our end-of-year campaign, click here.

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Hosting a Literature Day for DAREarts Students

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Hosting a Literature Day for DAREarts Students

In partnership with First Book Canada, we hosted an inaugural Literature Day for 30 students enrolled in DAREarts, a program that provides leadership development opportunities through arts-based education to children and youth in underserved communities across Canada. The students worked with publishing experts, including designers and editors, learning about the business, contributing to a book cover meeting, and designing their own book covers. They also participated in an interactive talk with illustrator Joe Morse and toured our offices, and each student went home with a selection of books to keep.

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Celebrating I Read Canadian Day

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Celebrating I Read Canadian Day

On February 19, 2020, we celebrated the inaugural I Read Canadian Day. A national campaign spearheaded by children’s author Eric Walters, many of whose books we proudly publish, I Read Canadian Day is dedicated to reading and promoting Canadian literature across the country. The campaign started in the children’s book world and quickly expanded to include Canadian books for readers of all ages, and we also participated, along with a number of our authors and accounts. Staff shared favorite Canadian-authored books on corporate social media channels and appeared on CTV’s Your Morning, a national breakfast television program, to share Canadian “readalike” recommendations for kids. To learn more about I Read Canadian Day, click here and here.

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Book Donations for Housewarming Care Kits

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Book Donations for Housewarming Care Kits

We contributed 5,000 books to housewarming care packages distributed to thirty groups that support women’s shelters across Canada by First Book Canada. Thousands of women and their kids received the gift of a book to read together and some soothing skin care products as they began the transition to a new life via the shelter system. To learn more about the housewarming kit initiative, please click here and here.

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A Canadian Welcome for Michelle Obama

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A Canadian Welcome for Michelle Obama

As part of Michelle Obama’s four-city Canadian tour for her best-selling memoir, Becoming, we provided 40 local community groups with 400 complimentary tickets to distribute to their members. In Toronto, members of A Room of Your Own Book Club were able to meet Mrs. Obama in person and receive copies of Becoming. We also provided 25 tickets to Alberta librarians to attend Mrs. Obama’s Edmonton event. To learn more about her book club meet-and-greet, click here.

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Support for Festival of Literary Diversity

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Support for Festival of Literary Diversity

The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) was founded by writer Jael Richardson to celebrate diversity in literature by promoting underrepresented authors and stories. Based out of Brampton, Ontario, one of Canada’s most culturally diverse cities, the festival marked its fifth anniversary in 2020 with its first-ever all-virtual festival, in light of the circumstances around COVID-19. We were once again a lead partner for its main event in May, providing support through author appearances, sponsorship, and staff involvement. This year, two of our editors held a Process of Publishing workshop via Zoom, informing more than 400 participants about the publishing industry and taking time to answer specific questions during a Q&A segment. And as in past years, select Penguin Random House Canada employees took part in Pitch Perfect, an opportunity for writers to submit sample pages to a publishing professional for one-on-one feedback. To learn more about FOLD, click here.

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Encouraging Mental Health and Wellness

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Encouraging Mental Health and Wellness

We partnered with Bell Let’s Talk in Canada, a program that promotes mental health awareness, to host a free public panel about writing, reading, and mental health. The panel was moderated by Dr. David Goldbloom, director of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation Board, and featured writers Don Gillmor, Jael Richardson, and Yasuko Thanh. A display in our Penguin Shop allowed employees, authors, and guests to share their own messages about wellness and mental health and discover related books. In 2020, our second Mental Health Awareness Month focused on in-house sessions promoting employee well-being, including a Drop Everything and Read event that encouraged everyone to take a break from their computers and enjoy a good book, with free health and wellness titles on offer to staff. To learn more, click here and here.

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Inclusive Leadership Training With Ritu Bhasin

CANADA
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Inclusive Leadership Training With Ritu Bhasin

We engaged award-winning leadership and diversity expert Ritu Bhasin (author of The Authenticity Principle and president of bhasin consulting inc.) as our diversity and inclusion consultant. Together with Bhasin, we are working to create a forward-facing diversity and inclusion strategy. We kicked off these efforts with the introduction of cultural competence and anti-bias training, which has so far been delivered to more than a third of our employees, including all those in leadership positions.

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Expanded Support for Indigenous Voices

CANADA
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Expanded Support for Indigenous Voices

One of our priorities is to support Indigenous voices in Canada. In 2019, for the second year, we were a major supporter of the Indigenous Voices Awards, broadening our support to help establish full-day mentorship-based activities that would cultivate relationships among emerging and established Indigenous writers and provide practical tools for navigating the publishing industry. Additionally, for National Indigenous History Month in June, we focused on sharing the work of our published Indigenous writers with a Celebrate Indigenous Voices audiobook campaign across social media and podcast advertising. We are proud once again to support the third annual Indigenous Voices Awards in 2020. To learn more, click here and here.
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Employee-Led Salon Series for Women

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Employee-Led Salon Series for Women

Women Talking is a unique salon-style series run by an employee-led team that aims to empower female-identifying colleagues through access to peer support and advice, learning and growth opportunities, and guest speakers. Since launching in 2018, we have hosted quarterly events, including author conversations (highlights include appearances by Dionne Brand and Carmen Maria Machado), goal-setting workshops, and book discussions. To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, Women Talking highlighted women employees’ favorite books by and for women and led employee fundraising efforts in support of Sistering, a multiservice agency for at-risk women in Toronto who are facing housing insecurity.

For International Women’s Day 2020, Women Talking presented an in-house author panel on the global IWD 2020 campaign theme, #EachforEqual, which included Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Tara Henley, and Anna Mehler Paperny. In addition, our Social and Charitable Committee led a book sale and donation drive of clothing and menstrual products for Sistering, as well as put together a Women’s Library consisting of donated titles nominated by employees. To learn more about Sistering, click here.


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