A Message from RWA Interim Executive Director Leslie Scantlebury

I'd like to address some concerns that have been brought up recently. I want to say clearly that RWA has failed to protect its members of color and its members from the LGBTQ+ and disabled communities, and failed to offer a safe and inclusive place for all our members, because of its systemic issues with racism and bias. It stops now.

We have lost the trust of our members. The Board and staff know that the only way for us to make things right is to change the organization's culture and address the systemic issues that have failed our members. We appreciate the hard and often painful efforts of members to bring these issues to the forefront and affect change. We know that there is much work to be done.

RWA has entered into new territory recently. We've made some missteps and mistakes. However, that doesn't make us any less committed to the change that needs to happen.

As part of that commitment, the Board and staff are taking steps to respond to members need for more transparency and communication. First, we have created the RWA Updates forum, which all members will have access to by the end of today. This will be a forum dedicated solely for the Board and staff to provide frequent, regular updates to the membership. Please find more about the forum here.

Second, many chapter leaders and members have written into the Board with questions and concerns. We have created a page where we will post the Board’s responses that have broad impact across membership starting today, February 5, and moving forward. You can view this page with the latest response from the Board to a letter from the RWANYC Executive Board here.

The board and staff will implement and see through the changes necessary to make RWA a more welcoming, inclusive organization. I hope that you'll give us the opportunity to show you the organization that RWA will become!


Leslie Scantlebury, Interim Executive Director
Romance Writers of America