Giller Foundation donates $50K to two organizations that support BIPOC writers

The foundation, which is responsible for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, has made donations to the Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA) and to Diaspora Dialogues. 
Jack Rabinovitch, founder of the Giller Prize, on-stage at the 2013 ceremony. (CBC)

The Giller Foundation, which is responsible for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, has made donations to the Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA) and to Diaspora Dialogues. 

Each organization will receive $25,000.

The donation was inspired by the ongoing challenges society has faced in 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of protests for racial justice around the world.

"It is against this backdrop that the Giller Foundation has chosen to donate to each of these organizations, pledging its ongoing support of inclusivity, diversity, positive change and open dialogue," the Giller Foundation said in a press release.

The Indigenous Literary Studies Association is an academic organization that focuses on teaching and studying Indigenous literature. They also organize the Indigenous Voices Awards, which annually recognize the works of emerging Indigenous writers in English, French and Indigenous languages.

Diaspora Dialogues helps emerging Black, Indigenous and other writers of colour hone their craft through mentorships, development workshops, events and residencies. They also publish TOK Magazine.

"Writers are the lifeblood of our creative communities and diversity is the vital spark that animates the world of literature," Elana Rabinovitch, the executive director of the Giller Foundation, said in a statement.

The Scotiabank Giller Prize is a $100,000 prize that annually recognizes the best in Canadian fiction. It is the richest literary prize in Canada.

Last year's winner was Reproduction by Ian Williams.

Other past Giller Prize winners include Esi Edugyan for Washington Black, Michael Redhill for Bellevue SquareMargaret Atwood for Alias GraceMordecai Richler for Barney's VersionAlice Munro for RunawayAndré Alexis for Fifteen Dogs and Madeleine Thien for Do Not Say We Have Nothing.

The 2020 jury is comprised of Canadian nonfiction writer Mark Sakamoto, Canadian novelists Eden Robinson, David Chariandy and Tom Rachman, and British critic Claire Armitstead.

The 2020 longlist will be announced on Sept. 8, the shortlist will be announced on Oct. 5 and the winner will be announced on Nov. 9.

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