Valerie Brandes, founder of inclusive independent publishing house Jacaranda Books, has been named one of Powerlist magazine’s 100 most influential black Britons for 2018. Ms Brandes joins a legacy of black women publishers to make the list, including Verna Wilkins and Ellah Allfrey.
Valerie Brandes founded Jacaranda Books with the idea for bringing diverse voices to the market. Since launching its first title in 2014, Jacaranda has published 30 titles by a raft of talented authors, including multiple award winners Irenosen Okojie, Fiston Mwanza Mujila, and Bernice L. McFadden.
Ms Brandes is an ardent promoter of diversity and inclusivity in publishing and a staunch supporter of social justice. She served on the committees for Equip and Fiction Uncovered and has given talks across the UK on publishing, inclusivity and female entrepreneurship.
Speaking about being included on the Powerlist, she said: “This is a wonderful surprise and I am deeply honoured to have been selected, especially given the level of excellence of this year’s recipients. The importance of representation can never be stated enough and since its inception, the incredible work of this award has meant many young people can visualise career paths, and industries they may never have considered as an option. Thank you for recognising our work at Jacaranda.”
The Powerlist was established to highlight the achievements of black Britons across a wide range of industries including science, technology and the arts. Other names in the list include new British Vogue Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful, grime star Stormzy and Ofcom chief Sharon White. Winners were honoured at the fourth annual Powerlist Influencers Dinner 24thOctober at Drapers’ Hall, hosted by television presenter June Sarpong. Sponsored by EY, the event will include an exhibition of historical British black women curated by the Black Cultural Archives.
To get in contact with Valerie Brandes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet her at @valrey.
Powerlist 2018 has been sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group, EY, Viacom and ELC. For more information about Powerlist 2018 please contact Eva Simpson: email@example.com | 07801184016. Follow the Powerlist online with #PowerList2018 or tweet @powerlistmag