Dana Canedy has always had an obsession and passion for words and books, which would land her a history-making opportunity.
Canedy has become the first Black person to become the senior vice president and publisher of Simon and Schuster, the largest publisher in the country. Before making history, Canedy has spent twenty years as a reporter and diversity. She was also responsible for inclusion and diversity in the New York Times’ newsroom.
She is also an established author and has been the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes. As Npr.org reports, Canedy’s new position comes at a time when the publishing world is facing a lot of deficiencies.
“When I say that I’ve lived with this a long time, remember that it was, I think, 2001 that I, along with some colleagues, won a Pulitzer Prize for a series literally entitled ‘How Race Is Lived In America”, Canedy said.
She continued, “And we’re revisiting this again. So it’s an issue that’s sort of hard to get at. We have its two steps forward, one step back. But I think as it relates to publishing, book publishing, we have an opportunity to bring about meaningful understanding and change in the country with the voices we highlight, be they well-known authors or emerging voices. And I will be paying a lot of attention to that.”
This isn’t the first time that Canedy would face adversity in her career. She recalls the time when an editor tried to discourage her and told her that she should consider a different profession because she would never be a successful journalist.
“Someone may underestimate you, especially if you’re a woman or a person of color, but you never let their narrative become your reality. Pressure makes a diamond, I always say,” Canedy said.
In her new position, she wants to continue the use of storytelling as a way to uplift and inform others. She also wants to be a good example to her son, who she calls her motivation. “I think it’s good for a boy to see his mother go to work every day. It’s not going to be unusual for my son Jordan when he’s in the workplace, to see a woman in a position of power.”