Giving Back

Our Colleagues Make Care-Cards on National Gun Violence Awareness Day, Host #WearOrange Post-It Note Walls at BookCon

Last Friday, June 1, Penguin Publishing Group recognized National Gun Violence Awareness Day by organizing an event at our 375 Hudson Street offices for Penguin Random House employees to make and write care-cards for families of victims of gun violence. Over the course of two hours, dozens of our colleagues created more than 130 hand-designed and thoughtfully written cards. They’ll be distributed to members of the Everytown Survivor Network, which brings together survivors, victims, and loved ones of those affected by gun violence.

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Penguin Publishing Group’s partnership with Everytown for Gun Safety continued the next day at BookCon, where PPG and Everytown invited book lovers passing through the Penguin Random House booth to show their support for #WearOrange by writing and posting orange Post-It notes to several dedication walls labeled “I #WearOrange because…”. For every Post-It note shared, Penguin Random House donated $5.00 to Everytown for Gun Safety. Representatives from the Everytown Authors Council, including Penguin author Chris Healy, joined Penguin Random House staff in greeting and talking to visitors, many of whom wanted to share their own stories. The #WearOrange movement originated on June 2, 2015 in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Chicago one week after marching in President Obama’s 2nd D.C. inaugural parade in January 2013. In the days and weeks following, Hadija’s friends commemorated her by wearing orange – the color many hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from harm. There are several ways to donate to #WearOrange and its partner organizations, who are working hard every day to build a future where every American can live free from gun violence. For a full list, click here.

How “Rev Up for Reading” Inspires Crawfordsville Students to Read

The chance to engage with a real-life Monster Truck has sparked many students’ interest in reading books at a number of elementary schools in Crawfordsville, Indiana, thanks to Rev Up for Reading, a wonderful program created by Beth Hiatt, Manager, Receiving, at our Crawfordsville distribution center, and her husband. Beth explains, “With our program, teachers challenge their students to read. They set a ‘minutes goal’ and track their progress throughout the school year. As a reward, we bring our Monster Truck to their school towards the end of the academic year.

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“We've worked with schools since 2009, usually two a year. Our first school had 330 kids who read 56,000 books in order to ride in our truck. More recently, we just do displays; let the kids see the truck; answer questions, and give away pictures, Frisbees, posters, and my favorite Penguin Random House books.” Beth branded the program Rev Up for Reading, because, “for me, this is where the rubber meets the road: My love for books and reading; and supporting reading for our youth. “When we hear the stories about kids who could not read at the beginning of the school year; but can read by the end of the year it inspires us to do more. When we hear that kids read 30,000 minutes – that's one class of 22 - 24 students – just to see our truck, it means we are doing something right.” Look at the expressions on the faces of these children – who read for 30,000 minutes – posing with the Monster Truck. Beth and her husband deserve special commendation for the remarkable results that their program has achieved. For more information about Rev Up for Reading, click here.

Author Jojo Moyes Rescues UK Literacy Program "Quick Reads"

Jojo Moyes, author of #1 bestselling Pamela Dorman / Viking / Penguin books such as ME BEFORE YOU, AFTER YOU and STILL ME, learned that Quick Reads, a UK-based literacy program for adults with reading challenges, was in dire financial straits and on the verge of closing. So she personally donated £360,000 in order to ensure that Quick Reads, which has distributed 4.8 million copies of short novels by big-name author since the program began in 2006, will be able to operate for at least three more years.

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“Having written a Quick Reads myself and spoken to readers who had benefited from the scheme, I knew how important it was," Moyes told The Bookseller. She added that it is a "really effective low-cost method of improving the reading skills and enjoyment" of less confident readers. Penguin Random House UK Chair Baroness Gail Rebuck, who founded Quick Reads, commented, “I have enormous gratitude towards Jojo. You can see in all her books her faith in the human spirit and how invested she is in humanity, which is reflected in this decision. I hope she will bring fresh insight to the campaign over the next three years.” Currently run by The Reading Agency, Quick Reads was set to close after it had been unable to secure a new long-term sponsor to cover its operating costs. Reading Agency chief executive Sue Wilkinson told The Guardian: "We couldn't be more thankful to Jojo for recognizing the importance of the scheme and so generously providing the funding to enable it to continue.” Moyes said, "My aim is to buy them a window, so we can put other long-term funding in place at the end of three years … it's a win for authors, it's a win for publishers and it's certainly a win for readers."

Support the #WearOrange Movement and National Gun Violence Awareness Day on Friday, 6/1

National Gun Violence Awareness Day is on June 1. This year, Penguin Publishing Group has partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety and the #WearOrange movement to recognize the date and to help send a powerful message to end gun violence. 

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Other ways to participate include wearing an orange piece of clothing on June 1 or creating your own #WearOrange image for social sharing. Additionally, Penguin Publishing Group and Everytown will be partnering on an in-booth activation at BookCon, at the Javits convention center, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. on June 2. Attendees can participate in a dedication wall as well as a #WearOrange photo op. The #WearOrange movement originated on June 2, 2015 in honor of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Chicago one week after marching in President Obama’s 2nd D.C. inaugural parade in January 2013. In the days and weeks following, Hadija’s friends commemorated her by wearing orange – the color many hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others from harm. There are several ways to donate to #WearOrange and its partner organizations, who are working hard every day to build a future where every American can live free from gun violence. For a full list, click here.  

DK Supports STAR WARS’ ‘ROAR FOR CHANGE’ Challenge

DK recently participated in Roar For Change, a global challenge organized by Lucasfilm and Star Wars: Force for Change in support of UNICEF. The initiative invites fans and families to share their own version of Chewbacca’s iconic roar. For each public post, like, or share on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter that includes #RoarForChange through May 25, Star Wars: Force for Change U.S. will donate $1 to UNICEF USA, up to $1 million. Funds will be used to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world.

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Fans can share their best Chewbacca impersonation, don Hasbro’s Electronic Chewbacca mask, or create a Dubsmash using one of Chewbacca’s best-known roars from the Star Wars saga, which will be hosted on the app’s homepage for the duration of the campaign. The initiative kicked off with a video featuring the cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story, revealing Chewbacca’s diva behavior on the set of the new movie, which hits theaters on May 25. Check out DK’s video here. DK invites PRH Star Wars enthusiasts to join the #RoarForChange challenge and support this worthy cause. Learn more about the campaign at ForceForChange.com. *Campaign hashtag: #RoarForChange Star Wars: Force for Change, a charitable initiative from Lucasfilm and Disney, harnesses the strength of Star Wars to empower and improve the lives of children around the world. Since 2014 when it was inspired by Star Wars fans, Star Wars: Force for Change has raised over $16 million to date for charitable causes around the world.
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Penguin Random House Celebrates Female Authors and Supports Women’s Rights on International Women’s Day

Today, we are celebrating International Women’s Day with our readers by highlighting many of our publishing divisions’ female authors on the Penguin Random House consumer website. On this Day, which annually honors the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women globally, we will showcase treasured classics, major biographies, and contemporary storytelling, and more we publish by and about women. See a title sampling here

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To further honor this International Women’s Day and recognize the importance of women’s rights, Penguin Random House will make a significant book donation to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence. Penguin Random House proudly partners with organizations that share in our commitment for gender equality and social inclusion.

Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Our Vision for 2020

Today, we complete our eight-part Social Impact Highlights Summary  series by highlighting our vision for 2020.

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Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Environment & Sourcing

This eight-part series highlights individual sections from our first-ever Social Impact Highlights Summary. Today’s installment features environment and sourcing.

We are constantly inspired to do more with less. We are dedicated to the practices of responsible book publishing, and our policy on environmental sourcing highlights our values and actions on conservation and sustainability. We are proactive in minimizing the energy consumption in our offices and facilities by adopting cleaner energy sources, and it shows.

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Conservation & Sustainability

Along with reduction of resources, we are engaged in efforts to help protect the planet and its future. We contribute to causes that preserve wildlife and improve the air we breathe, and we express unwavering support on global and pressing issues such as the Paris Agreement.

Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – Creativity & Culture

This eight-part series highlights individual sections from our first-ever Social Impact Highlights Summary. Today’s installment features creativity and culture.

Creativity often equals choices. As a company, we foster the development of a wide range of viewpoints in the writers we publish and the stories they share around the world. We broaden the creative spectrum through our partnerships and programs that discover new authors and connect books to new places.

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Engaging people with the art of storytelling is central to our Social Responsibility goals. We champion editorial independence and advocate for the freedom of expression in the child we mentor, the authors we honor and the illustrators we inspire. Please click on image to enlarge it

Creativity & the Arts

At Penguin Random House, we are passionate about fostering the freedom to create for our authors and aspiring writers. We are committed to the development of new literary talent and of stories that celebrate diversity, push boundaries and speak from the heart.  

Penguin Random House: A Story of Shared Values – People & Community

This eight-part series highlights individual sections from our first-ever Social Impact Highlights SummaryToday’s installment features people and community. 

People are at the heart of what we do at Penguin Random House. From our employees to our booksellers and ultimately our readers, we believe in the power of reading— and how just one story can change a perspective for a lifetime, enriching ourselves and our global community in ways we never could have imagined.

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Our Drive to Help

At Penguin Random House, community involvement is not a side story. We volunteer to support and fundraise for organizations around the world that are aligned with our mission to foster a universal passion for reading.