This was a question that came up on a writing forum.
Popular opinion: "In the past, ONLY white male authors were given the chance to be heard. The industry still heavily favors them. This is nothing more than an attempt to capitalize on the diverse stories that could be told if diverse voices were actually allowed to speak. Especially after history silenced them again and again."
We shouldn't be obsessed with diversity; it should just be a natural part of life, and of books, as it comes and when it comes. Forcing an agenda is not the way. As a matter of fact, it appears arrogant - "we are the enlightened, liberal-minded publishers, and we will do our part in molding society as WE see fit".
Not long ago, I was browsing agents and there was one well-established agency whose website said, "we don't accept unsolicited manuscripts at present, but if you're #ownvoices, we promise to consider your work AND read your full MS AND send feedback."
Some quotes from Twitter, after searching #mwsl and #ownvoices:
"Anyone who sends me an query this week, will get a response with 24 hours.
While I wait for this lunch meeting to start: I want all the epic YA fantasy with intersectional diversity and .
"Agents, I am eagerly on the hunt for work by black writers in YA (any genre with a romantic plot or subplot) and adult romance.
I'm still really looking for an amazing YA Fantasy manuscript based off Native American/Indigenous American mythology or tribal lore! I still really want this story written by a Native American writer. Where are you?!
I could go on and on. I won't post names, but these are major agents most new authors would be desperate to grab the attention of.