Our Antiracist Statement

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June 12, 2020

Dear Reader,

Over the last week we have taken some time to reflect on ways to be more effective allies. To start off, we want to make this perfectly clear: Black Lives Matter. BookPeople condemns white supremacy and the police brutality that has long targeted the Black community. We stand with those who are out in our streets, speaking out and fighting for Black lives. Systemic racism is not a matter of opinion, it is fact.

We believe that one of our roles as a community bookstore is to provide access to books and educational resources that will inspire and enact change. However, there's always room to be better, to speak louder, and to do more. We are 100% committed to doing the work, to listen, to learn, to take action.

We have opened the dialogue internally between leadership and staff members in order to create a roadmap for ourselves. We have compiled specific action points to take moving forward, both in the immediate future and in envisioning BookPeople's long term commitments. We are committing to consistently use our platform to elevate Black voices. We are committing to actively and consistently provide BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) authors and illustrators with the visibility they deserve and rarely receive, and continue to build an inclusive, safe, and welcoming space where booksellers and our community of readers can come together to discover, listen, engage, and learn.

As time goes on, we will continue to identify more ways our bookstore can make a positive, lasting impact within our own business and in our community. The conversation does not end here. This is just the first step. 

Our commitments include:

  • Build permanent featured spaces in our store, website, and subscription programs to consistently highlight and uplift BIPOC voices.
  • Implement mandatory courses on implicit bias for all staff.
  • Open a dialogue with our whole staff to make BookPeople a safer and more open workplace for all.
  • Create and foster more safe communication structures that make it viable for employees to speak up.
  • Regularly work with more schools in our local districts to put books into the hands of as many young readers as we can possibly reach.
  • Seek out and foster more community partnerships and use our resources and platform to support local organizations engaged in the fight against systemic racism and social injustice.
  • Request a wider selection of advance reading copies from Own Voices authors by leveraging our existing relationships that we have in the book world.
  • Work to diversify our events calendar, providing a platform for more Black authors and voices from marginalized communities. We invite you to attend these events and support the authors' work.
  • Commit to reading and reviewing more books by BIPOC owned publishers and other small presses that amplify marginalized voices.

We invite you to hold us accountable, and join us in these efforts to better our community.

We have also gathered a list of resources recommended by our staff and leaders in the community that you can find on this page. We hope the resources provided will help you discover new authors and illustrators, bring about important questions, encourage necessary conversations, and turn reading into action.

We'll say it again, and say it louder: BLACK LIVES MATTER.