Booksellers who have implemented programming that focuses on making women’s and minority voices heard, especially involving the larger retail community, are asked to contact ABA Education Manager Lisa Winn to collaborate on potential ABA education.
Last week, Bookselling This Week highlighted Bookshop Santa Cruz, which recently worked with the local community to help launch a new downtown group, The Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), made up of nearly 40 downtown businesses and organizations owned or managed by women. The effort was part of the Santa Cruz, California, store’s year-long Women’s Voices promotional event, created this January in response to the #MeToo movement to elevate women writers, further the dialogue around issues facing women today, and create a community conversation about equality through book selections, author events, reading challenges, children’s programming, and more.
Every month for Women’s Voices, the bookstore chooses a topic central to the lives of women and then finds one book, written by a female-identifying author, to build an entire month of programming around. For July, the store, which is owned by Casey Coonerty Protti, chose “Women & Entrepreneurship” and Grace Bonney’s Good Company: Where Creativity Meets Business and joined with the local downtown association and local women business owners to help launch AWE.
For its part, the store hired a photographer to interview female business owners and create “Downtown Women’s Voices” posters for AWE businesses to hang in their windows. The bookshop also created a passport challenge based on the Find Waldo Local program to drive customers to participating businesses, and held a launch event for AWE attended by more than 120 people.
“Casey’s initiative is a great example of how a bookstore can respond in the #MeToo era in a focused and actionable way,” said ABA Education Manager Lisa Winn. “This initiative of hers includes not just book groups and book sales, but effects change by doing the work where it matters — her community. At the same time, it highlights the downtown indie retail scene and elevates women business owners and so the local economy.”
Booksellers who have created similar women-focused and/or minority-focused programming are invited to contact ABA Education Manager Lisa Winn to discuss collaborating on Winter Institute and other ABA education.