We booksellers are watching the horrors at the border and are feeling small and admittedly helpless. But we are neither of these things.

We are part of an engaged, active, caring literary community of booklovers. We are involved in our local schools, business associations, and artistic communities. We have community leaders like Denise Chávez of Casa Camino Real Book Store and Art Gallery, who has spearheaded the  “Libros Para el Viaje” book drive for refugee families. We are involved in our local and national communities. We are integral cultural institutions and have an opportunity, an obligation, to assert what a culture of words and books and imaging has given us -- the ability to see and form a better future. 

We are deciding to use our independent bookstore in Madison, WI to raise money for RAICES, the organization in Texas providing low-to-no cost legal services to folks who are imprisoned at our border. We dreamed this initiative and named it #BookstoresAgainstBorders. We are asking independent bookstores across the country to join us July 5th - 7th by donating a percentage of your sales to RAICES . We are doing this not only to raise more money for this vital organization but to show the country we are more than just places of business, we are members of our communities in ways that go far beyond the transactional. 

We understand profit margins for small bookstores can be narrow and want owners to choose what percentage of their sales they are able to donate. Our suggestion is 5-15%. If any percentage is too dear for your budget (we get it, we really do), we would appreciate your support through sharing our images ( link here) and hashtag #BookstoresAgainstBorders on your social media.

So, how do we do this?

Levels of involvement:

You are a bookstore who will commit to donating a percentage of your sales and/or wants to run an active direct fundraising campaign by your audience.

  1. Go to this link, click JOIN TEAM. You will be prompted to create an account AND ALSO make a fundraiser page, which will be a subset of the #bookstoresagainstborders team raising money for RAICES. Feel free to adopt any of our language or write your own explaining your store's involvement. 
  2. Brand your store's fundraiser with your name and a personal story. Use Classy's tools and the attached images as well as your own creativity and your own marketing and social media to promote your store's fundraiser to your audience.
  3. Use the attached images to promote the team's fundraiser, to streamline and boost the online presence of the initiative. Please post to social media, use hashtag #bookstoresagainstborders, and drop us a line at bookstoresagainstborders@gmail.com to let us know you are participating and to link us to your fundraiser.

You are a bookstore or publisher that can't commit to donating a percentage, but you would like to be a one-time donor and/or give your followers and customers a chance to donate. 

  1. Use the attached images and #bookstoresagainstborders to promote the link to your followers using your social media and/or email lists.
  2. Use the 'donate' button on the Team page

Don't have time to come up with your own text to post to Social Media? Feel free to use ours:

This initiative is open to everyone who loves books. We encourage readers, authors, publishers, industry professionals, individual booksellers, and more to donate and to help us spread the word. You are all welcome to join our fundraising team at whatever level feels appropriate to you and to ask your networks to join the #bookstoresagainstborders cause.

Lastly, please forward this information to anyone you think might be interested in joining us in #BookstoresAgainstBorders.

In anger / hope / solidarity,
Gretchen Treu, Wes Lukes, and the staff of
A Room of One's Own Bookstore
Madison, WI