My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Book Industry Charitable Foundation, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
A message for the team at BINC, who sponsored my scholarship to ABA's Winter Institute 2018 as a first-time bookseller:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the opportunity to experience the whirlwind of books, conversations, camaraderie, ideas, tips, and supportive words that was my first Winter Institute.
I applied for the scholarship because I found myself at a sort of crossroads: My background is primarily in international environmental policy, and I was unsure whether I wanted to keep that feeling of 'changing the world' on pause while I continued with my new love of bookselling. I had an inkling that I wouldn't be putting it on pause at all, but as a new bookseller, I didn't have even a fraction of the experience or perspective to really see how change could be made through this industry.
And boy, did I get a new perspective in Memphis. In Memphis, I found authors who are steadfast in their commitment to writing books for kids that look like them, booksellers willing and able to spar with anyone downplaying the need for more diversity in the industry, and publishers who are making some slow, but steady, progress in amplifying marginalized voices.
I made so many new friends, both from the far corners of Chicago, and from my home state on the other side of the country. In particular, I was welcomed with open arms and the occasional pointed finger and "Mariana. You're one of us," by the POC folk who understood exactly why I started sobbing when I met Junot Diaz. Together, we will continue to plot and plan and push and nerd out over amazing books.
I learned so much. I'm in this for the long haul. I potentially may have decided that just now, while typing it.
So thank you. Thank you for sponsoring scholarships and thank you for saying hi every time we ran into each other, and of course, thank you for being an amazing resource for booksellers everywhere. I'm sure we will see each other again.