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Duende-Word BIPOC Bookseller Award Logo

2024 Annual BIPOC Bookseller Award

Duende District & The Word continue with the annual BIPOC Bookseller Awards to celebrate and uplift the BIPOC independent booksellers whose dedication to indie bookstores and their Black, Indigenous, and POC colleagues and communities have touched and influenced countless lives.

 

All BIPOC who work in U.S. independent bookstores in any capacity are eligible to be nominated for the three categories (nominations for the same bookseller in multiple categories is allowed). The winning booksellers will be honored during #MarginsBookselling Month celebrations, and will receive a plaque and a $1,000 prize.

Categories:

Thank you for helping to support this award!

It is with our bookselling community's help that this award is made possible. Thank you for your support and for joining in this celebration.

Activism

This award is for the bookseller who goes above and beyond to advocate for BIPOC booksellers and literary representation, in their stores and communities.

Innovation

This award is for the bookseller whose vision, whether entrepreneurial or programmatic, has shown us what the future of the industry should be.

Leadership

This award is for the bookseller who has dedicated their career to supporting, uplifting, and leading BIPOC booksellers in their stores, communities, regions, and/or nationally, fighting for systemic change for all BIPOC in the bookstore industry.

2024 BIPOC Bookseller Judges

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TAYLER SIMON

Tayler Simon (she/her) is the owner of Liberation is Lit. Liberation is Lit is a bookseller that aims to spark collective action for liberation and community building among readers and book lovers by promoting stories from intersectional experiences. Tayler started Liberation is Lit as a well-established book blog and community focused on social justice topics and leverages her Master of Social Work background in community development, education, and outreach. Through Liberation is Lit, she also helps BIPOC and queer writers to use their voices and stories to ignite movements and has self-published her own poetry collection, Phases.

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ERICA TSO HAIDAS

Erica Tso Haidas is the founder of Belonging Books, a community program provider and pop-up bookstore that centers the voices and stories of people of color and other underrepresented people. She creates and holds space on Cape Cod for these communities to gather in joy, celebration, safety, and rest.Erica is also a founding member of The Arts & Justice Collective, a collaboration of mission-driven organizations that creates a culture of belonging for members of historically-excluded communities through art and social justice. She furthers her racial justice work by practicing pro bono immigration law and volunteering with local racial equity nonprofits and committees.Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Erica spent close to a decade as an attorney in New York City before moving to the Cape. She lives in Brewster, MA, with her two young children, her partner, and sweet dog, Hazel.

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DIANA DOMINGUEZ

Diana Dominguez is the owner and founder of Más Libritos Bookstore, the first and only-Latina bilingual bookstore in Arkansas. It is an intersectional feminist independent pop-up bookstore in Springdale, Arkansas centering the stories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities.

2023 BIPOC Bookseller Award Winners!

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ERICA TSO HAIDAS
Winner of the Activism Award

Erica Tso Haidas is the founder of Belonging Books, a community program provider and pop-up bookstore that centers the voices and stories of people of color and other underrepresented people. She creates and holds space on Cape Cod for these communities to gather in joy, celebration, safety, and rest.

Erica is also a founding member of The Arts & Justice Collective, a collaboration of mission-driven organizations that creates a culture of belonging for members of historically-excluded communities through art and social justice. She furthers her racial justice work by practicing pro bono immigration law and volunteering with local racial equity nonprofits and committees.

Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Erica spent close to a decade as an attorney in New York City before moving to the Cape. She lives in Brewster, MA, with her two young children, her partner, and sweet dog, Hazel.

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JHOANNA BELFER
Winner of the Innovation Award

Jhoanna Belfer is the founder and owner of Bel Canto Books, an independent bookstore with three locations in Long Beach CA. A Filipina-American poet and former hospitality executive, Belfer began hosting pop-up book events in 2018 as a way of connecting her business experience with her lifelong love of reading.

 

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Independent Booksellers Alliance and is a founding member of the Burning Issues Book Club and the Indie Bookstore Field Trips group.

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EGYPT OTIS
Winner of the Leadership Award

Egypt Otis is the Owner of Comma Bookstore & Social Hub, a dedicated Culture Worker, Community Organizer, and devoted mom. Her life’s mission centers around using social justice, BIPOC literature, and culture as powerful tools to mobilize communities into the arts and disrupt systems that marginalize them.

Born and raised with a boundless passion for social change, Egypt’s journey began in Flint, Michigan, where she cultivated her love for literature, BIPOC culture, and social justice. This led her to pursue a degree in political science at the University of Michigan-Flint, laying the foundation for her impactful future.

At the helm of Comma Bookstore & Social Hub, Egypt has created a safe haven that fosters inclusivity, representation, and creativity. Her bookstore has become a vibrant cultural hub, nurturing emerging talents and connecting diverse voices through literature, art, and activism.

As an unwavering advocate for social justice, Egypt has fearlessly championed causes that challenge systemic inequities. She believes in harnessing the power of storytelling and literature to reshape perspectives and drive transformative change.

Egypt’s unwavering dedication and commitment have garnered recognition from major organizations and corporations. Her ability to build sustainable relationships with influential entities such as MasterCard, The Jennifer Hudson Show, and Marvel, to being featured in media news outlets like the New York Times, Blavity, and Crains Detroit exemplifies her ability to leverage partnerships to make a social impact.

2023 Honorees:

All of our 2023 honorees are incredible and creative booksellers. Thank you to all of you for all you do!

 

AL Lazaro, Antonette Franceschi-Chavez, Chardai Powell, Destinee Hodge, Faith Emmert, Jaya Anderson, Julia Davis, Jurni Bayoc, Kaitee Tredway, Kimi Loughlin, Lilia Rosas, Lisa Moser, Lucy Yu, Molly’s Bookstore, OurWattsBookshop, Quen Everett, Reign Kingsberry, Sarah Rafael García, Shaquel, Tanvi Rastogi, Thu Doan, and Veronica Johnson

Thank you for all you do and so much love to our previous award winners! 

Activism: Serena Morales (2020), Denise Chavez (2021), Pilot Viruet (2022)

Innovation: Rosaura (Chawa) Magaña (2020), Dartricia Rollins (2021), Anada Werner (2022)

Leadership: Hannah Oliver Depp (2020), Michelle Malonzo (2021), Calvin Crosby (2022)

Thank you for helping to support this award!

It is with our bookselling community's help that this award is made possible. Thank you for your support and for joining in this celebration.

Sponsors

Thank you to our #MarginsBookselling sponsors who ensure this award is brought to life!

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Additional Sponsors

Thank you to all our #MarginsBookselling donors who make this award possible!

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