The Stacks x The Catherine Coleman Foundation Fundraiser

It’s Giving Tuesday, so what better day to kick off our annual fundraiser? This year, we’re supporting The Catherine Coleman Foundation, founded by MacArthur Genius Award winner and dear friend of the podcast Kiese Laymon in honor of his grandmother.

The Catherine Coleman Literary Arts, Food and Justice Initiative now permanently resides at the Jackson State University Margaret Walker Center after its start at The University of Mississippi in 2020. It gives emerging Mississippi writers new avenues for creativity along with a renewed connection with their community’s historical social justice movements. The initiative will offer programming and writing seminars led by JSU students, faculty and special guests aimed at honing the skills of its young people as readers, writers and editors.

Kiese explained the program’s mission in announcing its move to JSU: “My grandmama sent all her daughters to Jackson State. This initiative will continue to help young folks in Jackson become the next Danielle Buckingham or Leslie McLemore Jr., two of the greatest young artists in Mississippi… Our hope is to ritualize workshops and incredible food for young folks in our community who might not get a lot of time to write and read ‘creatively.’ We also want young people to consider the creativity that gets food from the land to the table in Mississippi.”

Kiese himself plans to match up to $50,000 in donations to the program for the next month.

Our Stacks community goal is to raise $25,000.

If you’re able, please join The Stacks in raising money toward expanding and supporting the literary arts for Mississippi youths. Consider forgoing one new book this month in favor of making a $25 donation to this incredible organization.

The Stacks x Million Book Project Fundraiser

We’re doing something big to celebrate three years of The Stacks! Our annual fundraiser is back!

For the next 30 days, The Stacks will be raising money for The Million Book Project to support their mission of bringing books and authors into prisons to facilitate meaningful conversations that break down barriers. The Million Book Project is an initiative that harnesses the power of literature to counter what prison does to the spirit. It was founded by author, poet, attorney, and activist Reginald Dwayne Betts. The Project’s work is to build a 500-book Freedom Library and place it in prisons in every state in this country, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. These curated libraries promise to build community among and between those incarcerated, prison staff, and friends and family back home.

The goal for The Stacks community is to raise $50,000 which will help to build ten new 500-book Freedom Libraries.

I know this is a whole lot of money, but I truly believe in the power of this community to do incredible and unbelievable things motivated by our love of books. Why should this be any different? If possible, I am asking folks to forgo buying a book this month, and instead to make a $25 donation for this incredible organization.

Take a look at what your donations will support:

$5 – Gifts in the single digits say solidarity & help nurture The Million Book Project.

$25 – Put a book or two in the hands of a reader in prison.

$150 – Provide a book club in a prison with a set of a next book to digest & discuss.

$500 – Supply the latest book of the month to book club participants in multiple prisons across a state.

Above & Beyond – Help to fill the shelves of a Freedom Library with books that open worlds and feed dreams.

Due to strict prison regulations we can only accept monetary donations through the link below, please do not send any physical books.

Please note: The Million Book Project has its institutional home within the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School. Click the button above to donate online or send checks to: Yale Law School Fund ATTN: The Million Book Project, 127 Wall Street. New Haven, CT 06511 (Please include in your memo line: Designation Number 38701)