Who We Are
We are a coalition of nonprofits, book distribution programs, literacy projects, book publishers, librarians, and university professors. We are authors, educators, and literacy advocates who aim to foster and grow positive reading cultures in homes, schools, and communities across the country. We promote a culture of literacy across the nation.
Reading is a fundamental and transformative right.
Literacy is an issue of social justice and equity.
All children - regardless of their zip codes and identities - deserve ongoing access to an ever-changing stock and flow of high-interest, age-appropriate books.
All students should be surrounded by books that are reflective, inclusive, engaging, and empowering.
Books serve as the foundation for reading, writing, and thinking.
Schools and communities must empower readers by creating cultures of reading and literacy.
Literacy shapes all aspects of life, improving physical and mental health, providing financial opportunities, improving self-esteem and self-efficacy, and building healthy communities and citizenship.
There is strength in numbers, and in the power of literacy advocates from multiple disciplines joining together for conversation, community, and collaboration.
Our work started in 2019, with the creation of the End Book Deserts podcast. The podcast, and subsequent non-profit, aimed to bring awareness to the 32 million American children who lack access to books in their homes, schools, and/or communities. In August 2021, over 900 literacy advocates registered for the virtual two-day End Book Deserts event. The Coalition for Literacy Equity subsequently formed, in response to an overwhelming demand to continue literacy advocacy and collaboration.
What We Mean
We envision equity as the elimination of disadvantage and disparities that have historically excluded particular groups. Inherent in this consideration is ‘a redistribution of resources to schools, communities, students, and families who need us the most’ (see Banks & Banks, 1995; Ladson-Billings, 1995, 2017).