create / 2021

The Salt Eaters Bookshop brings the stories of Black women, femmes, and nonbinary people to the front.

The Salt Eaters Bookshop brings the stories of Black women, femmes, and nonbinary people to the front.

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by The Salt Eaters Bookshop

The Salt Eaters Bookshop is creating a co-working component to the shop with four desks each equipped with a desktop computer, writing materials, and printer access for local Black women, femme, or nonbinary writers, students, entrepreneurs, creatives, or organizers in need of an affirming co-working space. The funding from this grant will help support the technology and materials required for the desks as well as assist with payroll for our first part-time employee to assist in bookkeeping and managing the co-working space.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • South LA

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

The literary and co-working world has a race problem. According to the 2019 Diversity Baseline Survey by Lee and Low Books the publishing industry overall is 79% white. Additionally, out of nearly 4,000 co-working spaces across the country, only 56 are Black owned (Statista Research Department, 2020). With Inglewood’s population at roughly 50% Latinx and 44% African-American, there is a great need for a community-based, mission driven bookstore and co-working space. Last summer, I crowdfunded $83k in start-up funds to secure the lease and build out of the shop. I am currently a team of one working diligently to open, but with several unexpected construction barriers and delays, I am in need of additional funding to carry out the vision and hire local support.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

The Salt Eaters Bookshop is committed to community development. We dream of a co-working component to the shop with four desks each equipped with a desktop computer, writing materials, and printer access for local Black women, femme, or nonbinary writers, students, entrepreneurs, creatives, or organizers in need of an affirming co-working space. The funding from this grant will help support the technology and materials required for the desks as well as payroll for our first part-time employee to manage the co-working space and assist with bookkeeping.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

9
Direct impact
300
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Black people in Los Angeles County represent roughly 8% of the population, but 34% of the houseless community, many of them Black women, femmes, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, with many newly houseless from sudden changes in job status. Having access to an inspiring, affirming, and safe environment to complete project and work-related tasks can change the financial destinies of Black women, femmes, and nonbinary Angelenos who are a valuable part of our city. As mission-driven bookstore rooted in Black feminist theory and Womanism, we align with the liberation philosophy of the Combahee River Collective (1974 - 1980) that states “If Black women are free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” Investing in the success of Black women, femmes, and nonbinary people in an investment in Los Angeles County as a whole.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

This is an early stage initiative that we are determined to launch this year. We will allow the community to define our success through qualitative research - questionnaires, interviews, and personal observations. We are excited to collect feedback and adjust the program as needed to better serve our community.

Which of the create metrics will you impact?​

  • Arts establishments
  • instillations
  • and exhibitions
  • Minority- and women-owned businesses
  • High-growth startups

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to LEARN
  • LA is the best place to PLAY
  • LA is the best place to CONNECT