How this couple diversifies the small free libraries in our neighborhood

A couple from East Dallas join the national effort to circulate inclusive reading material to promote conversations about diversity.

Dallas trial attorneys Mackenzie salenger by Thompson Coburn and Mia Falzarano of Alston & Bird has established a ‘Quest for Diversity’ library at the end of their driveway in Stonewall Terrace, near M.

They kicked off the project during Pride Month in June after a neighbor received complaints for displaying a pride flag outside his house. To show solidarity, the couple bought 50 pride flags from Amazon and put them in the aisle. They invited neighbors to take one and display it outside their homes and businesses. All flags were claimed within two days.

“The narrative has changed in our neighborhood from this complaint,” said Salenger. “It made me really sad that someone felt offended. A few weeks later, we have pride flags all over the neighborhood. “

The flags were so well received that the couple took out a bin from the garage and filled it with various reading materials. They bought books from Amazon and Pride and less prejudice, a nonprofit organization that aims to provide free LGBTQ books suitable for the age of classrooms.

“It was our starting point,” Falzarano said. “From there, we looked for books that we wanted to read and in which we wanted to be represented. We have a few families with small free libraries, and I have noticed various books appearing in these libraries. It’s cool to see this trend in our neighborhood.

Their library has become a popular resource for families, with many coming to read the books under a tree in their lawns. The families thanked Salenger and Falzarano, saying their children like to see all types of people.

“There is nothing we can do unless we talk,” said Salenger. “If people aren’t comfortable engaging in these conversations right now, at least they’re reading these resources at home. It was an amazing way to bring the community together. We all have the opportunity to do good, and we should take advantage of it when it arises. “

Recommended reading

Children’s books:

  • Red: The Story of a Pencil – Michael Hall
  • Who is in my family? All About Our Families – Robie H. Harris
  • You just have to ask! Be different, be brave, be you – Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
  • A Family is a Family is a Family – Sara O’Leary

Books for young adults:

  • The Hate You Give – Angie Thomas
  • Simon against the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Adult books:

  • How to be anti-racist – Ibram X. Kendi
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson

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Daniel Lange

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