A Statement on Antiracism From the Owner

Tubby & Coo’s has been very vocal about our support of BIPOC communities (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and we believe that racism intersects with homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia, classism, ableism, and every -ism across the board. We also unequivocally believe that Black Lives Matter. 

As a white business owner, I personally am committed to taking real action to dismantle racism both inside and outside of the bookstore while promoting equity and justice. I believe that doing better as a business and as a person requires more than simply stating support and creating lists of books. I know that actions speak louder than words. Tubby & Coo’s mission has always been, and continues to be, creation of a safe and inclusive space, especially for those who have historically been marginalized in the literary and board gaming communities. Fighting racism is a key part of that.

My personal commitment to dismantling racism includes continuous and ongoing opportunities for learning. I recently took a White Allyship/Antiracist workshop through the American Bookseller’s Association with Cultures Connecting as part of my personal commitment to being antiracist. This is just one step in a lifelong journey. Being antiracist isn’t about following a trend – it’s about actively fighting racism each and every day. I personally commit, and I commit my business, to listening to, learning from, and collaborating with the community. I commit to this ongoing journey of fighting systemic racism, which is connected to all other -isms, and I commit to learning from my mistakes and making progress.

I created the following Antiracist Action Plan for Tubby & Coo’s to ensure that our ongoing operations align with our mission of creating an inclusive and affirming space, including through dismantling racist systems. This plan will be incorporated into our regular business operations.

This is, of course, a living document, which means we will make changes, add ideas, and track our progress over time. This initial document is meant to be a foundation for our ongoing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts that go beyond race and center justice in how we operate.

Should anyone from the community have suggestions as to how we, as a business, can better our antiracism efforts, we are always open. Feel free to e-mail me personally at owner@tubbyandcoos.com.

In solidarity,

Candice Huber, Owner

Our Continuing Commitment

We will continue the following programs, endeavors, and investments:

  • Donating books with diverse representation to schools who serve racially diverse youth.
  • Partnering with local organizations for distribution of antiracist materials and zines.
  • Providing a physical space for community and activist meetings at no charge.
  • Regularly assessing and reflecting on implicit bias for all who work with Tubby & Coo’s through engaging in unconscious bias tests and self evaluations.
  • Continuing our partnerships with local community organizations such as Take ‘Em Down NOLA, Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners, and One Book One New Orleans.
  • Continuing to lift BIPOC, queer, and other marginalized voices by handselling and displaying books written by marginalized people and having these authors prominently represented in our inventory. 
  • Continuing to advocate within the book industry, and specifically with publishers, that books written by people of color DO sell, even when they are not “issues” based, and that books written by people of color do not need to be held to a higher level of excellence in order to sell.
  • Continuing to educate ourselves through antiracist workshops, readings, and conversations and to listen to the BIPOC community.
  • Continuing to educate the public through highlighting BIPOC, queer, and other marginalized authors and books and getting books into readers’ hands that will help them better understand racism and the experiences of BIPOC, queer, and other marginalized individuals.
  • Continuing to foster a safe and inclusive environment inside of the store. See our Safer Space Policy.

Our High Level Action Plan

We commit to taking the following actions:

  • Perform an equity and inclusion audit on our current inventory and publicly post the results. We will incorporate this audit into our yearly inventory process.
  • Following the Financial Activist Playbook for Supporting Black Lives, perform an audit of all of our current vendors, partners, and financial activity and track our supply chain to determine who we are and are not financially supporting.
  • Divest from partnerships with organizations that support white supremacy.
  • Invest in partnerships with BIPOC and queer owned and led organizations and/or organizations that demonstrate a commitment to equity and inclusion.
  • Provide financial and volunteer support to Take ‘Em Down NOLA, the LGBT Community Center, One Book One New Orleans, the NOLA QTBIPOC Mutual Aid Fund, Beloved Community, Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners, and other organizations promoting social justice.
  • Schedule a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultation with Beloved Community.
  • Use our platform and influence within the book industry, especially within science fiction and fantasy, and within the local community to amplify, advocate for, and increase representation of BIPOC individuals, queer folks, and other marginalized groups.
  • Use our social platforms to highlight and lift BIPOC, queer, and other marginalized voices, including highlighting at least one book per week written by a marginalized author.
  • Ensure that at least 50% of the books facing out on the shelves inside the store are written by BIPOC, queer, disabled, and other marginalized authors.
  • Take advantage of all opportunities provided by the American Bookseller’s Association and other industry groups to participate in antiracist workshops and activities.
  • Advocate within the book industry, specifically with publishers and within the science fiction and fantasy community, for more representation of BIPOC and other marginalized people and books published from marginalized authors.
  • Owner Candice Huber will not speak on panels at conferences that do not have at least one person on them from an underrepresented group.
  • We will not purchase tickets to conferences or conventions where less than 20% of the speakers are from underrepresented groups.
  • We will publicly post our Safer Space Policy and empower all Tubby & Coo’s helpers to enforce it.

In Closing

As I stated above, this is a living document and foundation for our ongoing antiracism work. Fighting systemic racism directly relates to our store mission of creating a safe and inclusive educational space for the community, and I commit to continuing to learn, grow, change, and add to this plan as necessary to ensure that we are taking real action toward creating a better world.

– Candice Huber, Owner