On this year’s pool of applicants and proposed community projects, Carla Gray committee member, Jenna Johnson, said, “It was such an honor to consider the applications submitted. With real creativity, thoughtfulness, and generosity, they showed booksellers selflessly committing themselves to giving each and every person in their communities access to books. We were moved by Miesha’s project aiming to amplify a range of voices and reach across audiences in her community. It means so much to us that this good work will continue, in part, in Carla’s name.”
Scholarship winner Miesha Headen will be using the grant to support her work organizing Loganberry’s People of Color Author Showcase. This showcase is held in collaboration with the Great Lakes African American Writers’ Conference and Cleveland Book Week. Among Headen’s goals for the program are to increase the number of readers of diverse literature and to provide a platform for diverse authors in the literary community of Cleveland.
On learning that she was awarded the grant Headen told Binc, “I am proud to be this year’s recipient of the Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists. I have a passion for literature that explores a unique place, enriching the understanding of outsiders. I am grateful to Binc for providing me and Loganberry Books the support to continue our community outreach to writers of color in Ohio who deep dive into our midwestern culture. We believe that giving these writers a platform for their literary art will attract existing readers and draw in new ones.”
As part of the scholarship, Headen has also been awarded funds to cover travel and hotel for attendance to Winter Institute in January and attendance to Heartland Fall Forum, her region’s fall tradeshow in 2020.
“The Binc Foundation is honored to commemorate Carla’s legacy and her passion for literature with this scholarship,” says Pam French, Binc’s Executive Director. “It is a privilege to participate in continuing Carla’s legacy by providing a wonderful opportunity to a bookseller so they can have an even bigger impact on their community and further their own professional development.”