iDiversity Book Drive for Chicago Books to Women in Prison

by Karina Hagelin

iDiversity is collecting books on behalf of Chicago Books to Women in Prison, which is an all-volunteer group that distributes paperback books free of charge to people incarcerated in women’s prisons nationwide to offer women behind bars the opportunity for self-empowerment, education, and entertainment that reading provides.

The book drive will run through the end of the Spring 2017 semester. You can donate your paperback books in our donation box in the 4th Floor Hornbake Lounge. They must be in new or good condition and published within the last ten years. We are particularly seeking:

  • Urban books
  • Contemporary African-American romance
  • True crime
  • Transgender fiction and non-fiction
  • Bisexual fiction and non-fiction
  • Dictionaries—mainly English, but also English-Spanish and other languages, as well as Bible, Scrabble and crossword puzzle dictionaries
  • Crafts (especially origami, cardmaking and crochet)
  • Drawing
  • Calligraphy
  • Puzzle books, especially Sudoku, word searches, crosswords and fill-ins
  • Recovery and addiction (general and specific substances, practical guidance and memoirs)
  • Mental health, especially depression, anxiety and trauma/PTSD
  • Legal books appropriate to the typical needs of people in prison—”jailhouse lawyer” manuals, legal research, law dictionaries, etc.
  • Starting and running a business
  • Bible dictionaries
  • Study Bibles
  • Language learning—mainly Spanish, but many others too, including American Sign Language—beginners’ and self-study books are especially useful
  • Astrology

You can find more information about donations here. Another great way to get involved in supporting incarcerated folks is to volunteer as an penpal to a LGBTQ prisoner via Black and Pink. We’ll be holding a letter-writing night soon! Stay tuned for more details.

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