If we learn something from the pandemic is that we can find ways to reinvent ourselves and our careers.
We can even start a new company. That is what Stephanie Moran Reed and her husband Muammar Reed did. Named using the first two letters of their daughter Mireya Jamila’s first and middle names, MiJa Books, (pronounced “Mee-Jah”, which can also be pronounced “Mee-Hah” meaning “my daughter” in Spanish), is an online bookstore dedicated to highlighting multicultural and diverse books for children. They showcase books that include children of color on the cover and as main characters. It is also a site that supports the work of indie and self-published authors to reach a wider audience.
When I asked Stephanie about her vision for the family’s company, she answered, “My daughter is Afro-Latina. I want her and all children of color to be prideful of their heritage, their identity. I want them to see each other reflected in children’s books stories. Our home libraries need to be more inclusive of books that teach children to become advocates of diversity. Books that teach kids to be tolerant, empathetic, accepting of others’ differences.”
I invite you to watch our IGTV!
MiJa Books is also a pop-up bookstore that shows up at events around the Southern California area. They hope to be able to take their pop-ups to other states.
MiJa Books catalog includes books by age groups: board books, bilingual books, English-only picture books, Spanish-only picture books, early readers, graphic novels and coloring books.
Here are Stephanie’s 3 tips for raising anti-racist children
- Travel outside your comfort zone.
- Expose and encourage children to discover new opportunities and cultures.
- Practice self-awareness- be mindful of the things you say in front of children. Reflect on racial stereotypes before talking.
I am happy to announce that my bilingual children’s book, I have a secret/Tengo un secreto, is now part of the MiJa Books catalog! If you need a copy, please support this small Black/Latina-owned company!
Thank you, Stephanie!