Kepler's is now open Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm. Please read about our reopening and plaza pickup service.

Black Lives Matter

Dear Kepler's community,

As America grapples with 400 years of systemic violence and harm towards Black Americans, our unequivocal stance is full-hearted support for the Black Lives Matter movement and protesters standing for equality and justice. We passionately condemn the hate and violence perpetrated on Black citizens, and insist on accountability from our institutions, our government and ourselves. 

Kepler's values diverse books, diverse literary programming, and discussions on equality, race and justice. This work has been our long commitment and is grounded in the peace activism of Roy Kepler, who founded Kepler’s 65 years ago. But with what is happening today across our country and around the globe, we need to look at how we can do more to stand with our community against racial inequality. 

As we do this work, we must first listen to Black writers like Bryan StevensonMorgan JerkinsIjeoma OluoRoxane GayJulie Lythcott-Haims and Jason Reynolds, who have spoken at Kepler’s. We have seen their writing and leadership resonate in our community, and we hope you will continue to turn to these writers and follow their voices as you participate in the call to build a more just world. 

Many of us attended the recent #KidLit4BlackLives online rally hosted by The Brown Bookshelf. The work of justice begins in families with young children, and continues for a lifetime. If you are looking for a resource for your children, we hope you will take the time to watch Jacqueline WoodsonElizabeth Acevedo, and Kwame Alexander speak directly to kids about racial justice. This video represents the best part of literature: the ability to connect us and drive us towards a better future.

We have curated collections that address racism and lift the voices of Black writers for adults and for kids on Keplers.com. As you wait for books to arrive at your homes, please turn to these writers online. We have been inspired by them, and hope you will be too.

Here’s what were committed to doing at Kepler’s:

  • We will work to provide our staff with tools and racial sensitivity training so they can better talk about these issues and books with customers looking for resources in our bookstore.
  • Throughout Kepler’s, we know we have work to do in building diversity and we will work hard to create an organization that represents our entire community.
  • We will champion economic equality within our industry and push for a more representative workforce— from bookselling to publishing and at every step in between. 
  • At Kepler’s Literary Foundation, we pledge to redouble our efforts to invite Black authors to Kepler’s for conversations about social justice and race and to discuss and celebrate Black lives in books for readers of all ages. 
  • With Black authors receiving smaller advances and limited exposure, we will press publishers to expand the national tours of Black writers. We will also prioritize reaching out to talented Bay Area writers of color to showcase their work in our programs, celebrating excellence in our own community.

These are the areas of effort we’ve identified so far, but they represent the beginning of a conversation with you. We know we’ve made errors, we’ve fallen short, and we pledge to do better for our community. We want to hear from you. What does more representative programming look like? Who do you want to see speak at Kepler’s? Which Bay Area writers are you reading? How can we better serve our mission of engaging our community? 

Antiracist work is a lifelong process. We want our steps moving forward to be consistent with our stated values. Please join us in that effort by reaching out to our General Manager Amanda Hall by email at Amanda (at) keplers (dot) com. We’re listening.

Sincerely,

The Staff at Kepler's Books & Kepler's Literary Foundation