When you look back on 2013 what stories will you tell? What moments will you remember? We will remember all of the ways that we have come together in the space of Charis to be our messy, complicated, beautiful selves. We will remember how these walls stretched to hold our joys, celebrate our growth, and accommodate our sadness.
We will remember the national events of 2013 that we shared in this space: the furious discussions about the repeal of DOMA and Prop 8, the excitement about Senator Wendy Davis' stand in the Texas legislature, the heartbreak of the George Zimmerman acquittal. Throughout the year we were honored to be the place you came to weave the pieces and events of our world into something more coherent.
We will remember our author readings and programs, large and small, where someone's worldview shifted just a little bit and a possibility opened up where previously there had been none. Someone told a story and someone said "a-ha" and went out into the night just a little bit more confident, knowing that they are not alone.
We will remember our Atlanta Pride community reading, which was one of the most powerful, funny, sexy, and diverse events of the entire year and, of course, we will remember the vandalism that happened after it. Mostly, we will remember how all of you responded: with humor and grace and generosity. We cried and laughed out loud at the notes y'all sent from all over the world. Notes that said: "Charis saved my life." "I want Charis to be there for my daughter (and my son)." "Charis has been my home away from home for 39 years." Or, quite simply, "How could anyone do that to MY Charis?" Thank you all for your gifts of time, money, and spirit. The mural you helped create is in the works now; we hope you will visit it often and remember the story of how we came together this year to transform a mean and violent act into an opportunity for beauty and renewal.
Charis Circle is not a traditional non-profit. Our appeal to you is an appeal to your own sense of story, of memory, of possibility. In 2014, Charis Books and More will turn 40 and we will celebrate that milestone with the honor of being the oldest feminist bookstore in the country. Throughout the next year Charis Circle will generate even more original content and more fully embrace our space in the national conversation as a center for feminist thought and action. Increasingly we will be a resource beyond books, which centers stories as a tool for all justice work and provides content across all platforms from tomes to tweets.
You have already been a big part of our story this year and now we ask you to stretch with us into the future. If you are not already a monthly Cornerstone Donor, it is the absolute best way to help Charis' sustainability and growth. As little as $25 a month helps us build our infrastructure so that we can rise to national prominence as a feminist think tank and social justice center. If you are already a monthly Cornerstone Donor, we ask that you consider going up a level this year. If you were giving $50 this year, consider giving $75. As always, we ask that you give at a level that is exciting and inspiring for you.
Thank you for continuing to invest in Charis where your stories are honored and celebrated,
The Charis Circle Board of Directors* and Elizabeth Anderson
P.S. We also encourage gifts of time, talent, and skills, as well as in-kind donations, and gifts of stock or other capital. Please contactElizabeth@Chariscircle.org to discuss stock, in-kind, and planned-giving options as well as volunteer opportunities.
*The Charis Circle Board of Directors: Amina Abdul-Jalil, Chesya Burke, Jillian Ford, Jennifer Hoffner, Beth Levine, Keely Lewis, Ellen Rapier, Jennifer Thilo