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St. Paul nonprofit receives special grant during Black Philanthropy Month

The nonprofit Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute focuses on promoting literacy and diversity in books.

ST PAUL, Minnesota — It's National Book Lovers Day. A St. Paul nonprofit is on a mission to diversify children's books and inspire more readers. 

"61% of children who live in a low-income home, they don't even have one book in their home. So let's help to build some home libraries," said Dr. Artika Tyner, founder of the nonprofit, Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute (PPGJLI) . 

The nonprofit is getting a boost thanks to a special grant. 

In June, NBA All-Star and 2021 NBA Champion, Jrue Holiday, and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Lauren Holiday, announced the 2022 recipients of the JLH Social Impact Fund grants to Black-owned small businesses and nonprofits. Grants are awarded to businesses and nonprofits focused on social impact and creating a more equitable future for underserved communities.

PPGJLI was the only nonprofit chosen in Minnesota. 

RELATED: St. Paul-based publishing house and bookstore helps tell diverse stories

Originally, Tyner said they received a $10,000 grant. Now, the JLH Social Impact Fund is planning to match an additional $10,000 in August for Black Philanthropy Month. 

"With $20,000, we'll get 2,000 books in the hands of children. That possibility, in real time, to have that representation in books... those mirrors so children can see a positive representation of themselves in the pages of books for children of color and also those windows for all children to learn about diverse cultural experiences," Tyner said. 

But PPGJLI first needs to raise $10,000 to unlock the match. 

"There's been a high demand this past summer even to help bridge the reading loss that happens over the summer. But also, more importantly, to make sure that children have access to books in real time," Tyner said. "So we'll use these 2,000 books to get them into libraries, churches, synagogues, mosques, wherever people are, to help encourage a culture of learning and reading." 

You can help them reach their goal through PPGJLI's website or here

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