The Papasian’s Little Free Anti-racist Library is located at 6106 Chicago Road. Find them online at www.facebook.com/PapasianLibrary.

The Papasian’s Little Free Anti-racist Library is located at 6106 Chicago Road. Find them online at www.facebook.com/PapasianLibrary.

Photo provided by Monica Papasian


‘Little Free Anti-racist Library’ spreads message of equality

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 16, 2020

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WARREN — Looking to balance an act of evil by spreading a little good, Warren resident Monica Papasian wanted to do something positive after she heard about hate crimes in the community.

Meet the Papasian Family’s Little Free Anti-racist Library. Here, on Chicago Road east of Mound Road in the historic Village of Warren, you’ll find a neighborhood Little Free Library converted to showcase books about Black history and prominent figures. Books about Native American culture, the LGBTQ community, women’s rights and activism in general are also included and welcome.

“Originally, we started thinking, with everything happening in Warren, the hate crimes and that, we would make it kind of educational and anti-racist. Then I thought, while we’re at it, I really want to bring to light the other social justice issues,” Papasian said.

She said her husband, Loren Papasian, shingled the library and connected a solar light for it. Their children, Charlie, 9, and Olive, 6, got involved. The family stocked it with packs of crayons featuring multicultural skin tones and dozens of books, including a few written by local Black authors.

Monica said the family has made it their mission to educate themselves about equality and the people, places and topics that explore the history of the struggle for it.

A sign next to the library in the family’s yard lays out its purpose: “Why Anti-Racist? Because our library has no place for hate. We believe all lives are equal and important; however, all lives are not treated equally or with importance. Be the change you want to see! Equality for all because all are equal!”

“The library is really good. I have some copies of the books in my room,” Charlie said. “There’s Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglas, then there’s Sojourner Truth. Then there’s Coretta Scott King.”

Charlie said his reading list also includes books about the 1963 March on Washington, Nelson Mandela and Booker T. Washington.

Olive said, “I don’t understand why people hate each other. Our heart doesn’t have a limit on how much it can love.”

The family has set up a page for the library at www.facebook.com/PapasianLibrary.

Monica said she hopes the library will help empower the community through knowledge and break through barriers of racism and intolerance.

“I really believe reading is knowledge and knowledge is power,” Monica said. “Understanding where our community’s struggles and challenges are, all of which are different in each household, only then can we move forward together.

“Really, if nothing else, I hope that minority and underserved, underrecognized groups in my community know they have an ally, friend and supporter,” she added.

The Papasian’s Little Free Anti-racist Library is located at 6106 Chicago Road.

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