184 S. Candler St. Decatur, GA 30030
What are the 3 adjectives you would use to describe your bookstore?
Feminist, Queer, Anti-racist
Share a quote from a book or poem that bares your bookstore’s soul.
“We are the ones we have been waiting for.”Sweet Honey in the Rock, June Jordan, and Alice Walker
Why was your bookstore founded/what role does it play in the community?
Charis, which means “gift or grace” in Greek, was founded in 1974, to be a place of rest and refuge, especially for women and children in Atlanta seeking books that reflected the reality of their lives. We expanded to become a mission-driven feminist bookstore in the late 1970s. Together, Charis Books and Charis Circle, our non-profit programming arm, seek to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices by providing educational book lists and resources and by hosting more than 250 community events a year.
Which champion/warrior/wildcat (real or mythological) does your bookstore channel most?
We most often channel “Black lesbian mother warrior poet” Audre Lorde, whose works we revisit annually and who reminds us to “do our work” and ask others if they are “doing theirs.”
What makes your bookstore unique?
We are one of the oldest independent feminist bookstores in the world. Our hybrid for-profit/non-profit model allows us to be more mission-driven than other stores with similar goals. Our location in the Black and Queer mecca of the South, Atlanta, means we support people from across the South in communities large and small. We specialize in diverse, unique, and #OwnVoices children’s books. We were the first bookstore to receive the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Bookseller of the Year award.
What is something that no one knows about your bookstore?
Charis was founded out of liberation theology framework and has always used the Benedictine idea of Radical Hospitality as our guiding principle in how we treat our community members and each other. We have always had a radical theology section and work with people of all faiths to promote the health, dignity, and liberation of all people.