‘Readvolutionairy’ continues to spread knowledge on race and identity

UTEP+senior+Kierra+Lopez-Robinson+created+Readvolutionary%2C+a+not-for-profit+library%2C+on+June+2020.+Image+courtesy+of+Kierra+Lopez-Robinson.

UTEP senior Kierra Lopez-Robinson created Readvolutionary, a not-for-profit library, on June 2020. Image courtesy of Kierra Lopez-Robinson.

Isaiah Ramirez, Staff Reporter

In a country that is in a state of social injustice and division, small steps can lead to major growth in any community. For the El Paso community, this call for awareness and change takes the form of UTEP senior Kierra Lopez-Robinson. Lopez-Robison created Readvolutionary, a not-for-profit library, in June 2020.  

Lopez-Robinson, a 21-year-old senior majoring in organizational and corporate communication, finds her organization to focus her attention on educating the youth in the community on issues going on in the country. 

“I feel very strong about what is going on in this country and doing Readvoluntionary allows me a kind of escape from realityI do tend to get very frustrated when I focus on the harsh reality,” Robinson said.

The idea of Readvolutionary came to be due to her displeasure with the state of the country which was experiencing Black Lives Matter protestsLopez-Robison’s organization’s name came about through a dream she had one night. 

“Right before I was going to sleep, I prayed for a name and I googled everywhere to see if it was used and it wasn’t, so I went with Readvolutionary,” Lopez-Robinson said. 

Since the organization is not-for-profit the books are bought from funds raisedReadvolutionary also partners with Casa Carmelita, a local non-profit organization that helps immigrant and migrant familiesas well as funds donated through services such as Cash App.

Robison also buys books out of her own pocket, purchasing books for one or two dollars on Book Outlet, a website known for selling books at extremely low costs. 

“It is overstock and a lot of the books are one or two dollars, so I just go crazy on there and get books,” Lopez-Robinson said.  

Readvolutionary recently began expanding its reach to other countries. In Texarkana, Texas a woman named Taryn Givan reached out to Lopez-Robinson through Facebook wanting to start her own chapter. Another woman named Melody Cranford also wanted to start her own chapter of the organization in Oklahoma. Lopez- Robinson’s goals and ideas have reached local churches and schools as well. 

Several churches and IDEA public school campuses in El Paso have allowed Readvolutionary to host pop-up shops where students may receive books.  

Lopez-Robinson sanitizes the books the children receive to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 as she also has extra masks at the pop-ups hosted at various locations in El Paso. Not wanting a lack of access to stop anyone from receiving books, LopezRobinson delivered books over the winter holidays. 

“I had people direct message me on Instagram and tell me the age of the children and what address to deliver the books,” Lopez-Robinson said. “Over a weekend I gave over 120 books in bundles to families here in El Paso and Santa Teresa, New Mexico.  

Lopez-Robinson has plans of possibly writing a children’s book of her own in her post-graduation future due to her interest in spreading awareness of race and identity from an early age 

She finds the experience of giving young children books they would not traditionally read from a youthful age as eye opening and hopes to continue reaching the youth in the El Paso community. 

“Being able to have conversations with these kids about segregation and racism and having them come up to me and say, I didn’t know that I would not be able to come to school with so and so because it was segregated, is a little intense, but they understand. They receive it and sometimes see themselves in the books, Lopez-Robinson said. 

Further information about Readvolutionary and where popups are can be found on Lopez-Robinson’s Instagram @readvolutionary as well as her LinkTee.  

Isaiah Ramirez may be reached at prospector@utep.edu; @_IsaiahRamirez1 on Twitter.