The idea for Mil Mundos Books came about in the Fall of 2018, when construction for newer, over-priced housing was finally spilling over Myrtle Ave into eastern Bushwick, and new businesses in the area were popping up catering primarily to those moving into said housing. But, what about the community of folks already living in Bushwick? Does your community still feel like your own, when you are surrounded by constant work being done to your neighborhood, none of which seems to be for you?
We wanted to create a business with a commitment to accessibility and a mission of empowering those already in the neighborhood. Enter Mil Mundos Books: currently the only bookstore in Bushwick east of Myrtle Ave, with nearly 50% of its titles available in Spanish - the dominant language spoken in Bushwick, even over English. We curate for those seeking empowerment through literature, workshops, events, and the sustenance of community. A space where two people can talk excitedly in any language without being told to keep the volume down; where culture is celebrated and held close. Accessibility for those already present in our community is a priority for us, regardless of means.
During a time where engaging with real estate feels completely inaccessible, and entire neighborhoods are being offered up by our elected officials to tech companies bargaining for the best cash deal, we at Mil Mundos feel there is no better option than to hold ground, and insist on making a space where Black and Latinx heritage can be celebrated and explored.
Mil Mundos Books’ primary mission is to remain dedicated to larger-scale anti-gentrification work in eastern Bushwick and beyond, and to maintain a curation and space that celebrates Black and Latinx heritage and supports the narratives of these cultures. Our two strategies toward this end are:
1. Proactively engage with the community - especially with Black and Latinx communities adversely affected by incoming commerce - to maintain a two-way conversation about how best to encourage and support their autonomy and agency in their own neighborhood and lives.
2. Maintain a culture of acceptance, inclusivity, and healthy communication both within the store and as an organization overall, serving as a model of our commitment to our values in any work environment.
While we are currently organized as an LLC, it is our goal to eventually transition over to either a worker-owned business model or to a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Any profits made after paying off debts and ensuring fair wages for those working the storefront on a daily basis will be reinvested into the community and furthering the mission of the space.
If you are a corporate attorney or a non-profit attorney and are interested in helping us with this endeavor please reach out to us.