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Embracing Diversity One Book at a Time

The CTL Mission

The banning of books and symbols of identity has increased at an alarming rate over the past few years. This culture of silencing voices creates assumptions and fear, promotes stereotypes and exclusion, and damages self-esteem. Lives are diminished and dismissed,  increasing the risk and incidence of suicide. It breaks us.

In an effort to shift this downward spiral of compassion and empathy, Positive Charge! PDX is proud to have built a network of free book-sharing boxes devoted to featuring diverse books—encouraging everyone to "take a walk in someone else's shoes" by reading books by and about people who are different from us.

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CTL's History

PC! PDX initiated Compassion Through Literature in 2022 — thanks to a partnership with the Portland Timbers, Children's Book Bank, and Third Eye Books. Since then, we've hosted a Grand Launch of our project and a city-wide Celebration of Diversity. With future CTL projects, we will continue to promote the power of books to cultivate awareness, understanding, and inclusion. Stay tuned for more!

CTL Little Library Locations

In response to real-life heinous acts of bigotry, anti-Semitism, and more, some kind-hearted souls came forward to steward CTL Little Free Libraries throughout the Portland area—from Newberg to Gresham. We're up to 25 locations and counting! Grab a book from one, read it with a CURIOUS and OPEN mind, SHARE it in another library for others, then TALK about what you learn while LISTENING and holding back assumptions!

Ideas for Books on Diversity

The CTL initiative is ultimately all about diversity literacy—expanding our knowledge, understanding, and celebration of all kinds of people including those of different ages, races, religions, physical and mental diversabilities, gender identities and family structures, financial statuses, cultures, traditions, countries of origin, and more. To find such books on your own, check out these great resources.


Our History

It's amazing what an ideaand a group of committed peoplecan accomplish!  First there was one CTL free book-sharing box, then another . . . and now 25 and counting. Truly, it takes a village! Positive Charge! PDX has been fortunate to partner with the international Little Free Library's organization, A Kids Book About Co., local book stores, and more to make this magic happen!

May 2022 | The Start

Timber Joey, a great advocate of reading and diversity literacy, joined us for inaugurating the Compassion Through Literature initiative with celebrations at Hayhurst Elementary and Robert Gray Middle schools. We were thrilled to partner with the Portland Timbers and Children's Book Bank at Smart Reading for these celebrations. We also are grateful to Frank Rodriguez who make a few CTL libraries and to the Berkovitch Family who helped with transportation—as well as to the Oregon Community Foundation for support.

November 2022 | Grand Launch at Leikam Brewing

To celebrate the expansion of the  CTL network of free book-sharing boxes, we hosted a special event at Leikam Brewery, a family-friendly restaurant in East Portland—and the site of one of the new libraries! Guests enjoyed fabulous speakers including Valarie PearceSister Shiso Panda, and Stephen Green; book giveaways; and getting to know even more incredible people in our community. This event also marked Portland being the thirteenth city to partner with the international Little Free Library and their Read in Color initiative. 

August 2023 | Celebration of Diversity at Q Center

Oh, what a memorable day celebrating the power of books to cultivate awareness, understanding, and inclusion—with wonderful speakers, great displays of diverse books, and so much more.  Some of the speakers included award-winning children's book authors Trudy Ludwig  and  Dane Liu, poet/educator Alex Dang, Unicorn Solutions' founder Elliott Hinkle, cartoonist and author 

Jonathan Hill, Portland treasure and literacy advocate Nikki Brown ClownAmerican drag queen/Miss Gay Pride of Portland 2023 Flawless Shadeand more! The event could not have happened without the support of A Kids Company AboutBelmont Books PDX, Maggie Mae's Bookshop

Portland Events and FilmLittle Free Library, and many dedicated Positive Charge! PDX volunteers.