Target: Marley Dias
Goal: Praise 11-year-old girl for creating #1000BlackGirlBooks, a book drive for literature featuring black girls as main characters.
A sixth grader from New Jersey launched a book drive and hashtag, #1000BlackGirlBooks, both aimed at addressing the under-representation of black girls in books. Eleven-year-old Marley Dias was “tired of reading about white boys and dogs.” Noticing a dearth of books with black girls as central characters, as well as a general lack of diversity in children’s and young adult books, Dias set out to do something about the problem.
The book drive aims to collect a thousand books that feature black girls as main characters, not as best friends or background characters with no significant involvement in the plot, as Dias noticed seemed to be the norm. She hopes to help other children more easily find books that they can relate to, with characters who look like them and have similar backgrounds. When the target of a thousand books is reached, Dias plans to compile a reference guide with listings for each book. She also hopes to start a library one day.
In addition to her work with #1000BlackGirlBooks, Dias works with her mother’s organization GrassROOTS Community Foundation and started her own nonprofit with two peers to help serve the needy in soup kitchens. Further, she was awarded a grant for her contributions to youth empowerment camps in her community, and has worked to provide food to the undernourished in Ghana.
Commend this amazing little girl for lending her many skills to her community through volunteer work, and for finding an innovative way to address the problem of under-representation.
Dear Ms. Dias,
We are stunned by your tireless community work and by your seemingly endless list of accomplishments. At your young age, you have done more for your community than many do in a lifetime. #1000BlackGirlBooks is such a unique and innovative project, and one that has raised awareness around the world about the lack of representation of black girls in media.
You are an amazing young woman who has made a real change in the world, and you have inspired many other kids (and adults) to take similar action in their own communities. We commend you for all the great work that you have done and look forward in anticipation of all that you will accomplish in the future. Thank you!
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: lovelyheewon