11-Year-Old Launches #1000BlackGirlBooks Drive, Because Representation Matters

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We know that girls can change the world, so when we heard about 11-year-old Marley Dias, and her campaign to collect #1000BlackGirlBooks, we were totally inspired.

It all started when Marley, who loves to read, came home from school one day frustrated by the lack of books about black girls in her school curriculum. She told her mom she was tired of reading books only about “white boys and dogs.” When her mom asked her what she was going to do about it, Marley said she was going to start a book drive and “collect books where black girls were the main characters in the book.” And so she did.

So far, Marley has collected almost half of the 1,000 books she’s aiming to get by February 1st. Once she’s reached her goal, the plan is to put together a guide of the book titles, authors and age groups to share with others, and donate the books to a library in St. Mary, Jamaica, where Marley’s mom, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, grew up.

Marley isn’t new to social action, it’s in her DNA. Dr. Johnson Dias is the co-founder of the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, a non-profit that supports and develops wellness programs for women and girls, particularly those who are impoverished. Marley participates in the organization’s Super Camp, a leadership program for young girls, and social network BAM, where girls come together to implement social action programs that help the community.#1000BlackGirlBooks is Marley’s BAM social action project for 2016.

And like many change makers, this young WYSK has big plans for the future. In an interview with Philly Voice Marley said, “I want to be a magazine editor for my own magazine. And I’d also like to continue social action. For the rest of my life.”

And we have no doubt that she will.

You can donate books and follow Marley’s progress on Twitter.

Lead image via Janice Dias