11-Year-Old Girl Launches Campaign for More Diverse Books in Schools

When 11-year old Marley Dias got fed up with the lack of diversity in her school’s required reading, she did something about it. In an interview with the Philly Voice, Dias explains how this idea came about.  One dinner, after lamenting about the frustration of “reading about white boys and dogs,” Dias’ activist mother made her realize she could do something about it. A flash of electricity sparked the light bulb in Dias’ creative mind. “I told her I was going to start a book drive, and a specific book drive, where black girls are the main characters in the book and not the background characters or minor characters,” states Dias.  


Image courtesy of

In order to call awareness to her social action book movement, Dias launched the hashtag, “#1000BlackGirlBooks” on Twitter. The objective is to assemble 1,000 books by February 1, and with about 400 titles, Dias is almost halfway there. People have been supporting her campaign, suggesting and donating such books as Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor – one of Dias’ personal favorites.

Dias is part of an awesome social activist crew of young girls they call BAM, an acronym for each of their names (Briana, Amina, and Marley). BAM has already won a Disney Friends for Change grant, and they show no signs of stopping. Through GrassROOTS Community Foundation, which Janice Dias (mother of Marley Dias) co-founded, the girls plan to visit Jamaica on February 11 in order to freely distribute the collected and donated books discovered through the campaign at a BAM hosted book fair. They will also assemble a comprehensive list of the books. According to the GrassROOTS homepage: “Our mission is to create a world where all girls grow up to be healthy women.”

Briana, Amina, and Marley (BAM)

Image courtesy of 

Marley Dias also told the Philly Voice that in addition to wanting to be an editor for her own magazine, “…I’d also like to continue social action. For the rest of my life.” You go girl.

To support Dias, the BAM girls, and their awesome initiative, check out #1000BlackGirlBooks or donate books to: 

GrassROOTS Community Foundation, 59 Main Street, Suite 323, West Orange, NY 07052BAM 


Featured image courtesy of