Meet Marley Dias, the 11-year-old girl who's teaching us a thing or two about creating meaningful change with her #1000BlackGirlBooks philanthropic campaign. When Marley grew tired of reading books that centered around "white boys and dogs," she decided to do something about it. So she started a book drive with the aim of collecting 1,000 books where "black girls are the main characters in the book and not background or minor characters," she told Philly Voice in an interview this week.
Marley's mother, Janice Dias, runs the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, which is where Marley drew inspiration for her book drive. The foundation holds a "Super Camp" — a summer camp for African-American girls — that encourages the girls to partake in a social action. Janice told the Philly Voice, "She’s not growing up in an all-black country; she’s growing up in a fairly white suburb, in a country that only has 12.6 percent of blacks. For her, identification is a bigger deal."
Marley plans to donate the books to a library in rural Jamaica where her mother grew up. Currently, she's collected around 400 books, and we can't wait to see her hit her goal. We were so motivated by her story, we wanted to highlight three other young girls who are spearheading noteworthy movements as well.Related From Vivala: New Books By Latinas Authors to Read NOW
Asia Newson was a self-made CEO and entrepreneur, all by 11 years old, but her business took off when she was five. She runs her Detroit-based company, Super Business Girl, with her parents and crafts handmade candles, from which her profits help buy food and clothing for children in need. As Newson states on her site, "My mission is to recognize the true potential in every child and to develop intrinsic security that makes optimum use of their individualized talent."
Maya Penn started her online boutique at a mere 8 years old. She does a little bit of everything: animation, design, and she founded her own nonprofit organization. Her accessories are not only eco-friendly, but 20 percent of the profits from them go to organizations of her choosing.
Neha Gupta started Empower Orphans when she was only 9 years old. She was inspired by her family tradition of bringing food and gifts to orphans in her family's hometown in India. Her efforts are geared toward helping orphans and underprivileged children thrive by giving them tools for education and health care.