Editor-in-Residence, Scholastic book author, Activist
Marley Dias is the promising, 12-year-old social activist behind #1000BlackGirlBooks, an international movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature Black girls as the lead character. With the help of her mother’s foundation, GrassROOTS Community Foundation, Marley launched the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive in November of 2015, leveraging the audience. The goal was to collect 1,000 books featuring Black female protagonists by February 2016. The story went viral and was picked up by media outlets around the world as well as bloggers, schools, youth focused organizations and thousands of individuals who wanted to participate in the project. In addition to features in major media outlets such as Elle, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and People (to name a few), the initiative quickly gained support from literary partners including Barnes & Noble, My Very Own Library, Scholastic, and Putnam Books, which have donated books and funds to the cause. Well-known authors and artists including Jaqueline Woodson and Rita Garcia have contributed books as well. In light of the campaign’s huge success, Marley has appeared on Ellen (where she received a laptop with a 10,000 dollar contribution from Shutterfly), The Nightly show with Larry Wilmore (where she received the show’s first ever “Golden Hunnit / Keep It 100” award), CBS This Morning and Charlie Rose. In addition, Marley was honored at BET’s Black Girls Rock! With a M.A.D. (Making a Difference) Award. In September of 2016, Marley began her role as Editor in Residence at Elle.com where she interviewed Ava DuVerney, Misty Copeland, and Hillary Clinton. Marley has spoken at the White House’s United State of Women Summit, the InBound Conference, United Nations’ Girls Up Summit, and many more. Marley has most recently starred in Walt Disney World’s Spring 2017 campaign on YouTube and social media, #DisneyEarlySpring. Marley Dias announced in February of 2017 that she will be penning a book with Scholastic scheduled to launch January 2018. Having collected over 9,000 books to-date, Marley has more than quadrupled #1000BlackGirlBooks’ goals. In February 2016, Marley and GrassROOTS Community Foundation donated the majority of the books to Retreat School in the Parish of Saint Mary, Jamaica, where her mother grew up. A year since the campaign launched, Marley has donated to several other schools including The Henry C. Lea School in Philadelphia, Speedway Academies in Newark, New Jersey and St. Cloud Elementary in West Orange, New Jersey, where she was first inspired to launch the movement.