Marley Dias (born 3 January 2005) is an American activist and feminist. She launched a campaign called #1000BlackGirlBooks in November 2015, when she was in sixth grade.
Marley Dias is the precocious and purpose-driven 14-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks and author of Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! whose successful campaign has garnered over 6 billion media impressions. #1000BlackGirlBooks, is an international movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature Black girls as the lead character. Marley launched the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive in November of 2015, leveraging the power of social media to reach a larger 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 millions of individuals who wanted to participate in the project. Marley has collected over 12,000 books to-date. Marley has spoken at the White House’s United State of Women alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah, The Forbes Women’s Summit, United Nation’s Girl Up, Inbound, CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, the Social Innovation Summit and several others. Marley was recognized by TIME, as one of the 25 most influential teens in 2018.
In light of the campaign’s huge success, Marley has appeared on Ellen, CBS This Morning, The Today Show, The View, and several others. In her Editor in Residency at ELLE, Marley has interviewed Ava DuVernay, Misty Copeland and Hillary Clinton for Elle.com. Marley has been featured in a Microsoft Commercial, a Disney World Resorts digital campaign and a Walmart Black History Month campaign. Marley is the youngest member of the Forbes 30 under 30 list to date and was included in the list for 2018. Marley resides in West Orange, NJ with her mother and father.
Marley Dias, named after reggae singer Bob Marley, is of Jamaican and Cape Verdean descent. She was born in Philadelphia and grew up in New Jersey. When Dias was age 11, she complained to her mother that all of her mandatory reading was books about white boys and dogs. She said, “There wasn’t really any freedom for me to read what I wanted.” After talking to her mother, Dias decided to start a book drive, #1000BlackGirlBooks, bringing more attention to literature featuring black female protagonists. In 2017, Dias won Smithsonian Magazine’s American Ingenuity Award in the Youth category.
Marley Dias’ book drive focuses specifically on books in which black girls are the main characters, not minor or background characters. She launched a campaign called #1000BlackGirlBooks in 2015, with the goal to collect 1,000 books to donate for black girls. In just a few months, more than 9,000 books were collected. Many of these books have been sent to a children’s book drive in Jamaica. The campaign also called public attention to the lack of diversity in children’s literature.
Dias, whose project has been popular all over the world, has now written and published her own book, Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!. Marley wants to show the children all over the world that their wishes or dreams can come true. Scholastic Corporation, a global children’s publishing company, announced that the book will be released in the spring of 2018. Marley said, “I think writing gives me creative freedom. I love just being able to do whatever I want. When I create a story, I can make it however funny, sad, or happy I want it to be.”
She has recommended some books for younger readers:
The Story of Ruby Bridges
No Mirrors in My Nana’s House
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Marley Dias appeared on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and as co-host of the Girls Can Do program. She interviewed people like Misty Copeland and Ava DuVernay for Elle.com. She has become the websıte’s youngest editor.