The resistance is indeed real! Well technically, that should read: “the resistance is female”. A recent poll by Lake Research Partners found that women between the ages of 46-65 have made 85% of the anti-Trump calls to Congress, urging their representatives to take a stand against damaging and discriminatory policies which have been streaming forth from Capitol Hill since Trump’s inauguration.
But politics is not the only place we are seeing people rise up and use their voice to make a difference in the world. There are numerous young men and women who are recognizing their importance as influencers for their generation, and are utilizing tools such as social media to create impact. One of those young women is Marley Dias, the tween who launched the viral #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign in 2016 after not seeing enough mainstream books aimed at kids which featured prominent black female role models or protagonists.
After her mission went viral the world over, thanks to social media, Marley didn’t just manage to find 1000 books. To date she has over 8000. Not bad for a young girl who saw a problem in the world and decided to use what she had around her to try to fix it.
Well Marley is not done yet. Now that she has a reputation for encouraging representation in literature for her generation, she wants to also encourage them to raise their voices as activists. Global publishing giant Scholastic announced that they have secured the rights to Marley’s book and will publish it in Spring of 2018.
“Marley is using her voice to advocate for social justice, a commitment reflected by her ambitious life goals: she dreams of becoming an editor of her very own magazine and plans to use media to spread positive messages and to perpetuate more socially conscious pop culture,” said the press announcement.
The non-fiction book will be aimed at ages 10 and up, and is being billed as an “accessible, keep it real guide” for budding activists. She will share insight into how she’s turned her passion into a literacy crusade that has captured the attention of the media, policymakers, and young people throughout the world.
“This book explores activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, using social media for good (not just makeup tutorials and angry tweets), and shows how young people can galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in our world,” says the press statement.
Marley’s advocacy has been so inspiring that she has been working with various community organizations and schools to offer insight and encouragement in to children’s literacy. In December 2015, Marley and the GrassROOTS Community Foundation traveled to Ghana, West Africa, on a humanitarian mission to support the health and well-being of Ghanaian youth and their families. The trip included serving as health ambassadors for African Health Now and she helped to provide meals for children at local orphanages.
Her story has gotten plenty of media attention, and she has been working with Elle magazine on an interview series, where she interviewed director Ava DuVernay among such luminaries and pioneers in their own right.
Social media can indeed be a powerful tool, as well as something incredibly damaging. However, young pioneers like Marley Dias are proving, A) you’re never too young to make a difference in the world, and B) social media has the potential to turn every person into an activist.
With our current political climate the way it is, there is no escaping the bad news. But we can be encouraged knowing there are many people taking part in the collective resistance, including teens and children. Marley’s new book will make it that much easier for the younger generation to know how they can raise their voice and take part. Just look at how Malala Yousafzai has become a leader for other young female education activists in countries like Syria and Afghanistan.
Aside from practical tools for the budding teen activist, her book focuses on the importance of literacy and diversity, Marley offers suggestions on book selection, book-talking, and sharing titles. She delivers hands-on strategies for becoming a lifelong reader.
“I am so excited to be doing this book with Scholastic…Scholastic is the perfect partner for spreading my message of diversity, inclusion and social action,” said Marley about her new project.
The resistance is female, the FUTURE is female, and will be lead by young women like Marley Dias!