Activist, author, and producer: West Orange teen makes impressive appearance during first night of DNC

A 15-year-old girl from West Orange, who is also a literary activist, author, and producer, made an impressive appearance on the first night of the Democratic National Convention.

News 12 Staff

Aug 20, 2020, 11:06 AM

Updated 1,332 days ago

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A 15-year-old girl from West Orange, who is also a literary activist, author, and producer, made an impressive appearance on the first night of the Democratic National Convention.
"In fifth grade, I did not see girls like me, Black girls, as the main characters in the books that I was assigned in school, and I took this as a problem,” says Marley Dias.
The lack of diversity sparked the idea for a movement.
WATCH: Full interview with Marley Dias

"1,000 Black Girl Books' goal is to promote diversity through collecting books where Black girls are the main characters and donating them to schools and communities that need them,” says Dias.
At just 15 years old, Dias has collected more than 12,000 books. Her campaign received national attention, as she was invited to appear on the first night of the DNC.
“My point was to talk about my individual struggles and a teenager who wants to see her friends, but also as an activist that wants to make sure she can do her best to serve young kids and to help parents make sure they have the stories they need, but also for parents to be a backbone for young activists and to listen to their kids," says Dias.
Going forward, Dias says she wants to create an online summit for teenagers to exchange ideas about social action. She says change starts on the page.
"1,000 Black Girl Books has always been about correcting and changing narratives and doing better for other people,” says Dias. “Making sure they cannot make the same mistakes our parents did and ensuring we can make a better future for all of us, whether it's just turning a page or giving a friendly face to someone else."
Dias is the host and executive producer of an upcoming Netflix series called Bookmarks, where Black celebrities read a children's book about the Black experience. The series comes out Sept. 1.


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