Marley Dias

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Marley Dias
Marley Dias is in front of bookshelves at a library. She is wearing a gray sweater and silver hoop earrings. She has brown skin, straight black hair, and black-framed glasses.
Dias in 2019
Born (2005-01-04) January 4, 2005 (age 17)
OccupationActivist, writer

Marley Dias (born January 4, 2005) is an American activist and writer. While Dias was in elementary school, in November 2015, she launched a campaign called #1000BlackGirlBooks to collect 1,000 books with black female protagonists to donate for black girls at other schools.

Life and career[edit]

Dias, named after reggae singer Bob Marley,[1] is of Jamaican and Cape Verdean descent. She was born in Philadelphia and grew up in West Orange, New Jersey.[2] Her mother, Janice Johnson Dias, is co-founder of the GrassROOTS Community Foundation.[2]

When Dias was age 11, she complained to her mother that all of her mandatory readings were books about white boys and dogs. She said, "There wasn't really any freedom for me to read what I wanted."[3] After speaking with her mother, Dias decided to start a book drive, #1000BlackGirlBooks, to bring more attention to literature featuring black female protagonists, with the goal to collect 1,000 books to donate for black girls to other schools.[4] The book drive focuses specifically on books in which black girls are the main characters, not minor or background characters. Within 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.[5] The campaign also called public attention to the lack of diversity in children's literature.[2] Dias is currently studying at West Orange High School in West Orange, New Jersey.[6]

Other work[edit]

Dias released a book, Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!, under Scholastic in the spring of 2018.[7]

Dias appeared on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore and as co-host of the Girls Can Do program.[8]

She interviewed people like Misty Copeland, Ava DuVernay, and Hillary Clinton for in her capacity as editor of the online Elle-sponsored 'zine, Marley Mag.[9]

Dias hosted her first Netflix show that was revealed in September called "Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices".[10] "Dias serves as the host and executive producer of the series, whose books and conversations center on themes of identity, respect, justice and action. Guests include: Chicago native, rapper, actor and writer Common; actor and author Lupita Nyong'o; comedian, actor and author Tiffany Haddish; actor and ”Little” executive producer Marsai Martin; singer, actor and poet Jill Scott; actor and activist Kendrick Sampson; actor and author Grace Byers; actor Caleb McLaughlin; TV personality Karamo Brown; ballerina and author Misty Copeland and author Jacqueline Woodson" writes the Chicago Tribune.


  • Marley Dias Gets it Done And So Can You, Marley Dias, 2019[11]



  1. ^ "11 Year Old Marley Dias Started A Book Drive 'Where Black Girls Are The Main Characters'". Vibe. 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  2. ^ a b c Flood, Alison (2016-02-09). "Girl's drive to find 1,000 'black girl books' hits target with outpouring of donations". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  3. ^ "This Is Marley Dias. She's 11. And She's on a Mission to Change the Publishing Industry". ELLE. 2016-01-27. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  4. ^ Anderson, Meg, "Where's The Color In Kids' Lit? Ask The Girl With 1,000 Books (And Counting)", NPR, February 26, 2016.
  5. ^ McGrath, Maggie. "From Activist To Author: How 12-Year-Old Marley Dias Is Changing The Face Of Children's Literature". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  6. ^ "Marley Dias named to Time magazine's list of '25 Most Influential Teens of 2018'". Essex News Daily. 1 January 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Marley Dias, #1000BlackGirlBooks founder, gets book deal". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-07-24.
  8. ^ "Girls Can Do – Marley Dias". Retrieved 2020-03-03.
  9. ^ "Q&A with 15-year-old children's book guru Marley Dias, who spoke at the Democratic convention, on her latest project coming Sept. 1 to Netflix". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2021-01-31.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. ^ Rockett, Darcel. "Q&A with 15-year-old children's book guru Marley Dias, who spoke at the Democratic convention, on her latest project coming Sept. 1 to Netflix". Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  11. ^ Dias, Marley. "Marley Dias Gets it Done And So Can You". Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  12. ^ "2017 American Ingenuity Award Winners". Smithsonian Magazine. Smithsonian.
  13. ^ "Marley Dias, 12". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-08-18.

External links[edit]