Marley Dias - Trailblazer Award

Marley Dias is the 13-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 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 thousands of individuals who wanted to participate in the project. In one year, #1000BlackGirlBooks garnered over 6 billion media impressions.

In addition to features in major media outlets such as Elle, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and People, the initiative quickly gained support from literary partners including Barnes & Noble, My Very Own Library, Scholastic and Putnam Books, who have donated books and funds to the cause. Well-known authors and artists, including Jacqueline Woodson and Rita Garcia, have contributed books, as well.

In light of the campaign’s huge success, Marley been featured on numerous television shows including Ellen, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (where she received the show’s first ever “Golden Hunnit/Keep It 100” award) and CBS This Morning. 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 where she has interviewed the likes of Ava DuVerney, Misty Copeland and Hillary Clinton. Marley has spoken at the White House’s United State of Women Summit, The InBound Conference and United Nations’ Girl Up Summit.

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, Marley Dias Gets it Done and So Can You!, scheduled to launch January 30, 2018.