Institute Speaker/Panelist Bio

Marley Dias

Author and Activist

Marley Dias is the witty and purpose-driven 16-year-old founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks and author of Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! whose successful campaign has garnered over 10 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 with the help of GrassROOTS Community Foundation, leveraging the power of social media to reach a larger audience. The goal was to collect 1,000 books featuring Black women or girl 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 13,000 books to-date. Marley is also the Executive Producer of Netflix’s Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices which is currently nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Children’s Programs category.

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. She was honored with the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award, also known as the “the Golden Globes of Intellect,” in the Youth Category in 2017, for her transformative work in 2016 around representation in literature. Dias was also recognized by TIME, as one of the 25 most influential teens in 2018 and was identified as the youngest member of the Forbes 30 under 30 list to date.

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’s campaign would not be possible without GrassROOTS Community Foundation (GCF), a public health and social action organization, that has given her the training for success. GCF’s funds, supports, develops and scales community health and wellness programs for women and girls. They also advocate for policies and practices that reduce disparities and foster equity. Marley resides in West Orange, NJ with her mother and father. See Marley’s #1000blackgirlbooks resource guide.

IF SHE CAN SEE IT, SHE CAN BE IT