Marley Dias

Activist, Author, Producer & Founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks

Marley Dias is the witty and purpose-driven young founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks and author of Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! Her successful campaign garnered over 10 billion media impressions and the international movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature Black girls as the lead character propelled her to the top of the social justice stratosphere. 

At just 11 years old, Marley launched the #1000BlackGirlBooks drive in November of 2015 with the help of the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, leveraging the power of media to reach a larger audience. The #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign eclipsed its original goal after her story went viral and was picked up by media outlets around the world, including Ellen, BBC News, CBS This Morning, The Today Show, The View, NPR  and several others.  Bloggers, schools, youth-focused organizations and millions of individuals helpedMarley collect over 15,000 books to-date, donating them to libraries, schools and others in need, including in Jamaica, her mother’s place of birth. 

In response to her fearless work, Marley was  invited to speak at the White House’s United State of Women alongside Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, The Forbes Women’s Summit, United Nations 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 around representation in literature. Dias was also honored by TIME as one of the 25 most influential teens in 2018 and was recognized as the youngest member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list to date.

While serving as an Editor in Residence at ELLE, Marley interviewed Ava DuVernay, Misty Copeland and Hillary Clinton.  She has also been featured in a Microsoft Commercial, a Disney World Resorts digital campaign and a Walmart Black History Month campaign, to name a few of her partnerships.  Additionally, Marley has done interviews with Teen Vogue, Refinery29 Unbothered, Glamour, and more.

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 – co-founded by Marley’s mother Dr. Janice Johnson Dias –  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’s passion and advocacy goes beyond her love for reading, She has been an outspoken voice for several issues that resonate with her life vision and mission. Along with other Super Girls from the GrassROOTS Community Foundation, Marley started Green Ribbon Week to bring awareness to the need for mental health resources for teens. 

In 2020, Marley added Executive Producer to her many titles with the launch of Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices on Netflix. The show, also hosted by Marley, features celebrities reading books that feature Black characters and authors. In 2021, the show was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Children’s Programs category.

In April 2022, Marley was invited to the White House to offer comments during a policy briefing hosted by Gender Policy Council Director Jen Klein. The meeting – which also included Ambassador Susan Rice and a small group of girls and young women identified by leading national girls organizations and initiatives – featured a discussion on how to address the nation’s mental health crisis. 

Marley is a student at Harvard where she writes for the Harvard Crimson. She also currently serves as the National Education Association’s (NEA) National Ambassador for their Read Across America campaign. Marley also has been published in national publications like Rolling Stone and Elle, Essence Girls United and others. 

Her #1000blackgirlbooks resource guide can be found here.