By Nicole Pelletiere via GMA
(SOLVANG, Ca) — A 7-year-old girl is determined to get multicultural crayons and books featuring diverse characters into California classrooms.
So far, Madison Wilson has raised nearly $7,000, which is enough to donate material to three different schools. The third grader got the idea after a conversation with her mother about the lack of diversity seen in movies and literature.
“She said, ‘Mommy why don’t they show brown people in movies and books? Do they not like brown people?’ She said they mostly show ‘peach people,'” mom Vashti Wilson of Solvang, California, told “Good Morning America.”
“I said, ‘That’s why people like you need to take steps and write books.'”
Wilson helped her daughter launch a crowdfunding page titled, “Help Fill Madi’s Treasure Box.”
Madison raised even more money after giving a speech at her community’s Juneteeth celebration where she sold snacks at a social distancing, drive-in movie event.
For every $2,500 she raises, Madison will donate 15 books and 25 boxes of crayons per class.
“She’s one of three black children in her entire school,” Wilson said. “She said crayons are either too dark or too light for her and so she wanted all the kids to be able to find something that would match them.”
In May, handicraft company Crayola announced its “Colors of the World” line featuring 24 new crayon colors representing 40 global skin tones. Wilson said these are the crayons Madison will purchase for students.
The city of Solvang has a high population of white residents, though, there are also Black, Native American and people of Asian decent. Wilson said Madison wants all kids to have access to books featuring minorities who are underrepresented in classroom libraries.
“If you look at the movies, the books, the protagonist is usually a white woman or white male and [if there’s a black character] it’s usually a supporting character,” Wilson said. “When you’re a kid and see this, it’s almost like a small paper cut. Paper cuts hurt and those little hurts build up over time.”
When Madison isn’t dedicating time to her cause, she enjoys learning about dinosaurs and is CEO of her own company, Dino Explorerz.
Ryan Toussaint, the mayor of Solvang, donated $1,000 towards Madison’s fundraiser, she added.
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