From #1000BlackGirlBooks to a Movement: Marley Dias's Journey
Source: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Celebrating Young Leaders: Marley Dias's Awards and Recognitions


Dec. 9 2023, Published 9:32 a.m. ET

Teenage hood is a time when most children are battling peer pressure while trying to figure out their aspirations in life. But Marley Dias isn't your ordinary teenager. By the time she was 12 years old, she had already started a campaign that advocated for literacy representation. This idea came about after sharing with her mother the difficulties she was facing relating to the characters in the books she read at school.

Her effort to collect and distribute books with stories of black girls to schools and libraries went viral on social media and was later taken up by bloggers. Thankfully, her work has helped her to receive different awards and recognition.

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TIME 100 Most Influential People

TIME Most Influential award is presented to people to recognize their impact in their industry. While choosing the teenagers to feature for the awards, they'll find the teens who can drive news. They also determine whether they have a global impact via social media and whether they have received accolades across different fields.

In 2018, Marley Dias was awarded the TIME 100 award, making it to the list of the youngest teenagers ever to receive the award. This award was in recognition of her black girl's book campaign that helped promote diversity in children's books. Through her campaign, she has managed to distribute more than 11,000 books to community organizations and schools.

NAACP Image Award

This yearly event recognizes people of color for their achievements in literature, television, film and music. The awards have over 40 categories that people can be voted on by the members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Marley Diaz was nominated for this award under the "Outstanding Children Program" category.

Her nomination came about from her role as the executive producer and host of the Netflix show "Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices." The 25-minute show featured prominent celebrities reading children's books from black authors that mostly centered on themes like justice, respect and identity.

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The Shorty Awards

This is an award that recognizes people, advertising agencies, and brands for their exemplary performance in the social media space. The award began in 2008 and only recognized achievements made by content creators on X (formally Twitter). Over the years, the award has grown to cover content from all digital platforms.

Before creatives can be nominated for this award, their work must be judged by a team of industry professionals selected by Shortly Awards. Public voting (Audience Honor Voting) must also be done to select the final contenders. In 2018, Marley Dias was nominated for the Shorty Awards based on her use of social media to find and collect children's books to distribute in libraries and schools.

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Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards

This award ceremony by the Smithsonian Institution honors people across different categories, including Technology, Arts, Youth and history. The award recognizes the achievements made by Americans across different fields. At 12 years old, Marley Dias received this award under the youth category. She was recognized for impacting American culture through her initiative to create more children's books with stories about black people.

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Marley Accolades for Her Exemplary Work

Dias dedication to changing how children read books is a true testament to her dedication to shaping how children view themselves. With the help of social media, she was able to champion her cause and get people to donate books, which she distributed to those in need. This has earned her many awards and nominations, from the Ingenuity awards to being named TIMES' influential personality.

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