Representation Matters! Girl Raises Thousands To Buy Multicultural Crayons And Books For Schools
She was inspired to start the fundraiser after being frustrated by the lack of black and brown characters in books and movies.
Madison Wilson was tired of seeing only 'peach people' in drawings at her school. So, when she heard that Crayola was coming out with a new box of multicultural crayons, she wanted to make sure her school had a good supply.
With the support of her mother, Vashti Tameka Wilson, Madison started a fundraiser called "Help Fill Madi's Treasure Box" to help purchase multiple boxes of the 'Colors of the World' crayon boxes and a selection of books with diverse characters for her school.
Crayola's new 'Colors of the World' box features 32 colors that represent skin tones of people all over the world. GoFundMe
"Sometimes, there are only books with peach kids, and there should be books with brown kids like me, too," Madison wrote on her GoFundMe page.
Crayola's 'Colors of the World' box is scheduled to be released in July and will offer 24 crayons with shades like Almond, Golden and Rose to represent different skin tones from around the world.
Madison lives in Solvang, CA, and while she's one of only a few black students at her school, there are many families of Native American and Asian backgrounds who she hopes will be able to accurately draw themselves using the new crayons.
Madison got the idea to start the fundraiser after talking to her mother about why there aren't many black or brown characters in books or movies. Vashti Tameka Wilson/Facebook
"She's one of three black children in her entire school," Vashti told GMA. "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."
Madison's original goal was to raise a few thousand dollars to provide coloring supplies to her school, but after holding a few fundraising events and giving a passionate speech at her community's Juneteenth celebration, she's raised over $18,000. That's enough to donate books and art supplies to every classroom for at least three schools in her area.
So far Wilson has raised over $18,000 to buy crayons and more diverse books for schools in her area. Vashti Tameka Wilson/Facebook
Madison said she got the idea for the fundraiser after a conversation she had with her mother about the lack of diversity in movies and books.
"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," Vashti 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."
Here's Madison speaking at her community's Juneteenth celebration about her fundraiser...
Along with starting 'Help Fill Madi's Treasure Box,' Madison spends her time as CEO of her own company, Dino Explorerz, where she creates science kits to make learning fun for kids of all ages.
We love stories of young people, like Madison, who are making a difference in their communities. We can only imagine the amazing things she'll accomplish in her lifetime!
Madison also is the CEO of Dino Explorerz, a company that makes learning about science more fun. Dino Explorerz/Facebook