Black 7-Year-Old Raises More Than $40K To Put Multicultural Crayons, Books In California Classrooms
The mother of the 7-year-old said they will be turning the fundraiser into a nonprofit that ensures representative literature is available in every academic setting.
August 10, 2020 at 9:55 pm
A California third-grader has set a goal to get multicultural books and resources into classrooms.
Madison Wilson, a 7-year-old passionate about paleontology, wants to help her peers feel more represented by donating 1,000 crayon boxes and 500 books with diverse characters to local schools, Global News reports.
“I'm raising money to donate multi-cultural crayons and books with diversity to my school. Sometimes, there are only books with peach kids, and there should be books with brown kids like me too,” a GoFundMe campaign for the project reads.
Originally, the young scholar hoped to raise $17,500 to benefit classrooms. After smashing her initial goal, she raised her target number to $42,500 and will donate 15 books and 25 crayon boxes for every $2,500 raised, per Global News.
Vashti Wilson, Madison’s mom, said her daughter is one of three Black kids in her school and that it was important to the 7-year-old to help kids find things that represented them well.
“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.”
On July 26, Madison’s fundraiser shared an update announcing NBA player Aaron Holiday’s “sizable donation” and his appearance as the first guest of her upcoming educational show, Madi’s Corner.
The update also shared that the fundraiser, called Help Fill Madi’s Treasure Box, would be developed into a nonprofit of a similar name. Its mission will be “to ensure multicultural tools and representative literature are present in every educational environment.”
In a video her mom shared to highlight the update, Madison said she couldn't wait to get the materials into classrooms and said the donations have made her "heart so full."
"I’m so thankful that you guys are donating, it makes my heart so full,” she began. “Also, I can’t wait to donate these crayons that are multicolor and books. I’m so excited to draw with the color crayons."
In May, Crayola announced the release of its “Colors of the World” pack of crayons on UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, the Associated Press reports. The pack features 24 new crayons meant to represent over 40 global skin tones.
“With the world growing more diverse than ever before, Crayola hopes our new Colors of the World crayons will increase representation and foster a greater sense of belonging and acceptance,” Crayola CEO Rich Wuerthele said in a news release.
Madison and her mom shared that she will be joining Crayola as an ambassador for the Crayon Collection.