Girl, 7, raises thousands to put multicultural crayons, books in classrooms

Madison Wilson, 7, is raising money to put multicultural books and crayons into classrooms. So far, she's raised more than US$14,500. GoFundMe

One young girl’s dream is to get multicultural crayons and books into California classrooms — and she’s doing it.

Madison Wilson, 7, wants to make sure that everyone sees themselves in their classrooms, and that’s why she’s been raising money to donate diverse materials to three different schools in her home state.

So far, the third-grader has raised more than US$14,500 for her cause; she’s very close to hitting her goal of $17,500.

“Sometimes, there are only books with peach kids, and there should be books with brown kids like me, too,” her GoFundMe page, called “Help Fill Madi’s Treasure Box,” reads.

Her goal is to donate 1,000 crayon boxes and 500 books.

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“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,'” her mom, Vashti Wilson, told Good Morning America.

“I said, ‘That’s why people like you need to take steps and write books.'”

For every $2,500 Madison raises, she’ll donate 15 books and 25 boxes of crayons per class.

Madison Wilson, 7, and her mom hold up her favourite book, ‘The Big Bed’ by Bunmi Laditan. GoFundMe

“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.”

“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.”

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In May, Crayola announced the July launch of its latest pack of crayons called “Colors of the World.”

The packs, set to be released on UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, contains 24 or 32 specially formulated new colours that represent more than 40 skin tones across the world.

“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, per the Associated Press.

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“We want the new Colors of the World crayons to advance inclusion within creativity and impact how kids express themselves.”

The new colours were created in partnership with Victor Casale, co-founder and CEO of sustainable makeup brand Mob Beauty. Casale has over 30 years of experience in creating foundation colours for global skin tones, the AP says. He was the former chief chemist and managing director, R&D of MAC cosmetics and co-founder and chief innovation officer of Cover FX.

For more than eight months, Crayola’s research team worked alongside Casale to develop the new colours, using a process similar to formulating foundation shades. The resulting crayons include different shades in rose, almond and golden undertones across the spectrum.

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