She was 10 when she first decided to distribute children’s books with black girl leads – a campaign that has taken her to the White House. Now she’s written a book of her own
When I arrive at the photography studio to meet the education activist Marley Dias, I am surprised to find the shoot is long over. The 14-year-old is sitting patiently, her luggage packed, coat neatly slung over her lap, waiting. The photographer explains the early finish is because they got all the pictures they needed with Dias near-immediately; that she is the perfect subject to work with.
This was perhaps the first inkling of what would become abundantly clear during our interview: Marley Dias is a pro. Despite her tender years, the campaigner for diverse children’s books – which took her from her New Jersey home town to the White House – carries herself with a mature confidence, and a wherewithal perhaps born from deeply held conviction.
“We live in an unfair world and we have to fight,” she says, leaning forward in her seat, her elbow resting on the table. She is wearing a vivacious green jumpsuit, the outfit of someone who is not afraid to be seen. Her role is, Dias …