What is Woke Girls?

  • Intersectional Girl Power

    "Girl power" means nothing if it doesn't include other identities that shape the experience of being a girl. Our characters represent identities that mainstream companies forget about.

  • Book Series

    Chapter books which are a mix of realistic fiction and fantasy. The books acknowledge real life adversity while casting the girls as heroes who overcome.

  • Doll Line

    Dolls are 10.5" inches tall, variety of skin tones, and facial features unique to each doll. Dolls come with a complete outfit, one accessory and an activity book.

  • SEL & Social Justice

    Our books and activity books are created to support established Social Justice and Social & Emotional Learning Frameworks.

Message from the creator

I came up with the idea for Woke Girls when my 5 year-old cousin, Maya, asked me to buy her a new doll and then immediately warned me to watch out for the "scary mean police". I realized that there are no doll characters that girls from communities like Maya's could truly relate to.

There is no question that a person's race, gender, class, and other aspects of identity create opportunities and obstacles in life. So is it fair to promise girls like Maya they can "be anything" without acknowledging the additional barriers they must overcome?

My vision for Woke Girls, is to empower all the girls who have to fight a little bit harder for their place in the world. As they are confronted with the unfairness in the world, I want them to have characters that grapple with the same issues to help answer their questions. I want them to know that the power they have within is what heroes are made of.

Mickey holds an MBA and MPP from Harvard and lives in Boston with her Fiancé.

FAQ

Why the name "Woke" Girls?

Woke is a slang word created by Black Americans. It means being aware of the injustice built into the way our society functions, having the courage to question it and striving for something better.

Woke is a fitting world for this doll line because all characters face adversity due to their identities. In order for anyone to have their best chance at overcoming adversity, it is crucial to recognize what they are up against first (AKA become woke).

Woke also works because in the book series, while the girls are sleeping, they travel to a magical world where they are heroes. When the girls awake in the real world, the lessons learned in the magical world enable them to be socially aware.

Who is Woke Girls meant for?

We believe ALL children will enjoy the stories and dolls, but Woke Girls is especially designed for children who have identities which are not represented by mainstream toys and narratives. We have found that when doll lines make attempts at being "diverse", they create characters which have diverse appearances, but their stories fail to capture the experiences people of these identities would have.
For example, let's examine the following identities:
Muslim- No mainstream dolls exist that wear a hijab.
Low-income/ working class- All mainstream characters seem to come from upper middle class backgrounds.
Racial/Ethnic minorities- Decades of activism has increased representation of African-Americans, but darker skin tones still lag. Latino, Asian (East, Southeast, and South), Native, Multiracial, and Middle Eastern races are still severely underrepresented. The only narratives that address racial adversity are in a historical context.
Gender minorities - Haha…yea right.
The toy aisles and children’s stories simply don’t reflect kids today.

Why does all this identity stuff matter?

We believe children deserve narratives that validate their experiences. We also believe it’s important for kids to realize that we all don’t have the same experiences. If messages assume some children have privilege they don’t actually have, we are setting them up for failure.

For many children, the message should be, “You can be anything, but there will be unfair obstacles that you will have to overcome.” This encourages a child without lying to them or leaving them to believe the unfair treatment is their fault. Children need affirming narratives now more than ever. Let’s make sure they know they are loved and that despite the obstacles they face, they have the power within to make it.

Are there any characters who identify as [insert identity]?

We currently have 6 characters with a range of identities and plan to add 3 more in the future. Learn more about the characters here.

We represent different races/ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender identities, religions, and family types within the first 6 dolls. There are countless, nuanced and intersecting identities and unfortunately we can’t include them all, but we are trying our best to include as much as we can.

We are aware that we lack diversity of body type and ability. This is a simple matter of cost. Woke Girls has been self-funded and additional doll body molds increase costs drastically. We did design the dolls to have realistic proportions. The body is actually based on the measurements of a real 14 year-old girl. And while Tam has ADHD, that is the extent of ability diversity currently represented.

Please share your story so we can incorporate different experiences into our stories.

What are the identities of the 3 remaining Woke Girls?

Details of the 3 remaining Woke Girls have not been finalized. We have decided that the races/ethnicities to be represented are Native American, South Asian and White.

Can you tell me more about the books?

Chapter books that that tell empowering stories. Each book will be told from the perspective of a different character.

The characters live in different parts of the U.S. and have experiences that will be relatable to children from similar backgrounds. They meet in a fantasy world where they are heroes with magical powers needed to save the day. Characters ultimately take lessons from the fantasy world that they can use to fight injustice in the real world.

The books will be written at a 3rd grade reading level and will incorporate age appropriate Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Social Justice Education frameworks.

What research is done to ensure characters are portrayed accurately?

Shemeka’s story incorporates a lot of personal experiences of the creator, those in her family, and personal research. All other identities are based on research and interviews with people who share those identities.

We take narrative extremely seriously. We plan to hold additional focus groups and interviews to inform upcoming stories. Please share your story with us and let us know if you are interested in participating in an interview.

When will Woke Girls books and/or dolls be available?

We are working to get the first book out by the end of Spring 2018. The first doll is expected some time in 2018.

They will be sold exclusively on our website.

How can I support Woke Girls?

There are plenty of ways to support us:

Spread the word - Tell your friends and family about Woke Girls
Follow us - Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
Share your story- Help us make our stories true to your experience.

Donate - Funding is needed to produce our dolls and books. You can help us by making a donation.

Are you hiring?

Not for regular employees, but we will update our site if that changes.

We are interested in contracting work with artists and writers. Email us at info@wokegirls.com.

Coming in 2018

.

.

.

.

.