Woke Girls empowers girls from underrepresented backgrounds to recognize that even when the world is unfair, they have the power to love themselves, stand up for what is right, and build a better world.
"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.
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.
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.
Our books and activity books are created to support established Social Justice and Social & Emotional Learning Frameworks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are plenty of ways to support us:Spread the word - Tell your friends and family about Woke Girls
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.