News Alert on KCBS Radio: "How an 11-year-old is changing the world through skin-colored crayons" by J Villa
SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – An 11-year-old girl is redefining language and inclusivity, one crayon at a time.
By KCBS Radio,
Sixth-grade Virginia student Bellen Woodard is the CEO of the "More Than Peach Project," a multi-cultural art brand which aims to transform how society views skin color.
The project began when Woodard was nine-years-old in third grade – before she skipped a grade – and heard her classmates referring to the "skin-colored" crayon, which she said "didn’t feel right."
"The problem was that people were calling the peach crayon the skin color crayon," she told KCBS Radio's Lisa Chan on Sunday. "My mom told them to hand me the brown crayon next time, but I decided I didn’t want to do that, so next time I was actually going to ask what crayon they wanted. Then when I went back to school and said that language, they started using it like me."
"I thought if I could do that in my school, I can do that in schools across the world and that's when I started the "More than a Peach" project with my own money," Woodard explained.
As a result, Woodard created her own art sets which contained a plethora of different skin-colors crayons that more accurately reflect the different cultures and communities which exist in the world.
The project which started in a classroom in Northern Virginia, has turned into a movement across the U.S. and even the world.
In the two years since the organization was founded, with a goal of getting the multicultural crayons into as many schools as possible, Bellen's mom, Tosha Woodard, told the Washington Post that her daughter has received "so many letters and drawings from kids that say, 'Bellen, we don’t use that language anymore.'"
In addition, "More than Peach" has expanded to more than just art supplies. Woodard recently authored her first book, titled "More Than Peach," which was released this month. The children's book tells the story of how the project began and the lessons Woodard wants to convey with it.