American Girl's New Dolls Teach Kids About Social Justice
American Girl has three new dolls (with accompanying books, of course) who will teach kids about important issues, from racial justice to climate change
For generations now, American Girl dolls have been one great way for kids to learn about the world around them. With its unique blending of toys and educational stories, the company has really leaned into its responsibility to teach kids, and that’s never been more clear than it is now — with the introduction of three new dolls to the American Girl line. Makena Williams, Evette Peeters, and Maritza Ochoa are three new dolls that have stories centered around teaching kids about some of the most important issues the world faces today: Racial justice, environmentalism, and immigration.
“American Girl was built on diverse and inclusive storytelling—narratives that have empowered an entire generation of girls to stand up for what they believe in with courage, resilience, and kindness,” Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl, said in a press release. “We created the new World by Us line to accelerate our progress in diversifying our characters and stories to better reflect what it means to be an American girl today. Through Makena, Evette, and Maritza, as well as future characters to come, we hope our fans learn that they’re never too young to contribute to the larger conversation and help make the world a more inclusive, unified place.”
Here’s a little bit more information about each of the new American Girl dolls’ stories, as written on the company’s website:
- “Maritza: Lead with Your Heart.” Maritza is a caring, take-action kind of girl who loves celebrating her Latina heritage—from the delicious food to her community’s music-filled festivals. A leader on and off the soccer field, she finds her passion in advocating for others, especially helping to keep immigrant families together.
- “Makena: See Me, Hear Me, Know Me.” Makena loves art and her close-knit family, with ties tracing back to Kenya, but her real passion is fashion, which she uses to express her views. After experiencing a racist incident in her own front yard, Makena uses her style to speak up about injustice.
- “Evette: The River and Me.” Evette loves vintage clothes, upcycling, and protecting nature, including the Anacostia River near her home. When she discovers racism in her own biracial family, she works hard to heal her world—family, friends, river, and all.
According to American Girl, the company had a number of advisors to help create these dolls and their stories, including women and people of color from around the world. One of them was Naomi Wadler, a teen activist who, at just 11 years old, spoke at the 2018 March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C.
All three dolls, as well as their accessories and books, are available now on the American Girl website.