When Zoe Terry was 5-years-old, she remembers being bullied in school because of the color of her skin and her “puffy” hair. Running to her mother in tears, Nakia Bowling tried to turn her daughter’s hurtful experience into a teachable moment. Bowling told reporters, that even as a little girl her daughter wouldn’t let a classmate’s negative words stop her.
“When she was bullied, she said, ‘I’m not going to let this get me down. I’m going to do something positive about it,’ ” Bowling said. “She doesn’t let her situation determine her outcome, she determines her outcome.”
Zoe decided to do something about it. According to ABC News, Zoe launched “Zoe’s Dolls.” The initiative is simple: gift black and brown girls with dolls that look like them.
“I really wanted to find a way where I can let little brown girls know that their image is beautiful no matter what anyone else says and I thought, ‘Dolls in their image would be a great way to show them that.’ ” Zoe said. “I think its important that everyone gets a doll that looks like them.
Now at 11 years old, Zoe is a sixth grader at the same school she was bullied at and is doing well. Karen Davis, a teacher at Zoe’s school, says “Zoe’s Dolls” is more than just giving a little girl something to play with.
“Not only does she spread a message of diversity and inclusion,” Karen Davis, a teacher at Zoe’s school said. “She really does feel that we are all beautiful.”
At the time of this post, Zoe has helped collect and donate 20,000 dolls, and intends to create her own line of dolls. On Good Morning America Friday (Feb. 16) CEO of the Goldieblox company Debbie Sterling surprised Zoe by donating 5,000 dolls to her project so Zoe can focus more on getting her own line of dolls off the ground.
“I wouldn’t have as much success today if I didn’t have mentors along the way, so today I would like to sign up to be your mentor,” Sterling told Zoe.
Congrats to Zoe!