A 9-year-old from Virginia is on a mission to promote inclusivity in art. According to the Washington Post, Bellen Woodard launched a project dubbed “More than Peach” that celebrates the variety of multicultural crayon shades.
Through her project, Woodard produces art kits that feature crayon colors that are reflective of different skin tones. She was inspired to launch the project after noticing that her classmates believed the only “skin-color crayon” was peach; a color that didn’t represent her skin tone. She shared with her mother Tosha Woodard that the experience—which was one of many occurrences—left her feeling excluded and she was determined to evoke change; not just for herself but for other youngsters with different skin tones. After going back to school and convincing her classmates that beauty comes in all different shades, she decided she wanted to further her impact. She then launched an art kit that includes crayon colors like tan, mahogany and sienna.
In the kit, which is priced at $5, she includes colored pencils, a sketchbook and a customized postcard. She started the project with $200 that she saved. Woodard is currently focused on making a local impact and is aiming to equip every grade school and preschool student in Loudoun County with a “More than Peach” kit. She also wants to donate art supplies to youngsters whose families are facing financial struggles. She’s received several donations to further her efforts.
“She just has such a remarkable way of expressing herself without reducing others and confronting marginalization,” said her mother. “Honestly, for me, it’s quite emotional seeing the magnitude of her impact and change unfolding right before my eyes.” The youngster has received recognition from elected officials and institutions throughout her community.
The fourth-grader—who has dreams of becoming a scientist, astronaut and actor—wants to inspire others through her endeavors and show that you’re never too young to make an impact.