American Girl, the beloved brand known for helping girls grow up with confidence and character, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mattel (NASDAQ: MAT), is inviting invites families to tune into part two of the brand’s Conversations for Change series, Use Your Outside Voice: Climate Change. The new episode highlights four female changemakers who raise their voices—and awareness—about the climate crisis and take a stand to help save the planet.
The virtual roundtable discussion features teen activists Haven Coleman, co-founder of US Youth Climate Strike and founder of Arid Agency; Iris Zhan, co-founder of Fridays For Future Digital and founder of local hub of the Sunrise Movement; and Genesis Butler, founder of Genesis for Animals and Youth Climate Save; along with American Girl author and former biochemist Erin Teagan. The group shares why it’s essential to care about the climate movement, what they are doing to support it, and spread awareness and hope by creating a more sustainable world.
“I was so pumped to have the opportunity to work with American Girl because they’ve been empowering and giving voice to girls for years, including me,” Haven, co-founder of US Youth Climate Strike and founder of Arid Agency, shared. “I think that the Use Your Outside Voice: Climate Change episode will be great for all girls to see; hearing the stories of others shows young girls that their opportunities are limitless!”
Iris, the co-founder of Fridays For Future Digital and founder of the Sunrise Movement’s local hub, shared a similar sentiment. “I have become one of the most vocal Asian female climate activists, which defies the stereotypes of the model minority myth and the submissiveness of Asians and women,” said Iris. “I hope my story can inspire more young girls to get out of their comfort zone. Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. I am telling you that it is worth it in the end as you will meet amazing people, have incredible experiences, and grow stronger as a person. You are never too young to make a difference.”
American Girl was founded in 1986 and quickly resonated with children across the country. They have a line of historical characters that feature women and girls who played pivotal roles in shaping our nation. Since then, they have debuted several lines, including Truly Me, Bitty Baby, and Girl of the Year. Girl of the Year gave voice to a diverse range of personalities and backgrounds as they tackled modern-day issues.
More than 159 million American Girl books and more than 33 million American Girl dolls have been sold through their catalog, retail stores, and website since 1986. Their catalog is the most extensive consumer toy catalog and ranks as one of the country’s top 30 consumer catalogs.
“From the start, American Girl has given girls the tools to grow up with the kind of confidence and resilience that can help change the world,” says Jamie Cygielman, General Manager of American Girl. “In our second Conversations for Change episode, we’re proud to amplify the voices of these young female leaders who are speaking up for climate solutions and inspiring others to do the same. Their heartfelt stories prove that everyone, no matter what age— can do their part to protect the Earth for future generations.”
American Girl Supports the Climate Movement
To date, American Girl has contributed more than $130 million in donations of products and cash through our long-standing commitment to children’s charities nationwide. It seems only natural they would want to help encourage this generation to become future climate change leaders.
As part of this new initiative, American Girl is donating $25,000 to Earth Uprising, a global, youth-led nonprofit organization focused on climate education, climate advocacy, and youth mobilization. Funds will be used to support the development of the organization’s new climate awareness curriculum and student leader training program debuting this fall. Since the launch of American Girl’s 2021 Girl of the Year, Kira Bailey, the brand has been matching customer donations dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $25,000. They have also contributed to NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service, Inc. (WIRES) to help rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife, especially those impacted by recent bushfires and drought.
Kira is a testament to how American Girl is creating these characters based around girls interests and concerns. When you consider Greta Thunberg, a modern-day leader who has encouraged young generations to take action against climate change, it’s clear that American Girl wants to honor these efforts and recognize that these issues are essential to girls today.
In Kira’s stories, we see her care deeply for animals and the environment as she reminds fans that it’s never too late to get involved and make a difference. Kira’s world comes to life through her two books, written by Teagan, and an array of Australian-wildlife-inspired outfits and accessories that fuel imaginative play. To hear from the experts involved in Kira’s development and other amazing girls who are making a positive difference for our planet, tune in to the “Making of Kira” video and read about “Why Kira Matters.“
As a nonfiction companion to the Kira stories, American Girl also published a new advice book, Love the Earth, which helps readers understand climate change and offers tips and tools for those looking to make climate-friendly choices and live an Earth-friendly life.
The Conversations of Change Series and Beyond
As part of American Girl’s 35th birthday celebration, the new Conversations for Change series will continue to shine a spotlight on girls and young women who illustrate the incredible character and reflect America’s multicultural and multidimensional nature today. Two more episodes are slated for 2021. You can visit their site throughout the year to learn how the brand celebrates and empowers girls’ next generation through inclusive stories, products, and shared experiences.
For example, within the last four years, the brand introduced characters with storylines that have been very impactful to girls. There is Luciana Vega – an aspiring astronaut with a love for STEM, and Joss Kendrick – a fierce athlete born with hearing – all part of a lineup of inspirational characters who impart meaningful life lessons to help girls learn and grow with confidence.
American Girl’s mission has always been to be a champion for girls and fuel purpose through product, purposeful play, and nonfiction books. With the Conversations for Change, it’s evident that this is a continual mission to ensure they stay up to date with our youth’s concerns and needs.