Each fall, members of the Ida B. Wells Living and Learning Community at Mary Baldwin University come together to collect black baby dolls for area children. Now in its 15th year, the project continues to promote and develop a more positive self image among African-American girls.
Donated dolls or money can be dropped off at the Spencer Center and will be accepted until the start of winter break, December 10. The dolls must have ethnic hair and black or brown eyes. Porcelain dolls, baby dolls, Kenya, and professional Barbie dolls will be accepted, though Barbie dolls need to be dressed appropriately — no swimsuits or midriff revealing outfits. In order to inspire a positive image, the group asks donors to refrain from donating fantasy, Bratz, or Flava dolls.
In the past, the program has been able to serve more than 300 area girls each year, but this year student organizers hope to expand their reach to 400 local girls who they hope will improve their self image by overcoming the difficulty of finding a black baby doll.
For more information, please contact the Office of African American and Multicultural Affairs. And to learn more about the importance of recovering African-American children’s self esteem through projects such as these, visit You Tube and search for “black baby doll test.”