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Empowering Young Minds Through Representation

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Hi, my name is Valerie J. Lewis Coleman. I am a passionate advocate for diversity in children’s literature. I wrote my first children's book, Oh, The Things I Can Be When I See Me , to encourage my brown grandchildren to various career aspirations by providing examples of people who did what they hope to do and who look like them.

As I visited schools, organizations, and childcare facilities, I met children who had never seen a book with characters that look like them. I knew that I had to do more to encourage their love for reading. To pique their curiosity, boost their confidence, and enhance their ability to connect with the world around them, I created When I See Me BIPOC Children's Book Fair to feature books with characters that look like them.

The inaugural event is Saturday, July 27, 2024 in Dayton, Ohio. The day includes

  • Author signings
  • Fun activities that encourage reading and writing
  • Giveaways
  • Panel discussions for aspiring children’s book authors
  • And more!

Representation in children's literature isn't just about seeing diverse faces on the pages—it's about validating and celebrating the rich tapestry of identities that make up our communities. When children see themselves reflected in books, they feel seen, heard, and valued. They develop a sense of belonging and self-worth that empowers them to dream big and embrace their unique identities.

Introducing "A Book In Every Bag"
A Book In Every Bag is our commitment to ensuring that every child who attends our book fair leaves with a book. With your support, we’ll provide custom drawstring bags and vouchers that children can redeem for a book of their choice from one of our participating authors. We can make a profound difference in the lives of 400 children, igniting a love for reading that will last a lifetime.

How You Can Help
Your donation, no matter the amount, will directly influence the lives of young readers in our community. By contributing to our crowdfunding campaign, you'll help us cover the costs of drawstring bags, vouchers, and books, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the stories they read.

Join Us on This Journey
Together, we can break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and inspire the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and changemakers. Your support isn't just an investment in books—it's an investment in the future of our children and our community.

Thank you for considering joining us in this important mission. Together, we can create a world where every child feels seen, valued, and empowered to write their own story.

With gratitude,

Valerie J. Lewis Coleman


  • Gwen Warren
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 3 d
  • Linda Hawkins
    • $40 
    • 4 d
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 16 d
  • Dee S Stokes
    • $25 
    • 16 d
  • Michelle Hines
    • $50 
    • 17 d

Fundraising team: WISM Fundraising Team (5)

Valerie J Lewis Coleman
Englewood, OH
Autumn Lee
Team member
Kira Ly
Team member
Natasha White
Team member
Tenita Johnson
Team member

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