8-YEAR OLD CEO LAUNCHES “MY FRIEND” PLUSH LINE, EMPOWERS BROWN BOYS THROUGH REPRESENTATION AND POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS.
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Recently, featured on the Kelly Clarkson Show, Lil Dee is an eight-year-old CEO who does not let his age get in the way of spreading positivity and building the confidence of brown boys in Ohio and beyond. Inspired to make a difference and drive positive social change, he created his own company, Our Brown Boy Joy, to inspire and empower brown boys across the country and let them know just how special they are. Lil Dee and his team are excited to announce the launch of the “My Friend” plush line, plush dolls designed to be both a tool and toy that helps brown boys see themselves positively.
According to Lil Dee, “Brown boys should know they are wonderful, just the way they are!” The My Friend plush dolls were designed with this in mind, and each plush doll speaks several positive affirmations, including: “Brown boy, you are joy.” Through playing with and interacting with these dolls, brown boys will not only see themselves represented but also hear special affirmations geared toward them, reminding them how special and extraordinary they are. The My Friend plush doll wears a hoodie for an important reason. After learning about Trayvon Martin’s killing, Lil Dee knew his plush dolls needed to wear a hoodie to signify that clothes should never be used to justify bias or be viewed as threatening. He never wants brown boys to be perceived negatively because of their skin color or the clothes they wear, another reason why the My Friend plush doll is dressed in a hoodie, a pair of jeans, and Timberland inspired boots.
Luciana Gilmore, Lil Dee’s mother and an educator who understands the importance of representation, helps him to inspire brown boys everywhere as the Creative Director of Our Brown Boy Joy. In her own words, “Our boys are extraordinary, and they deserve to have toys that reflect who they are.” This is exactly why she and her son created Our Brown Boy Joy. Through his company, Lil Dee seeks to tackle the problem of lack of representation in products and toys for brown boys. By creating toys that address this problem, Lil Dee hopes to boost the confidence and self-esteem of brown boys and help create an environment for them that is welcoming, comforting, and supportive.
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