On September 27, 2021, I earned my Girl Scouts Gold Award! Read on for the history of my project.
First, a little context:
The Gold Award is the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA. Girl Scout Seniors and Ambassadors who earn the Gold Award tackle issues that are important to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond. Only 5% of girl scouts actually get the award!
For my Gold Award project, I wanted to help make it easier to find diverse comic books and graphic novels by influencing booksellers to direct customers to diverse titles, and helping readers better understand the important role diversity plays in the entertainment they choose.
To do this, I worked with four booksellers across the country to help them showcase diverse comics, increase awareness about those books and support diverse authors and creators.
"Easy enough for any size of shop to use. Led to a number of sales."
Rob Clifford, Mill Geek Comics • Seattle
"Every bookstore should have this kind of training."
Selene Idell, AlleyCat Comics • Chicago
"The shelf-talkers were especially useful in alerting customers to diverse options."
Matthew Spahlinger, Fantom Comics • Washington DC
"Customers are always looking for diverse titles."
Dimitrios Fragiskatos, Anyone Comics • Brooklyn
Each of my booksellers received:
A marketing toolkit that increased attention to their stores (and included items they could keep and use forever and ever)
An hour-long diversity training led by me and created with guidance from my Diversity Expert
An expert-approved Diversity Criteria List to help them identify books they already had in their store that fit our criteria
National promotion of their bookstores on my website + social media
The good PR that comes from supporting diverse causes
I launched my project June 1, 2021. It ended on Labor Day. I used the summer to teach my target audiences that:
Diversity in comics and graphic novels is important
It can be easy to direct attention to diverse titles
Diverse titles are more available than people think
To earn my award, I also needed to lead a team, mostly of professionals (and a few friends):
Stephanie Cooke, Project Advisor + Industry Expert
Carla Rush, Diversity Expert
Adam Weinstein, Business Development Expert (and my dad!)
Alisa Weinstein, Marketing Expert (and my mom!)
Katie Lynskey, Design Expert
La Nguyen, Printing Expert/Color Specialist
Thom Blanton, Web Development Expert
Kaylen Chang, Social Media Expert
Kara Suggs and Jennifer Kaechele, Co-Troop Members
My project was really effective! All of my booksellers sold more diverse titles. All agreed their customers became more aware of diverse creators and characters. And it paved the way for me to make an even bigger impact moving forward. Learn what's new here!
100% of my booksellers' customers became more aware of diverse titles
Final quotes from my booksellers about the success of the project.
I really loved working on this project. I think Rob from Mill Geek Comics said it best: "It’s pretty awesome to see folks gravitate to the highlighted materials and have discussions about the program.”