BY BRIANNA KNIBBS
Two Forest Hills mothers have teamed up for a new book—Rad Girl Revolution—that deconstructs gender stereotypes and which its authors hope will inspire and empower young women.
Sharita Manickam and Jen Bruno worked together to create the book, which is aimed at girls, ages 2 to 8. It will feature 30 photos of girls acting out jobs in fields in which women are often underrepresented. The careers listed in the book include scientist, judge, artist, astronaut, doctor, pilot, journalist, director, chef, author, CEO, engineer, paleontologist and U.S. president.
“So many little girls were seeing the possibility of a female president,” Bruno said of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 candidacy. “Girls were surprised that firefighters can be women. It becomes normal for the girls to see and the boys as well.”
Bruno noted that gender stereotypes affect young girls, and that she and Manickam were inspired to combat such stereotypes following the 2016 election.
The duo came up with the acronym R.A.D., which stands for both Rise Above Doubt and Reach Any Dream. They launched a Kickstarter page, reaching a $15,000 goal to finance the photo shoot for the book and produce 1,000 copies. Now, they have raised their goal to $20,000 to allow them to donate 100 copies of the book to Pajama Program, an organization with a mission to provide new pajamas and books to children in need.
Bruno and Manickam’s message in the book is to show young girls that their gender does not limit them in the careers they want to pursue. Their hope is that the book’s readers will be inspired to break down barriers in their chosen career paths.
Bruno photographed the book’s illustrations, while Manickam wrote poems to accompany the images. The book is scheduled for release in November. The book can be preordered at www.radgirlrevolution.com.
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