"Inclusivity should be accessible for all ages and a discussion about diversity should be encouraged in order to foster a sense of belonging."
Human beings come in all kinds of different shapes, sizes, physical abilities and shades, and when a child is drawing a self-portrait in your kindergarten classroom they should be able to find a crayon that matches the face they see in the mirror.
That's why Crayola just unveiled a new box of crayons called "Colors of the World" that comes in 24- and 32-crayon versions, available for pre-order now and shipping in July.
"With the world growing more diverse than ever before, Crayola hopes our new Colors of the World crayons will increase representation and foster a greater sense of belonging and acceptance," Crayola CEO Rich Wuerthele explained in a news release. "We want the new Colors of the World crayons to advance inclusion within creativity and impact how kids express themselves."
The project is a collaboration cosmetics company MOB Beauty. The company's CEO, Victor Casale, has decades of experience in skin tone matching as he was a founding partner and the chief chemist at MAC Cosmetics.
Speaking on Good Morning America Casale explained: "Inclusivity should be accessible for all ages and a discussion about diversity should be encouraged in order to foster a sense of belonging...Whether at home or in a classroom, this collection gives children a greater opportunity to accurately represent themselves through creativity and self-expression."
Colors of the World is similar to another Crayola project that went viral thanks to a little girl in the U.S.A. who felt the same way as Casale does.
As Motherly previously reported, little Bellen Woodard was in third grade she began to wonder why classmates would refer to the peach crayon as "skin-color" when skin comes in so many colors besides peach. That's why she launched the "More Than Peach" project, aiming to celebrate and highlight diversity by giving kids the art supplies they need to draw what they see in the mirror, at home and in the classroom.
Multicultural crayon and marker packs already existed thanks to Crayola since 1992 (but with fewer colors than the new Colors of the World boxes) and the company has helped Bellen put diverse art supplies in the hands of her elementary school peers in Loudoun County, Virginia.
Bellen's experience shows that while the multicultural crayons have been around for decades, there were A) not enough shades and B) not enough packages of these crayons in the hands of school kids.
The Colors of the World crayons build on the legacy of the smaller multicultural crayons boxes (which you can purchase now through Amazon, no need to wait for July on those ones) and the work of activists like Bellen.