Kyra and Phallon Pierce, 8th grade identical twins, known as “The Pierce Twins,” recently ignited a teen social justice story that is sweeping the nation. The teen influencers are 13-year-old twins who are on a mission to bring diverse books from diverse authors to kids across the country. The girls have launched an outreach campaign and are on a national effort to make books by diverse authors accessible to middle and high school students. The initiative began after The Pierce Twins recently discovered a book on their Catholic Summer School assigned reading list was a book, whose previous title included a disparaging racial slur.
The school, St. Dominic School, located in Chicago’s suburb of Bolingbrook, assigned the book “And Then There Were None,” by Agatha Christie to its middle school 8th-grade kids over a month ago. The twins, who are the only black students in the entire middle school, noticed upon researching the assignment, the offensive and derogatory nature of the original title. Disgusted and insulted, the twins’ parents immediately reached out to the school principal for clarity and removal. The assignment was for the students to create a video or book report of the assigned book. The principal notified other parents of the school and finally removed the book, over a month after being made aware from the twin students. The principal never removed the book from the list until the media reported the story.
The incident empowered the twin girls to see the need for diversity on schoolbook lists. As a result of this situation, the twins have started a go-fund-me to raise money for diverse books to be placed in school systems throughout the U.S.
The Pierce Twins’ upcoming project with Chicago Public Schools will reach new heights on December 5th, when they are set to speak to over 400 Chicago Public School students virtually. During this middle/high school city-wide debate, the twins will also provide diverse books for all middle school debaters. The Pierce Twins also have a Go-Fund-Me page, in which all money raised goes towards their efforts to give diverse books from diverse authors to students across the country.
The Twins have also just launched their #OwnYourVoice Campaign, encouraging tweens everywhere to #OwnYourVoice by posting about that moment on social platforms, tagging and following @thepiercetwins, sharing the post with a friend, and using the hashtags #ownyourvoice and #thepiercetwins.
For more info and to donate to the campaign, visit their Go-Fund-Me page!
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