An accessible blueprint to embolden our daughters to be critical thinkers, fearless doers, and joyful change agents for our future—from the proud mother of teen activist Marley Dias, founder of 1000BLACKGIRLBOOKS.
“A powerful resource for caregivers trying to raise courageous girls . . . It’s my go-to and my how-to.”—Kwame Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of Light for the World to See
Renowned sociologist Dr. Janice Johnson Dias has devoted her life to nurturing and training girls to become change-makers—whether through her investment in her daughter Marley’s humanitarian projects or through her work with the GrassROOTS Community Foundation’s “SuperCamp.” In these unprecedented times, her work has never been more urgent, as parents find themselves asking: How do we teach our children to change the world?
Dr. Johnson Dias knows that self-realized girls are created through intentional parenting. And so she asks parents to make deliberate choices—from babyhood through adolescence—that will give their girls the resources and foundation to take hold of their own futures and to create sustainable social change.
Unlike other parenting experts, Dr. Johnson Dias doesn’t urge parents to focus solely on their children. Instead, she tasks them with a personal challenge: to find their own joy. Just as Dr. Johnson Dias brings her own jubilant passion to parenting, mentoring, and teaching, she inspires caregivers to do the same.
Using cutting-edge research and Dr. Johnson Dias’s own experiences, Parent Like It Matters offers information and strategies for making discussions of racism and sexism a daily practice, identifying heroes and mentors, educating yourselves together, and uncovering your girl’s passions and what issues drive her the most.
Parenting is enormous work; it can be as overwhelming as it is fulfilling. Within the pages of Parent Like It Matters, parents will find the invaluable tools they need to raise resilient, optimistic girls who determine for themselves what their world will look like.
About the Author
Dr. Janice Johnson Dias is a tenured associate professor of sociology at John Jay College in New York City. She is the co-founder and president of the public health and social action organization GrassROOTS Community Foundation and leads its SuperCamp for girls. She holds a PhD in sociology from Temple University. Her collaborative work on Black girls’ mental, sexual, and physical health issues earned her a special congressional recognition and grants from the Robert Wood Johnson and Annie E. Casey foundations. Her work on the effects of safety on girls’ physical activity in low-income neighborhoods led her to serve as an advisor to the city of Newark, where she focused on violence as a public health issue. Born in Jamaica, Dr. Johnson Dias moved to the United States at age twelve and now lives in New Jersey with her husband, Scott, daughter, Marley, and dog, Philly.
“I keep a copy of the book by my bedside as a reference and as a reminder that I am working to build a reciprocal relationship with my own daughter and to ensure she goes into the world as a confident, knowing woman.”—The Washington Post
“In Parent Like It Matters, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias offers an impressive and bold roadmap for those who seek to engage passion and joy as essential elements of developing girls who thrive. Her honest and rigorous offering is a gift to parents, educators, and all adults in search of tools to cultivate the brilliance of our girls.”—Monique W. Morris, Ed.D. author of Pushout and Executive Director of Grantmakers for Girls of Color
“I am beyond proud of my mom and her new book Parent Like It Matters! This story is a combination of faith in the power of children’s voices and a guide for focus-driven parenting, which will inspire a new generation of young change makers.”—Marley Dias, author of Marley Dias Gets It Done
“If you have a Black girl in your life- daughter, niece, neighbor, student- you owe it to her to read this book. Part memoir, part advice column, part workbook, Dr. Janice Johnson Dias has crafted a wholly originally, deeply challenging, and expansively joyful guide to walking beside the girl in your life as she finds voice, courage, purpose, and self.”—Melissa Harris-Perry, co-host of the podcast System Check and the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University
“Parent Like It Matters gives me hope for girls to dream themselves into the future as healed, whole, powerful, actualized women—because this book will help to cocreate healed, whole, powerful, actualized parents to support them on their journey.”—EbonyJanice Moore, Hip Hop Womanist Scholar and Founder of Black Girl Mixtape & The Free People Project
“Parent Like It Matters is a stunning and pathbreaking how-to guide and memoir for every mom, dad or caregiver who believes in rearing children to be healthy individuals and caring citizens. Combining her talents as a leading sociologist, the wisdom of her grandmother, and the experience of raising talented change-agents in her community, Dr. Johnson Dias makes clear in this beautifully written book that there may be no more important responsibility.”—Khalil Gibran Muhammad, author of The Condemnation of Blackness
“To matter is a universal human need, and both parent and child benefit from the process and the outcome of raising girls who are critical thinkers and change-makers. . . . This recommended title has insights and practical tips for raising change-making girls.”—Library Journal (starred review)