You can make a difference if you Lift Your Voice

Sponsored post American Girl Melody Lift Your VoiceWhen I think of my biggest wishes for my daughters, at the top of that list is that they always understand that their voices are powerful. Their voices unfortunately have the power to hurt others, but they can have the power to make someone feel loved and special. It’s up to them to use their voices for good. And, just like they can choose whether to use their voices to hurt or to help, their voices also have the ability to make a real difference in the world. American Girl Melody EllisonMelody Ellison™, the newest BeForever™ doll from American Girl, is learning the power of her voice and has arrived just in time for my daughters to really learn from her unique story. Her story is full of life lessons that give us a glimpse back into our past as well as ways to empower our girls to make a difference in the future.

My oldest daughter recently came to me in tears telling me how her best friend confided that she’s been teased about the color of her skin. This was truly heartbreaking to me that someone so young has already been touched by racial prejudice, and it makes me really sad for the world in which my daughter and her friends are growing up in. But, I’m glad she shared this with my daughter as it then started a conversation between my daughter and I about ways that she can support her friends and stand up against any inequalities that she might witness. American Girl Melody on bikeIt’s this reason that I’ve been enjoying sharing Melody’s story with my daughter and furthering this discussion. Melody’s story gives her a relatable character and glimpses into the past show how far our country has come in terms of racial inequality, as well as how far it still needs to go.

The story begins in 1964 with 9 year old Melody {nicknamed Dee-Dee}, an aspiring Motown singer from a family of musicians. Melody has dreams of performing for adoring crowds, but she gets nervous singing in front of others and has yet to fully understand the power of her voice. American Girl Melody in theaterGrowing up in Detroit, Michigan during the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Melody is passionate about equal rights for all. After seeing her family members face racial discrimination and experiencing it for herself, Melody decides to add her voice to those who are speaking up about inequality.

In delving further into Melody’s story together, we have been able to discuss not only current racial issues that face our country, but also how race was treated in the past. We’ve also discussed how just one voice can make a difference in the lives of many, and sometimes that change is as easy as speaking up and pointing out inequalities. American Girl Melody in cityAs the mom of three little ones, it’s my job to teach them to use the power of their voices for good. I am always looking for ways to give my kids the courage be that change I wish to see in the next generation, and Melody Ellison’s stories give me the tools I need to talk with them in a way that resonates. The stories are written by award-winning author Denise Lewis Patrick, and they are the perfect way to show girls that even young kids can do truly extraordinary things when they come together to make a difference. American Girl Melody doll in cityEnsuring the historical accuracy and cultural authenticity of Melody’s story and product collection was so important to American Girl that they worked for over two years with a six-member advisory board. This advisory board reviewed and provided input on all aspects of Melody’s development—from the doll, books, outfits, accessories, issues, and story setting. I love that so much time and energy went into bringing girls a historically and culturally accurate representation of this important piece of our history that I can share to empower my own children. Detroit Event- Advisory board

Lift Your Voice with Melody
This is why I love the Lift Your Voice with Melody Ellison campaign to celebrate Melody’s arrival to the American Girl line. It’s fun and easy to participate, you just need to watch the Lift Your Voice with Melody video and then share your own inspiring videos and photos using #LiftYourVoice to share how you are speaking up to make a difference. Even if you don’t have a story to share, you should check out the hashtag and get ready to be inspired by girls all over the world.

Get your own Melody Ellison doll
Melody Ellison is the fifteenth Historical Character in the BeForever collection and is a truly beautiful addition to the line. 18-inch Melody has dark brown eyes and shoulder-length thick black hair that has a flipped out style with tons of detail and texture.

She comes in a bright blue-and-green sleeveless knee-length A-line houndstooth print dress, a blue ribbon headband, and aqua patent leather flats. I love the little details that make the dress so adorable, including kick pleats on either side of dress with bows, the fold over blue “silk” cowl style collar, and the blue silk double bow at the front. Also included is No Ordinary Sound, the first volume in Melody’s classic series, by Denise Lewis Patrick. American Girl Melody dressIn addition to the gorgeous new doll, the Melody product collection features several historically authentic 1960s doll outfits and historically inspired apparel for girls. Numerous accessories like her aqua felt-pressed Bretonne hat and her hairpiece add to the 60’s era fun, including an adorable Motown-inspired recording studio that plays and records music, and a Melody block party set. Melody's Recording Studio-LRStarting today, the Melody doll and accessories are available at and at all American Girl retail locations nationwide. The Melody books can also be purchased through retail and online booksellers. Be sure to join American Girl’s new loyalty program, AG Rewards at If you’re lucky enough to live within traveling distance of an American Girl store, you will definitely want to check your local schedule as many retail stores are also hosting free Melody-inspired events geared for girls ages 8 and up that include a free craft, 1960s music, food, and a free gift.

To further engage girls in Melody’s world and her inspirational message, American Girl is introducing Melody Learning Materials for parents and teachers which explore themes and issues from the 1960s. These learning materials are available at American Girl. American Girl Melody kissesRead more about how American Girl is giving back with some awesome Detroit Community Support. They are partnering with the Detroit Public Library system (22 branches) and donating $100,000 in free Melody books for any area child who wants one through the end of 2016, pledging $50,000 in funds to support the children’s area throughout the library system, and offering $25,000 in Melody dolls to be used for fundraising and incentives. The entire donation to the library is valued at $175,000.

Want even more Melody fun? Check out our Melody Ellison unboxing video in which I surprise my daughter with the new doll.

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