If you haven’t already heard of Taylor Richardson, you soon will! In Summer of 2017, Taylor appeared in a Lottie featurette championing the real girls who inspire Lottie Dolls while telling her own story. Taylor had become part of the Lottie family the previous year when she was seeking out a diverse STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) doll and discovered Stargazer Lottie.
An aspiring astronaut, Taylor aims to be the first African-American woman on Mars and in achieving her goal has already met her idol physician and NASA astronaut, Dr Mae Jemison, attended the UN Women’s Summit in the White House and become one of the youngest children ever to attend Space Camp. Her status as a seriously impressive young person was cemented at the end of 2017, when alongside fellow Lottie Ambassador Allie, Taylor was listed as one of Vogue’s ’21 Under 21’.
Not content to restrict her energy to the pursuit of her own aspirations, Taylor is committed to keeping the STEM dreams of other girls well and truly alive. In 2017, Taylor campaigned to send 100 underprivileged girls to see the film ‘Hidden Figures’. The film told the true story of three women of colour who in the 1960s were the brains behind what would become one of the most important space missions in history. Advocating literacy in youth, she aimed to add to the movie experience, a copy of the Hidden Figures book. Taylor was eager to communicate the importance of inspiring girls to take part in STEM subjects as was depicted in the Oscar-winning true story:
“We can't allow our girls to feel that STEM is only for boys. We have to do more. I feel that one way to do that is providing ways girls can see other women or girls who look like them in roles of STEM. And Hidden Figures is one way to get that conversation rolling!”
Taylors words clearly struck a chord – not only did she ended up raising more than seven times her original goal, nearly $20,000, but she also inspired a series of similar events throughout the US which raised more than $120,000. Moving into 2018, Taylor set her sights on another mass movie outing.
Disney’s eagerly anticipated ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ is directed by Ava DuVernay, the very same director behind ‘Hidden Figures’ and a big hero of Taylor’s. A science fantasy adventure film which tells the story of Meg Murry who sets out with three astral travellers played by Oprah Winfrey, Reece Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling to rescue her father who is being held captive on a distant planet.
Discussing her reasons for choosing this particular film, Taylor says:
“It has a female protagonist in a science fiction film. A brown girl front and center who looks like me in the role of Meg, a girl travelling to different planets and encountering beings and situations that I’d never seen a girl of color in.”
In only two months, Taylor has once again surpassed her goal raising $17,455 including a very generous donation of $10,000 from none other than director JJ Abrahams and his wife Katie McGrath.