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CHARLOTTE FRANCIS

A fantastic Black History Month Spotlight showcasing Maths teacher Charlotte Francis, who creates dolls to give little black girls the courage to be the boss!

All information and links were correct at the date of original publication on
26 Oct 2020

Let’s talk Charlotte….

I own a black doll and animation company as well as a mentoring service called 'The Young Queens Project' (YQP).


I founded the doll company with my nine-year-old daughter after she fell out of love with her natural afro hair and we couldn't find any dolls that represented her on the high street.


Our mission is to empower all children to embrace who they are, know their true history and have the highest aspirations all whilst feeling represented and included.


My YQP group started 4 years ago when I noticed a huge need for the nurturing and preparation for life of the teenage girls I work with in my role as a math’s teacher.


We discuss life topics which will prepare them for the things to come as well as financial literacy.


Within the toy manufacturing sector, I have recently seen the biggest change in that major toy manufacturers are now interested in catering for black children whereas they weren't interested before.


I guess they see that there is a market for black dolls after all and that black families will invest in them.


Within my YQP sessions I empower my attendees to be the best versions of themselves through sessions on healing, healthy relationships, planning, sisterhood, friendships, distractions etc.


The programme has been so popular that I now run a graduate version for students who have left my school setting.


Finally, I believe that the empowerment process needs to start a lot earlier than secondary school, hence one reason for setting up my doll and animation company.


Our dolls such as Natural Biankha and CEO Biankha are positive examples to young girls of who they are and who they can become.

What next for 2021!

My inspiration for 2021 definitely lies in 'anything is possible'.


I am currently mid-production with our pilot episode for our animation series about our main doll character.


It's so empowering to see your idea and sketch come to life in such an impactful way and having conversations in rooms you never envisioned were possible.


It's also so inspiring to see more collegiality amongst the black community in supporting each other and creating things to empower our community.

Image by Josephine Bredehoft
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Personal COVID19 insights?

My greatest learning is ‘Health is Wealth’. To value people and the relationships I have with them.


Yet, in times of adversity there are opportunities too, if one looks for them or creates them.


I have learned the immense contribution that nurses, midwives and other frontline workers make to those they serve. I just wish everyone values their contribution with more than claps, they should be enumerated adequately.


I have much more respect for my colleagues who in the ‘Year of the Midwife’ despite COVID19, never locked down their services; having to embrace new technologies like we had never done before, to ensure that the services they provided continued, despite the challenges of weating personal protective equipment or succumbing to the virus.

You can keep up-to-date with Young Queens Project via their Facebook page.