In celebration of Black History Month, Children's Equity Coalition, CEC, features the trailblazing ideas of some of our youngest black leaders locally and across the nation and how they are making a decisive change in their communities and even the world through their work, compassion, and vision!
Meet nine-year-old Khloe Joiner of Missouri City, Texas, about 20 miles southwest of Houston. With support from her family, Khloe, an avid reader, launched A Book and a Smile when she was four years old. A Book and a Smile “provides children all over the United States with books to help inspire them to do great things in life.” According to Billye Moutra, Khloe’s grandmother and retired school owner and teacher, Khloe was afraid of the police and assumed all kids were. So she asked Khloe what would make her less anxious, and Khloe responded with "a book and a smile."
Ms. Moutra stated that Khloe has always shown a desire to give and make lives better for others. So Khloe used her allowance that she had saved for Disney World to purchase books and gave them to her local police department for them to share with children that they may come in contact with in tense situations. In the ensuing five years, Khloe's work has widened with recognition, support, and partnerships that have allowed her to organize book drives and deliver over 15,000 new books to other police departments, churches, schools, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and many more.
In January, she launched #1000DiverseBooksForChildren on Martin Luther King Day. "Learning about different cultural aspects offers new experiences for children," Khloe explained. "It will help them realize that we are all humans, despite differences in how we look." Furthermore, she has an ongoing mission of distributing at least 1,000,000 books.
CEC celebrates and recognizes Khloe for her vision that all children will have new books in their home library regardless of race, economic status, or capabilities.