World by Us is a line of modern, topical characters released by American Girl in 2021.
The line was inspired both by continued public desire for brand and character diversity and the idea for a line that was more focused on more difficult topics, current events, pressure on companies to improve in the wake of Summer 2020 racial justice protests in the US and worldwide that rose awareness about multiple racial disparities in the US, and current social expectations of social justice and environmental messages. The characters have intertwining, unique stories that focus on current social justice and world improvement issues like racism, immigration, the environment, and creating a better world together. The series is set in Washington, DC, and the characters are approximately thirteen years old. Topics are more intense than Girl of the Year or other books and cover topics such as race, immigration, and climate change; they include messages and information, including reader questions, for how young people can affect change in the world and on current topics.
The line launched September 23, 2021 with three characters---Makena Williams, Evette Peeters, and Maritza Ochoa--and American Girl has stated that more characters have been planned.
World By Us Characters
- Evette Peeters was released in 2021.
- Maritza Ochoa was released in 2021.
- Makena Williams was released in 2021.
- Makena: See Me, Hear Me, Know Me by Denise Lewis Patrick
- Evette: The River and Me by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
- Maritza: Lead with Your Heart by Angela Cervantes
The line's advisory board members consist of:
- Katrina Lashley: program coordinator at Smithsonian's Anacostia Community Museum and leader in the Women's Environmental Leadership Initiative
- Yasmine Mabene: California State Director of March for Our Lives, social media coordinator of Earth Uprising, and student at Stanford University
- M. Lucero Ortiz: Deputy Director for Kids in Need of Defense, Mexico, and human rights attorney who represented migrant families and unaccompanied children before the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice
- Dr. Deborah Rivas-Drake: professor of psychology and education at the University of Michigan, who studies how teens navigate issues of race, ethnicity, racism, and xenophobia
- Deanna Singh: founder of Flying Elephant, a consulting firm that helps women and people of color become social entrepreneurs, and author of four children's books about racism including A Smart Girl's Guide: Race and Inclusion
- Naomi Wadler: teen activist focused on racial justice and at age eleven was the youngest speaker at the 2018 March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C.
- Truly Me, the unnamed modern character line launched in 1995
- Girls of the Year, the limited edition named modern character dolls
- Contemporary Characters, a short-lived line of modern characters from 2017 to 2018