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What Can I Do?

Michelle J. Dias

2020 was quite a year! For a kid, living through a global pandemic, it is a pretty significant change in life's ordinary. When amidst COVID-19, an uprising for change against racism occurs and this, too, changes the course of our lives. But what does this mean for an eleven-year-old, white girl who has never experienced racism? She has so many questions. Why does racism still exist? Why did police officers do that to someone who is on the ground and defenseless? How does her friend, Sienna - who is black - feel about what is happening and how different are her conversations at home with her family? Why did Sienna tell her that she would never understand because of her ‘white privilege'? What does that word even mean? And how will this affect her relationship with Sienna? In the story, What Can I Do? the narrator is a white, eleven-year-old whose bewilderment by all the events of the year, sparks her inquiry to look at the world differently and ignites her own self discourse for change.

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Michelle was born and raised just outside of Toronto where she fostered her love for learning by becoming a teacher! By working with kids of different ages, backgrounds, and experiences, she has learned a lot from her students. If she isn't spending time with her two sons and husband, you can almost always find her around her sweet dog, Sammy. What Can I Do? is Michelle's first published children's book.