11-Year-Old Naomi Wadler Is Making Sure America Doesn't Forget The Black Women Victims Of Gun Violence
Naomi Wadler made headlines recently when she added an extra minute to her school protest walkout.
March 25, 2018 at 12:42 pm
One elementary school student wanted to take a moment during her speech at March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C., Saturday to remember the black women who have died due to gun violence.
"I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don't make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don't lead the evening news," Naomi Wadler said during her moving speech at the event.
"For far too long these names, these black girls and women have been just numbers," she told the crowd. "I'm here to say 'never again' for those girls, too."
The 11-year-old became a national star in the #NeverAgain movement after dedicating an extra minute for black women during the March 14 national walkout. Seventeen minutes were set aside for the walkout where students aimed to memorialize the 17 victims killed in the Feb. 14 Parkland, Florida, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Wadler said she decided to add the extra minute after 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington was killed in a school shooting in Alabama after the massacre in Parkland.
One of the major issues for critics of the #NeverAgain movement was that initially there was a reluctance to mention black and brown victims of gun violence. However, in the past few weeks, teen activists have not been silent on the issue to ensure all voices are heard in the fight for gun reform.
Her powerful speech was also a warning to politicians who downplay the role of young voices in the gun debate.
"People have said that I am too young to have these thoughts on my own," she continued. "People have said that I am a tool of some nameless adult. It's not true."
She reminded them that in seven years she will be able to vote.
"I urge everyone here and everyone who hears my voice to join me in telling the stories that aren't told. To honor the girls, the women of color, who are murdered at disproportionate rates in this nation," Wadler said. "I urge each of you to help me write the narrative for this world and understand so that these girls and women are never forgotten."
Check out Naomi Wadler's full speech below.