At 11 Years Old, Activist Naomi Wadler Is Now Helping To Tackle The Domestic Violence Epidemic
This pre-teen is limitless.
August 01, 2018 at 2:00 am
After giving voice to the hundreds of black girls whose stories never make headlines during the March for Our Lives rally earlier this year, 11-year-old Naomi Wadler is continuing her activist efforts. She recently became a member of the Kids Board of Directors at the New York fashion company KIDBOX where she'll launch community initiatives focused on domestic abuse victims.
As part of KIDBOX’s initiative to clothe one million children in need, young board members were tapped to meet at KIDBOX headquarters on July 25 where they discussed strategies, anti-bullying campaigns and learned to spearhead social justice efforts.
For Wadler’s project, she partnered with Safe Shores, a nonprofit and safe space for victims of domestic and violent crimes.
"[They] only have to tell their stories of abuse once," Wadler told Blavity.
In an interview, Wadler described her plan to help purchase events for Safe Shore’s victims with the hope of making them 'valued' and to "help them heal."
“If domestic violence, or violence victims in general, aren’t in a safe space, they may feel left behind,” Wadler said. “[Young victims may] go through the court system and feel like it’s their fault, or that there was something they could have done to stop it. So being able to support a place where they can go and feel safe is why I value Safe Shores so much.”
During her time at KIDBOX headquarters, Wadler also designed a T-shirt for KIDBOX’s anti-bullying campaign where she coined the slogan "King Is The New Cool." Once approved, her shirt design was forwarded to KIDBOX’s partnering factory for production.
Meanwhile, ideas spawned from an extensive Kids Board discussion on bullying were recorded for KIDBOX’s newspaper The Scribble. Wadler recounted the conversations she had with her peers and the genuine connections she was able to draw from experiences with the other 11 young activists, including 12-year-old Sidney Keys III, who founded the Books N' Bros book club for black boys. While at the headquarters, the young honed their leadership skills.
“Being a leader means standing with your peers and not in front of them,” Wadler said. “Being a leader is recognizing that they’re no better than you, and you’re no better than them.”
As a leader, Wadler hopes to branch out her efforts past Safe Shores and into the depths of its parent company, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), which trains volunteers to speak on behalf of abused and neglected children. With the help of these volunteers, permanent homes for these children are secured.
“I’m looking to build and spread out to all of them,” Wadler said.
With 850 CASAs nationwide, Wadler’s potential impact within and outside of the organization is unstoppable.
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