The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, renewed the debate about stricter gun laws and sparked young people to protest and march across the nation in an attempt to influence lawmakers to take action.
On Saturday, March 25, thousands of people of all ages participated in the March for Our Lives protest. People want to ensure that another senseless school shooting does not happen again.
The youth of the movement are making their voices heard loud and clear, and 11-year-old Naomi Wadler is one of them. Wadler brought attention to the many young girls of color killed by gun violence whose names have not drawn nationwide attention. With her speech, she became the voice for the voiceless.
“I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential,” Wadler said.
Wadler, a fifth grader, was asked to speak at the March for Our Lives protest after organizing an 18-minute walkout on March 14 with her friend, Carter.
“It’s completely unacceptable that we are exercising our rights to be safe at school,” Wadler said.
Wadler made it known that she is, “here 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 on the evening news.”
The 11-year-old has brought more attention to the ongoing issue of gun violence and has been praised for her outstanding and brave speech.
Naomi Wadler is currently standing in the gap for all of the black girls and black women who are victims of gun violence. All the black girls and Black women who don’t get a hashtag and who don’t become front page news. Thank you Naomi. #MarchForOurLives
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 24, 2018
Naomi Wadler, we make you this promise: Where you lead, we will follow.
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) March 25, 2018
Martin Luther King’s 10-year-old granddaughter and 11-year-old Naomi Wadler demonstrated more wisdom, courage and passion in their remarks today than the people who currently run our country have ever shown.
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) March 24, 2018
— AdELA (@adelamusic) March 25, 2018
Young Ms. Naomi Wadler just rocked my world and thrilled the nation. Her eloquence and intelligence, her exquisite poise and dignity, and her insistence that little black girls not be left behind, was a searing call to justice for those who are often forgotten! A star is born!
— Michael Eric Dyson (@MichaelEDyson) March 24, 2018
Naomi Wadler is an incredibly poised 11-year-old. “We know it’s only seven short years until we have the right to vote.”
— Lydia Polgreen (@lpolgreen) March 24, 2018
Her name is Naomi Wadler, she is 11 years old from Alexandria, VA, and is quoting Toni Morrison. Nothing but respect for MY president!! https://t.co/5LpBgqstU5
— April (@ReignOfApril) March 24, 2018
“I hope adults in general will realize, if they haven’t already, that this is a really big issue, and that innocent people have lost their lives.” – Naomi Wadler, age 11
— Serene Jones (@SereneJones) March 14, 2018
“For far too long, these names, these Black girls and women have been just numbers. I am here to say never again for those girls too. I am here to say that everyone should value those girls too” Naomi Wadler. pic.twitter.com/ndgmEtOvet
— COMMON (@common) March 25, 2018