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USA: 11-year-old Naomi Wadler sends powerful message at March for Our Lives: Honor African-American victims

Saturday 24 March 2018, by siawi3

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/03/24/naomi-wadler-11-wants-u-s-honor-girls-women-color-murdered-disproportionate-rates/455784002/

11-year-old Naomi Wadler sends powerful message at March for Our Lives: Honor African-American victims

USA Today Network

Sean Rossman,

Published 2:17 p.m. ET March 24, 2018 | Updated 2:45 p.m. ET March 24, 2018

Photo: Protestors make their way onto Pennsylvania Avenue for the "March for Our Lives" in this time-lapse video. Jasper Colt/USA TODAY
AP STUDENT GUN PROTESTS A USA DC

(Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP)
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An 11-year-old girl nearly stole the show at the March for Our Lives, delivering an awe-inspiring speech on the shooting deaths of black women and girls.

"I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential," Naomi Wadler, from Alexandria, Va., told thousands listening on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C.

"For far too long, these black girls and women have been just numbers," she said. "I am here to say never again for those girls too," referencing the #NeverAgain slogan at the heart of the demonstration.

Watch: Live stream: March for Our Lives rally

Wadler, who organized a school walk-out at her elementary school on March 14, followed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior David Hogg, who survived the deadly shooting at his Parkland, Florida, school on Valentine’s Day.

Naomi Wadler, 11, a student at George Mason Elementary

Naomi Wadler, 11, a student at George Mason Elementary School, speaks during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control on Saturday. (Photo: Alex Brandon, AP)

Wadler said she spoke to acknowledge the shooting deaths of black women "whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead the evening news."

On social media, she was roundly applauded for her speech:

NAOMI WADLER

Write that book.
Change the narrative.
You’re my hero!#MarchForOurLivespic.twitter.com/xGkEICWgwZ
— Kurt Libby (@misterlib) March 24, 2018

Naomi Wadler, if you’re the future I’m feeling a little better about things.
— Jamie Brown Hantman (@Jebella) March 24, 2018

“I’m here to represent the African American girls whose stories don’t lead on the evening news. I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence who are simply statistics instead of vibrant beautiful girls full of potential.” -Naomi Wadler #MarchForOurLivespic.twitter.com/Xd1rmaRYiz
— Andy (@AndyintheA) March 24, 2018

At several points during the speech, she stopped for raucous applause.

She also defended herself against people who said she’s too young to have such views, and reminded the world she and her elementary school classmates are just seven years from being able to vote.

She also shared a quote from Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison: "If there is a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it."

Here’s what she said to end her speech:

“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. I urge each of you to help me write the narrative for this world and understand so that there girls and women are never forgotten.”

Photos here