11 Year Old Naomi Wadler Steals the Show at March For Our Lives Rally


Naomi Wadler, 11, a student at George Mason Elementary School, who organized a school walkout at her school in Alexandria, Va., after the school shooting in Parkland, Fa., speaks during the "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control in Washington, Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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Wadler, a fifth grader attending George Mason Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia, organized a school walk-out calling for stricter gun laws following the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. She also wanted “to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper” such as 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington, a Black teen killed in a school shooting in Alabama on 7 March.

“These stories don’t play on the evening news,” the 11-year-old stated. “I represent the African American women who are the victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential. It is my privilege to be here today. I am indeed full of privilege. My voice has been heard. I am here to acknowledge their stories, to say they matter, to say their names because I can and I was asked to be.”

Wadler quoted Toni Morrison for inspiration: “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  Wadler mentioned Black victims of gun violence who did not make the lead story or front page like Courtlin Arrington, and Hadiya Pendelton.




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