Naomi Wadler's Inspirational March For Our Lives Speech Demands Recognition for People of Color

"I am here to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper."

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The March For Our Lives events that took place globally on Saturday featured a plethora of impassioned speeches by students affected by gun violence. And one student whose speech had a huge impact was Naomi Wadler.

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According to The Independent, Wadler was selected to speak in Washington, D.C. after she organized a walkout at her school in Alexandria, Virginia earlier this month, in honor of the victims of the tragic Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14, 2018.

Speaking at March For Our Lives, Wadler said, "I am 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. I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential."

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In her heartfelt and inspirational speech, Wadler revealed, "We know life isn't equal for everyone and we know what is right and wrong. We also know that we stand in the shadow of the Capitol, and we know that we have seven short years until we too have the right to vote." Her speech was a call to action to young people everywhere, who one day will have voting rights and be able to imbue real change.

In her speech, Wadler insisted upon racial parity when it comes to gun violence, and media coverage of fatal gun crime, demanding that people of color are recognized.

Wadler finished her speech saying,

"For far too long, these names, these black girls and women, have been just numbers. I’m here to say ‘Never again,’ for those girls too. I’m here to say that everyone should value those girls too... People have said that I am too young to have these thoughts on my own. People have said that I am a tool of some nameless adult. It’s not true."

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Amy Mackelden
Amy Mackelden

Amy Mackelden is a freelance writer, editor, and disability activist. Her bylines include Harper's BAZAAR, Nicki Swift, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, ELLE, The Independent, Bustle, Healthline, and HelloGiggles. She co-edited The Emma Press Anthology of Illness, and previously spent all of her money on Kylie Cosmetics.