Subscribe

Naomi Wadler, 11, Captures Nation's Heart With Powerful Speech About Violence Against Black Women

Eleven-year-old Naomi Wadler addresses the March for Our Lives rally on March 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, including students, teachers and parents gathered in Washington for the anti-gun violence rally organized by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on February 14 that left 17 dead. More than 800 related events are taking place around the world to call for legislative action to address school safety and gun violence. Photo by Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

"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 took the stage at a March For Our Lives events Saturday bringing attention to female African American victims of gun violence.

“I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper. These stories don’t lead on the evening news,” Wadler said at the Washington D.C. March for Our Lives rally.

“I represent the African-American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics, instead of vibrant, beautiful girls, full of potential.”

More from TIME

Wadler, 11, also helped organize a walkout at her school, George Mason Elementary School in Alexandria, Va. where she honored the 17 victims who died in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting and Courtlin Arrington, an African American teenager who was shot and killed in her Alabama high school after the Parkland shooting, by walking out for 18 minutes.

“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,” Wadler said in her speech.

“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.”

Outbrain

More from TIME