11-year-old Naomi Wadler closed the 9th Annual Women in the World Summit by speaking up for Black women, who are disproportionately affected by gun violence.
“Hundreds of Black girls are killed every year and nobody knows, nobody pays attention,” she explained. “Black women have the highest homicide rates and I thought it would be important to get a message across to some of my white peers, some of their parents — really to the world.”
Naomi organized a walkout against gun violence at her elementary school in Virginia, joining the thousands of students across the country in solidarity with the 17 people killed in Parkland, Florida. But she and her classmates added an extra minute to honor a Black woman.
“The girl who inspired the extra minute at my elementary school walkout was Courtlin Arrington. She was shot in her school in Alabama, and she’s Black. And way, way too often, Black women, Black girls, they’re shot and people don’t care,” she explained. “I’ve had experience with racism, I’ve had experience with stereotypes. And so, I was at this age where I was able to be more eloquent and I was able to really register with people and so I wanted to do something.”