Photo Credit: ARTWORK: JESSICA HOLMES, PHOTO: HEATHER HAZZAN
https://www.teenvogue.com/story/naomi-wadler-21-under-21-2018

Over the last year, our own Contributing Writer Tia Shah, has been writing an amazing column about trailblazing girls throughout history. This new Incredible Girls column is in that vein, only this column is about contemporary girls under the age of 25 who are doing awe-inspiring and significant things in the world. Every Friday in 2019, we are going to post a column detailing the life of an Incredible Girl and why you should know about her. Read on for a glimpse into the life of activist Naomi Wadler.

12-year-old Naomi Wadler is a powerhouse, and one definitely worthy of this Incredible Girls column. Naomi is a student and activist who came to prominence in March 2018 when she helped to organize a walkout at her school to show solidarity with the March for Our Lives movement — she also took an extra minute of silence to remember Courtlin Arrington, a young black girl who was a victim of gun violence, but whose death was barely covered by national media.

On March 24, 2018, Naomi spoke at the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C., and said: “I am here to acknowledge the African American girls whose stories do not make the front pages of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news.”

She spoke to Marley Dias in an Elle interview last year about preparing for the speech. Naomi said that she was nervous before she went on stage, but she knew that she had to do it. “I really poured my heart and soul into it, and I knew I had to do it. Even with short notice, I thought of everything I could, everything I wanted to say, and I put it down on paper. I also really worked on looking up and looking down at the speech, because I have pretty bad stage fright sometimes. I didn’t want to look down and then never look up at the audience, so I practiced a lot.”

In an interview with Teen Vogue, Naomi talked about her fight for black girls and her hope for the future. “Not only am I fighting for other black girls, I’m fighting for myself as a black girl. If you don’t fight for yourself, nobody else is gonna fight for you…in 21 years, I hope we see a black female chairperson of the [Senate] Judiciary Committee. Got a bunch of old white men up there.”

Naomi is wise beyond her years, and proves that you don’t have to be over 18 to make a change in the world. The world — Girl Museum, included — is excited to see what she does next.

-Sage Daugherty
Associate Editor
Girl Museum Inc.

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