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Can Children and Youth Change the World? Younger Protesters are Certainly Ready to Try… Starting with Gun Legislation.
The 11-year old Inspiring a Nation with her “March for our Lives” speech:
When high school students organized marches across the country, led by the survivors of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, for action in gun regulation, the grass-roots movement did not stop with secondary schools. Naomi Wadler, an 11-year old attending Alexandria’s George Mason Elementary School, asked “[w]hy not elementary school students too”?
In a speech lauded as “eloquent,” the engaging, inspiring elementary-age student “urg[ed] the nation not to forget black women, who are disproportionately represented among the victims of gun violence.” Students across the country are catching the wave, in their own #MeToo moment-esk, Wadler asked, why not “Me Too;” standing up against preclusion of even our youngest students from political and social action. An 11 year old showed us she can “represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential.”
Celebrity Support: Kid’s Choice Awards Recognizes Protester-Children & Youth
Celebrities like Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon are chiming in on child protests, encouraging protesters, and telling them they are “the future.” Nominee at the Kid’s Choice Awards this March, Candace Bure a even told audiences “she’s proudly raised her daughter to be an activist.” Encouraging kids to “speak up,” she admonished that “it’s so important to teach our kids to speak up for what they believe in and use their voice and know that they are never too young to have an opinion
Young star Patrick Schwarzenegger shared he “can’t wait to see this young generation of activists become the leaders of tomorrow,” and that when school shootings happen “they’re killing… dreams… and our future activists and politicians.” With crowds heralded by the article as rising to the level of “the kind of numbers seen during the Vietnam era,” celebrities are encouraging activism by children across the country.
Advice Parents and Caregivers – 11 Tips for Successful and Safe Protesting with Children:
Timely tips for children participating in protests include working with kids to provide explanations on important reasons for activism, matching shirts to stay together, and a plan everyone knows in the event groups are separated. Perhaps a few of the best pieces of advice is when Not to bring children to a protest and knowing when to leave.
When carefully planned and prepared for, “bringing your children to a protest you are helping to shape them into involved, concerned, civic-minded citizens.”