Naomi Wadler Continues to Fight for Black Girls
Our history is made of stories. But some stories are valued more than others: for years, we’ve been missing the voices of girls of color. Even now, when issues like the school-to-prison pipeline are discussed, Black girls are absent from the narrative.
“Never again.” Eleven-year-old Naomi Wadler electrified the crowd with these words during the March for our Lives, where she implored the audience to end our shameful history of failing to pay attention to the Black girls who are victims of gun violence. From the stage on the National Mall, Naomi trained a spotlight on these girls.
For years, the numbers have shown the need to do better: to pay closer attention to the lived experiences of Black girls, not just in the context of gun violence, but also the harsher treatment they experience in our schools and jails. Black girls are more likely to be suspended at school than white girls. They’re disproportionately arrested at school. And they are more likely to be disciplined for offenses like “disrespect” or “disobedience,” which are defined at the whim of the enforcer. This is nothing new. It’s been happening for a long time–but now, voices for change are starting to break through.