Watching some of the speeches from various recent March for Our Lives* events made it clear that kids — in particular girls — have a voice, can be activists and create change. Considering the theme of this year’s Women’s History Month, “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women,” it feels right to share the amazing things girls are doing in the world. These future women aren’t waiting until they are adults to do amazing things, and we honor and admire them for it.
*March for Our Lives was a student-led demonstration in support of tighter gun control that took place on March 24, 2018, in Washington, D.C., with over 800 sibling events throughout the United States and around the world.
“11-year-old Naomi Wadler has more poise and power than most adults you’ve ever met.”
“Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez – who had been a leading voice immediately after the attack on her school – took to the stage in Washington DC for six minutes and 20 seconds, much of that in silence. She says it was the amount of time it took a shooter to kill 17 people at her school in Florida last month.”
Marley Dias, 12, is the social activist behind #1000BlackGirlBooks, a movement to collect and donate children’s books that feature black girls as the lead character. For more information on how to help donate to Marley’s movement, visit: http://grassrootscommunityfoundation.org/1000-black-girl-books-resource-guide/
Jayla is a seven year old little girl that makes book bags for the homeless community through her project Jayla’s Little Helping Hands. She came up with the idea after seeing a young girl and her mother living on the street. “She was like, ‘What can money buy? We could do more. We could give things that make it better,’” recalled her mother, Lakeysia Newson.
Hailey started to help the homeless 4 years ago when she saw someone on the side of the street and asked her mother if there was anything she could do. They bought him lunch and from there Hailey has taken it upon herself to start a garden to donate vegetables and begin building mobile sleeping shelters for the homeless in Kitsap county. Find out more about her work on her Facebook page.
First grader Sophie Cruz inspired tens of thousands of people with her bilingual speech at the Women’s March. She first caught the world’s attention at an even younger age. Sophie scrawled a letter in crayon to the Pope about how she feared her parents will be deported. She handed it to him on his first day of visiting the United States.
In April of last year, she spoke outside the Supreme Court about the rights of immigrant children. “I have the right to protection. I have the right to live with my parents,” Sophie declared. She went on to remind us, “I have the right to live without fear. I have the right to be happy.” Her parents say that it was Sophie who first convinced them (not the other way around) to speak up for their family. (original text source)
Not every 11 year old sues the government on behalf of the planet. But Avery McRae has cared about protecting animals since age 5, when she learned that snow leopards were endangered. She’s part of a group of 21 kids and teens who have sued the federal government, saying that their constitutional rights have been violated by its promotion of fossil fuels and its contribution to the climate crisis. (original text source)
When President Trump rolled back protections of trans kids, ten year old Rebekah Bruesehoff spoke out. Her mom snapped a photo of her at a rally they attended together, where Rebekah held a sign she’d made.
“I’m the scary transgender person the media warned you about,” this smiling, purple-haired girl’s sign declared. At the rally she spoke to more than 200 people. She talked not only about the rights of trans kids, but the rights of all people.
Three years ago, Rebekah was suffering from depression and anxiety. Rebekah, her mom (a blogger) and her dad (a pastor), with expert support, came to realize that she was a girl, not a boy. In this video for the series My Trans Life, Rebekah and her parents show how she’s just being herself. (original text source)
As a young girl, Malala Yousafzai defied the Taliban in Pakistan and demanded that girls be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012, but survived and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
This is just a small sampling of girls making a difference, making history. Here’s a few more: