We are grateful for all those in our community who asked for posters to march with during the March For Our Lives. And then the photos started streaming in and being shared on social media. It was impactful to see you all marching alongside youth and children with raised voices demanding change for communities to be safe from gun violence. Make sure to check out the gallery of images below!
Some of the youngest speakers from March 24th’s March For Our Lives especially inspired us here at Illustrated Ministry. These 10 and 11-year-olds who spoke are the same age as many in our children’s ministries who are getting ready to graduate into youth ministry.
Despite being among the youngest on stage that weekend, we as children’s ministry people know that the youngest voices are just as able to speak truth, wisdom and God’s love as anyone else; perhaps, at times, even more so. In case you missed it, here are quotes from three of the elementary school students that spoke and some links to learn more about the inspiration for their speeches:
“I would like to finish my speech today by honoring Martin Luther King Jr. by remembering his words, which are as true today as when he was alive. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Our lives begin to end the day when we become silent about the things that matter.’ And our lives matter.”
“School, lunch, and recess is normal,” Floyd said. “Dodgeball and freeze tag is normal. Columbine is not normal. Sandy Hook is not normal. Parkland is not normal. There’s nothing normal about the fact that my classroom, my classroom, can become a war zone at any given day at any given moment. But it doesn’t have to be this way.”
-Dezmond Floyd, 10 years old
listen as Dezmond talks with his mom about active shooter drills • learn more
“I am here to acknowledge and represent the African American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news,” Wadler said. “I represent the African American women who are victims of gun violence, who are simply statistics instead of vibrant, beautiful girls full of potential. For far too long, these names, these black girls, and women, have been just numbers,” Wadler later said. “I’m here to say ‘Never again’ for those girls, too.”
-Naomi Wadler, 11 years old
learn more about Naomi and her story
May these young and acutely aware voices inspire us to work even harder at creating spaces among our congregations that encourage children to tell their stories, share their experiences, to speak and be attentively listened to, foster empathy, and truly be valued in our schools, churches, communities, and world.