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Naomi Wadler, Alexandria Gun Control Activist, Appears On Ellen

Posted on Apr 06,2018
Filed Under News , Community,
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Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

By Emily Leayman

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Before the March for Our Lives rally on March 24, Naomi Wadler was an 11-year-old fifth grader who helped organize a walkout at George Mason Elementary School in Alexandria. But by delivering a speech about the forgotten African-American women who are victims of gun violence, she electrified the rally crowd and captured the nation's attention.

On Wednesday, Wadler re-entered the national spotlight with an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" to speak about the march.

In the interview, Wadler discusses the speech and how she got involved in the first place. She recalled how March for Our Lives organizers saw a clip of her speaking at the George Mason walkout and wanted her to speak. Wadler and her friend, Carter, had approached the George Mason Elementary School principal to gain permission for the walkout. Over 60 students participated in the March 14 walkout, holding signs and at one point a "lie-in" in dead silence.

One day, after her mother got off the phone with the march organizers, she told her daughter George Clooney was calling to speak with her. "He said I spoke very eloquently and that he loved my message," Wadler told DeGeneres. At the end, he added, "See you Saturday," and Wadler replied, "See you too."

Ten days after the walkout in front of her school, Wadler was standing before hundreds of thousands crowding together on Pennsylvania Avenue. "I was really really nervous," she told DeGeneres. Wadler said the crowd helped her feel at ease, but still she decided to focus on the first few rows rather than the enormous crowd.

After returning home from the rally, Wadler said her mom's phone started blowing up with emails. Later at a restaurant, a worker asked her "Are you the Naomi? Can I have your autograph?" But she fully realized the impact her speech made when she got a call from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

"Nothing else mattered. Ellen called me. I'm good," said Wadler.

Watch the clip below or catch the episode at 3 p.m. on WRC 4.

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