A year ago today, I took the stage in front of over 800,000 people, I was really nervous, but I knew I had something to say – something I wanted to add to the conversation that was deeply personal and important to me.
Growing up as a girl of color redefines your view of America and I am not alone. Every day, I witness young girls of color exercising their power to take a stand and bring about change in their community.
We are innovators, writers, scientists, designers, students, athletes and much, much more. We have the ability to defy expectations, to dream big and achieve big.
Somedays, I don’t like how I look or how I feel. If you’re like me, sometimes you may feel like you’re not enough – smart enough, friendly enough, funny enough – but I am here to tell you that you are.
YOU are enough. We have to lift each other up just as much as the world sometimes lets us down.
On stage in D.C., I was representing Courtlin Arrington, Hadiya Pendelton, Taiyania Thompson – young black women who had been victims of gun violence in their communities. I want to acknowledge the American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper or don't lead on the evening news. And I still stand for them.
We have to let the world know that enough is enough. Every voice matters. And if people say you’re too young or that you’re repeating what an adult has told you, tell them like I do that I may be young, but I also have an opinion and a voice. We know the difference between right and wrong and one day – sometime soon – we’ll be able to vote and run for office. Let’s stand in our power and be the changemakers we already are.
delivered a message.
Today, we live it.