7-Year-Old Participates In National School Walkout Alone, Says 'You Are Never Too Little To Make A Difference'
April 24, 2018 · BOTWC Staff
Photo via: Bethany Edwards
On Friday, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School mass shooting, 7-year-old Havana Chapman-Edwards joined thousands of students across the country in National School Walkout Day. However, at Virginia's Fort Hunt Elementary School, Havana stood alone as the only student to walk out in protest for gun reform.
"I wanted to stand up for the kids who died in Columbine and Sandy Hook and other schools too who can't stand up for themselves anymore," Havana told ABC News.
Havana didn't understand why her classmates stayed in class, but her mother Bethany Edwards told Teen Vogue: "She said, 'I am going to tell my friends I did this, and then next time there will be more of us. That means we are winning.' I knew then that she understood what it means to be a leader, even in the most simple terms."
Last month, Havana attended D.C's March for Our Lives, which propelled her to want to do more to help end school gun violence. She also participated in the National Walkout Day to honor her cousin Tony, who was fatally shot in 2009 on his way to school. The first-grader wore an astronaut suit for her sole student walkout.
"Havana wants to be an astronaut when she grows up, so she wore her astronaut suit to show her friends and the world that little Black girls have dreams and aspirations and they are strong and beautiful and deserve the same chance to achieve their goals as everyone else," Bethany Edwards explained.
The future astronaut speaks 8 languages, and launched a book club, plus a fundraiser for African American children in her choir. Her inspirations include: Audrey Faye Hendricks (the youngest child to be arrested for a 1963 civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama) and civil rights hero Ruby Bridges (who at age 6 became the first African American child to integrate an all-white Southern Elementary School).
"I know that just because I am only seven doesn't mean that I can't help other people every day," Havana said. "My advice to other kids is that you don't have to be a grownup or be famous to change the world. Sometimes you just have to choose kind to change the world."
We couldn't agree more, Havana! Keep leading the way.
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