A little girl from Montreal has come up with a plan to allow her, and her community, to join the movement against racial injustice.
Six-year-old Anuva Shah learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks in her kindergarten class. They impressed and inspired her so much, that when she learned about the Black Lives protest marches, she decided she also wanted to try to help Black lives.
“It is important that everyone be treated equally and fairly,” Anuva said.
Anuva’s parents say they talked to her about the marches a few weeks ago.
“I think it was difficult because addressing this crisis is clearly long overdue,” said her mother Nisha Shah. “It’s a challenge that requires social transformation on multiple levels, but she was really aware — she is sensitive to inequality and injustice.
“We are really impressed that she is showing awareness at this age.”
The whole family wanted to get involved, but with social distancing, they weren’t comfortable attending large marches downtown. So Anuva came up with her own initiative. She drew a poster with pictures of King and Parks, and a personal message.
“On my sign I wrote ‘freedom yes, racism no,'” she said.
She’s asking others to also draw posters with similar messages of support then stand on their porches at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, making noise with noisemakers, pots and pans, or anything they’d like.
Her mother posted the initiative online, and support is flowing in. Even Transport Minister Marc Garneau tweeted in response.
“It’s creating awareness, that this is an issue that it doesn’t matter your age, this is an issue you need to start thinking about,” Shah said.
The Montreal West community has rallied behind Anuva, with kids spreading word with flyers and telling neighbours about the initiative, asking people to make noise on their porches on Saturday.
“It means to me a lot because I really support that idea,” said 9-year-old Tom Trower.
“It’s really time for grassroots movements. I think it’s great what the kids are doing and all from the heart. Montreal West is behind Anuva,” said councilor Colleen Feeney.
Her mother is in awe of her little girl.
“As hard as the struggle will be, there are still people and even really little people really motivated to ensure the world looks different for them,” Shah said.