(Aug 17, 2022) Catherine Read talks with Elijah Lee, a 14-year-old community activist who founded the non-profit Hear Our Voices in 2021. The goal of his organization is to empower young people to be agents of change. He is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and a freshman at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond.
Elijah has been an advocate against child abuse since he was 10 years old. In addition to organizing marches and rallies to raise awareness of the prevalence of child abuse, he has successfully led fundraising projects to design child-friendly spaces in hospitals where victims of child abuse are treated. His activism has garnered national attention with appearances on the Kelly Clarkson Show, coverage in PEOPLE magazine, and inclusion in the Kids Speak Out About Violence book. He was featured on the Marvel Hero Project streaming on Disney+, episode 2 Incredible Elijah. Catherine last interviewed Elijah for Your Need to Know on Dec. 29, 2021.
Being selected to join the 2022 Advocacy Cohort for Voices for Virginia’s Children gave Elijah the opportunity to attend the Virginia General Assembly legislative session in 2022. Learning how bills are drafted, how subcommittees and committees function, and making connections with legislators inspired Elijah to work on 15 bills for the legislative session starting January 11, 2023.