Elijah Lee, a 13-year-old community activist and public speaker, is an advocate for children and an ordained minister. In the first grade Elijah learned one of his classmates was experiencing child abuse. He assisted her in getting help but this placed a burden on his heart.
After learning of the power in marching from historical leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Congressman John Lewis, Elijah organized his first annual child abuse awareness march at the age of ten (2018). Elijah’s 2020 march held in rural North Carolina had a record number of over 450 people in attendance. The county of Halifax and city of Roanoke Rapids have all named the first Saturday in March, Child Abuse Awareness Day in honor of Elijah Lee’s work.
Since then, he extended his community involvement by raising money to develop two pediatric safe rooms at a local hospital, which will convert an uninviting, cold hospital room into a safe, welcoming space for children who have experienced trauma and abuse.
Elijah serves as a public speaker on the issues of child abuse awareness, racism, resilience and youth empowerment. He has served as keynote speakers for Guardian ad Litem statewide conferences, foster care events, the North Carolina Association for Youth Children, KIPP School System and NAACP.
Elijah, an ordained minister, began studying the word of God at a young age and gave his first sermon at the age of five. Throughout the years Min. Lee has continued to preach at Holy City Church in Emporia, Virginia, as well as other churches in North Carolina and Virginia.
Elijah has also made guest appearances on the Kelly Clarkson Show. He was featured in PEOPLE Magazine, THE WEEK Junior and in Black Panther Comic Issue 24. In 2020, Elijah’s work was highlighted in the Kids Speak Out About Violence Book, published by Rourke Educational Media. Elijah was honored to receive an autograph copy of John Lewis’ March book, as well as an inspiration letter from the Congressman. Elijah is also the recipient of the Governor’s Student Excellence Award, Youth Impact Award from Halifax Community College, the Youth Civic Services Award from the Northampton County Branch of the NAACP, and Rising Star Award from the Chamber of Commerce. Most recently, Elijah was named as a kid role model by H&M and was featured on a limited-edition backpack.
Elijah, an eighth grader in the Chesterfield Public School System, consistently earns Principal’s List and in his spare time enjoys traveling, studying justice initiatives and spending time with family.
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