At just 13 years old, Elijah Lee is a community activist, a public speaker, an advocate for children, and an ordained minister. His activism journey began in first grade, when Elijah learned that one of his classmates was experiencing child abuse. While he assisted her in getting the help she needed, Elijah was saddened by her experience.
He learned about the power of marching from historic leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Congressman John Lewis. Their stories inspired a 10-year-old Elijah to organize his first annual child-abuse-awareness march in 2018. His 2020 march, held in rural North Carolina, had a record number of over 450 people in attendance. In honor of Elijah's work, the county of Halifax and the city of Roanoke Rapids have named the first Saturday in March Child Abuse Awareness Day.
Since then, Elijah has 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 is also a public speaker on the issues of child-abuse awareness, racism, resilience, and youth empowerment. He has served as a keynote speaker for statewide Guardian ad Litem conferences, foster-care events, the North Carolina Association For Young Children, and the KIPP school system.