At just 10 years old, Gavin Alston is already standing up to racism. Unfortunately, his passion and bravery comes as a result of being harassed by other students at his mostly white Oregon school.

Earlier this week, Alston attended his first city council meeting to speak out about the racist treatment he has received as a Black fourth grade student. As he went before the room of mostly white adults, the little boy pulled out a sheet of paper containing a speech he prepared the night before. “A lot of people have been calling me the N-word or a monkey, even ‘Black boy.’ One girl said to me, ‘I would hit you, but that’s called animal abuse,’” the young Oregon resident explained, according to an article published by The New York Post today (June 16).

“Why should us Black people suffer from racism when there are other races doing murders? When us Black people are showing respect, but we still get treated like crap. We should not get treated like this. We should get treated equally. This is not fair to us Black people. I want people to change and not judge people just because of their skin color,” Alston added. The outlet noted that the child burst into tears as he returned to his parents. His mother later shared online how proud she was of him.

“What strength it took for this child to speak what he feels in front of a microphone and group of adults. He will become quite the man one day,” one person tweeted in response to a clip on social media. Another wrote, “Courageous little guy, but man, that breaks my heart.” The meeting Alston spoke at was scheduled to discuss a dead raccoon left outside the office of Redmond, Oregon’s first and only Black city councilor earlier this month. Community members gathered to address the subject of local racism head-on.