Serena Williams Recounts Sister’s Murder While Getting Candid About Gun Violence in New Series
DiversiTea, a new Ellen DeGeneres Show series in partnership with Cheerios, premieres Friday, March 22
Youth activist Naomi Wadler is bringing a new meaning to “spilling the tea” with her show DiversiTea.
The six-episode digital series from The Ellen DeGeneres Show gives Wadler, 12, the floor to have conversations with impactful people who are using their voice and platform to prompt positive change in the world around them — and PEOPLE has an exclusive clip from the first episode, set to air on Ellentube on Friday.
In the clip, Wadler’s first guest is tennis champion Serena Williams, who joins the activist to talk about female empowerment and gun violence — opening up about her own personal experience with the epidemic.
“I was affected personally by gun violence, my sister unfortunately passed from that,” she tells Wadler.
Williams’ sister, Yetunde Price, was murdered on Sept. 14, 2003 while in the passenger seat of a car being driven by Rolland Wormley, her partner. She was Williams’ oldest sister.
“People are talking about it now because it’s happening more widespread,” Williams adds. “But it’s been affecting our community for years.”
And Wadler highlighted that community at last year’s March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., giving a moving speech honoring female African American victims of gun violence — creating a dialogue around the disproportionate representation of black women as victims of gun violence.
Noting that though these conversations can be difficult, Williams tells Wadler they’re necessary.
“I think we need to get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations,” she says. “Situations are never really gonna get better if you always avoid it, you have to take it head on.”
Back in 2007, Williams said her sister’s murder was “still hard for me to talk about.”
“Yetunde and I were so close; she changed my diapers,” the tennis star said. “But I finally came to an acceptance of things.”