On Feb 14, 2018, 17 people were murdered at a High School in Parkland, Florida. Since then the students from that school have been vocal about the many things that need to change. These students have been able to raise their voices against the NRA in a powerful way that has gained a lot of notice.
Emma Gonzalez’s speech at the ‘March For Our Lives’ rally on March 24th (a rally that brought together somewhere between 1.2 to 2 million people around the US, and that 800 sibling events around the World) went viral on YouTube. Her presence and message were indisputably powerful.
But as we mourn for all the students lost in these shootings, I think it’s important to stretch our awareness to the many children lost to gun violence around North America, during events that haven’t been documented in the same way.
From 2012-2014, an estimated 5,790 children a year were injured and received medical treatment due to a gun-related injury in the US. Of that number, an average 1,297 children a year died from those injuries (source). Many of these kids are from marginalized communities.
Shootings happen all over North America, and young people living in violent situations don’t always have the resources they need to share their struggles. How can we bring their voices up? How can we advocate for the young people who haven’t had a chance to share what they believe in? Who’ve had their voices and their stories silenced.
The ‘March For Our Lives’ rally was one of the largest protests in American History. How can we stretch our awareness now, during this incredibly powerful movement and moment in history, to add their voices to this story -- a story that I think people will be talking about for a long time.
I hope you join me in a big ‘WAHOO!’ for all the ways that 2018 was great, all the ways it was challenging, and all the obstacles I overcame. And I hope the many lessons I learned in this past year are helpful to you.