a year ago
Students behind the #NeverAgain movement are not some abstract heroes. These teenagers are the voices of their generation, inspiring others to express their outrage with gun violence. What we know today as the March for Our Lives started with a group of students, which includes the Parkland shooting survivors. March for Our Lives is a massive anti-gun-violence event held in Washington, DC, and emulated in other cities across the USA.
Meet the leaders of the student anti-gun-violence movement that have changed the world’s perception of the problem.
Emma Gonzalez, 18
Emma Gonzalez is an 18-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior who managed to become one of the most prominent faces of the student movement. The survivor of the Parkland shooting, Gonzalez and her fellow students have been working to contact politicians to advocate legislative change. Eventually, they organized the march in Washington.
Gonzalez drew national attention was when she gave a speech at a rally against gun violence. She said: "The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call BS."
Jaclyn Corin, 17
Jaclyn Corin is the 17-year-old junior-class president of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She got involved in the movement as a way of coping with the tragedy and to distract herself "with work and helping people."
During the March for Our Lives, Jaclyn confirmed the willingness of the Parkland students to shed the light on the gun violence affecting the communities of color, but doesn't get as much coverage as mass shootings.
In response to Trump’s recent tweet that despite all the "Fake News, the US "is doing great!" Jaclyn Corin said: "96 deaths by firearm every day is not what I call great."
David Hogg, 17
David Hogg is a 17-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who give interviews to national news channels and spoke at several events in the wake of the shooting.
Hogg and other Parkland shooting survivors have sustained severe online criticism from Trump's and gun-rights supporters, as well as alt-right bots. Hogg had been dubbed an "extremist" and "useful idiot" by some high-profile members of conservative media who disagree with his rhetoric in support for gun control.
Naomi Wadler, 11
Being the youngest participant of the student movement, 11-year-old Naomi Wadler provoked an enormous reaction from the March for Our Lives crowd. The 5th-grader from Virginia, Naomi became a representative of the African-American girls who fell victims of gun violence, but never gained recognition.
In her speech at the meeting, Wadler said in 7 short years she'd be a voter. The 11-year-old denied any accusations naming her "some tool of some nameless adult." She said that despite being young, she and her friends "know what is right and wrong."
Cameron Kasky, 17
Cameron Kasky is a 17-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and a survivor of the Parkland shooting. Cameron is involved in school theater. He started speaking out in public after he and his brother survived the tragedy.
Kasky joined the leaders of the student anti-gun-violence movement and voiced his response to the shooting. During his speech at the March for Our Lives, Kasky said: "Welcome to the revolution."
Edna Chavez, 17
Edna Chavez is a 17-year-old student from South Los Angeles who joined the rally to speak about her brother who was shot and killed while in high school. Chavez admitted that in their neighborhood they grew up thinking gun violence was the part of a "normal" life.
She made a shocking confession to the crowd, saying she "learned to duck from bullets before I learned how to read." In memory of her brother Ricardo, she said: "I lost more than my brother that day. I lost my hero."
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