Category Archives: March For Our Lives

Desmond Tutu awards peace prize to Parkland shooting survivors

Repost from NBC News

“I am in awe of these children,” Tutu said at the ceremony on Tuesday.

Image: March For Our Lives
Emma Gonzalez and other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students conclude the March For Our Lives in Washington on March 24. Shawn Thew / EPA file
By Associated Press, Nov. 20, 2018 / 9:56 AM PST

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Parkland students who created an international movement to raise awareness for gun violence after a deadly school shooting were awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize on Tuesday.

During a ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu presented the award, calling the student organization March For Our Lives one of the most significant youth-led mass movements in living memory and its founders “true change-makers.”

“I am in awe of these children, whose powerful message is amplified by their youthful energy and an unshakable belief that children can — no, must — improve their own futures,” Tutu said.

In the moments after 17 of their classmates and teachers were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Delaney Tarr, Ryan Deitsch and Jaclyn Corin and more than a dozen others sprang to action, doing countless media interviews, grilling lawmakers about gun reform during town halls, and sparking massive walkouts and peaceful protests at schools across the country.

Matt Deitsch, a Parkland alumnus whose two younger siblings were students at the time of the shooting, immediately left college to help form March For Our Lives.

Hogg, Gonzalez, Corin and the Deitsch brothers were in South Africa to accept the award. Gonzalez said the award “serves as a major reminder that the universe is on the side of justice and that we will win because our cause is one of peace.”

Manuel Oliver, whose son Joaquin was killed, also spoke during the ceremony. The group was joined by two students from Chicago Strong, a youth-led initiative to end gun violence in their hometown, who have worked closely with their cause.

Cameron Kasky
Cameron Kasky, center, speaks at a news conference on June 4, 2018, in Parkland, Florida, where a group of school shooting survivors announced a multi-state bus tour to “get young people educated, registered and motivated to vote.” Wilfredo Lee / AP

Since the Valentine’s Day massacre, the students have gained international attention, raised millions of dollars from the likes of Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney for their grassroots movement and made a slew of television appearances.

Hundreds of thousands attended their Washington, D.C., march this spring to raise awareness about gun violence and advocate for safer schools. Many of the students have called for a ban on assault rifles and universal background checks. The organization says more than 25 states have passed legislation consistent with their cause, including Florida.

Over the summer, the students hit the road, visiting 80 communities in 24 states to help register young voters and spread their message about gun violence. Their tireless efforts even landed them on the cover of Time magazine.

Marc Dullaert, founder of KidsRights and the International Children’s Peace Prize, said the students “transformed a local community protest into a truly global youth-led and peaceful protest-movement.”

In Parkland on Tuesday, a charity group pledged $1 million to create artworks to help the community heal.

Bloomberg Philanthropies said it’s making the grant to Parkland and Coral Springs for their project, “Inspiring Community Healing After Gun Violence: The Power of Art.” Five artists and teams will create temporary projects for public display. Community workshops and talks will discuss using art for emotional healing.

Most of the 17 victims were from the cities.

The charity was founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who started the news agency bearing his surname. He has been an outspoken supporter of groups with the goal of decreasing gun violence.

    High school students react, comment on latest mass school shooting

    From National Public Radio, NPR:

    The students behind the March for Our Lives movement, which started after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida, sent a note of support, saying, “This is the most fatal shooting since the one at our school and tragedies like this will continue to happen unless action is taken.”

    One of the leaders of the group, Emma Gonzalez, added via Twitter, “Santa Fe High, you didn’t deserve this.”

    Video of student reaction, comments: Youth Radio.

    Here is a post from March For Our Lives on Twitter:

      Benicia High School VIDEO: March For Our Lives

      Benicia High School videographers Iris Sampayo and Chris Weldon put together this moving and powerful 2-minute documentation of the Benicia March For Our Lives.  I’m so glad they captured the song, “Shine,” originally created by the Parkland High School Drama Club, and sung here by Dahlia Elgonemy, Ameera Elgonemy, LaPaula Parker, and Gabby Campitelli on guitar.