#NeverAgain: March For Our Lives, Defining A Generation

“And the children shall lead them...”

Credit: Emma Gonzalez during speech. CBSN/in-video screenshot

Credit: Emma Gonzalez during speech. CBSN/in-video screenshot

One of the largest mass protests in American history took place over the weekend. The student-led demonstration “March For Our Lives,” brought an intersectional message to Washington. The message was a demand for change, specifically, ”common sense gun-safety laws, or we’ll vote you out!”

We saw the extreme power of young people advocating for themselves, in an attempt to inspire real change. Students were able to articulate their passion into action, raising their collective voice the greater good. Proving that they are not “too young and uninformed to have these thoughts of their own”. One young lady stated, “we learned to duck bullets before we could read,” and “we have been learning to do lockdown drills before first grade,” said another; as they held signs that read, “thoughts and prayers are not bulletproof.” And, how could you miss the captivating 11-year-old African-American girl (Naomi Wadler, age 11) who in her words, was there “to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper. Whose stories don’t lead on the evening news.”

But nothing was more moving than Emma Gonzalez (age 18) silent stance. Emma became the face of this youth-led anti-violence activism, after calling BS to lawmakers and gun advocates and their excuses. Emma’s extended moment of silence put an incredible period on the event, before Jennifer Hudson’s emotional exclamation mark performance. As Emma’s voice broke and tears ran down her cheeks, she named her 17 school mates killed in the Parkland school shooting who “would never again complain about piano practice or get a chance to joke with friends”.

As a mom myself, it was emotionally moved to watch our children demanding that our politicians do the job we hired them to do. Lead, follow, or get out of the way; because one young man said, “beware the voters are coming!” This generation of leaders [America’s mass shooting generation] is part of the now largest generational cohort--the Millennials. Contrary to what most may believe about this generation, they will not be sold and they understand their collective power. A power that they have shown they are fearless in using, and one that influences their parents.