People say that the youth are our future. We are here to show that we are the present. We will not wait until society decides we are old enough to take on the issues that affect our lives. Now is our time, and we are prepared to take on the nation’s top leaders to make our voices heard. Our generation has grown up watching school shootings destroy lives and then get swept out of the spotlight. We refuse to let this happen again.
We looked to history and an earlier generation of young leaders who fueled real change. In 1965, civil rights leaders organized the multi-day, 54 mile Selma to Montgomery marches. Those 54 long miles took us a long way toward progress, and are the inspiration for our march.
We started 50 Miles More to keep the national demand for gun reform going after the March 24th March for Our Lives events were over. Our first march was a four day, 50 mile march from Madison to Janesville, the home of House Speaker Paul Ryan. It was directed at Paul Ryan for his lead role in blocking and burying any chance of gun reform again and again. Now we are ready to keep the pressure on our nation’s top leaders until gun reform is a priority for Republicans and Democrats. We are not afraid. We fear being shot in our own schools and neighborhoods much more than we would ever fear the NRA or the politicians they support.
It has been 19 years since Columbine, and we are still waiting for real change to be made. We are tired of waiting. Adults have said that nothing can be done, but students are finding a way. Our brave peers from Parkland are already having a huge impact in Florida and across the country, and we aim to do the same in our communities and across the nation.
It is our time as the next generation to recognize and seize our power, to join our voices together and demand real and visible change. We have taken our demands to Paul Ryan and encourage other youth to take the fight to their members of Congress who would rather have money from the NRA than back legislation to save lives. We are inviting our peers across the country to join us in this fight — #50More in #50States