Meet finalist March For Our Lives - KidsRights

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The Changemaker Program supports changemaking activities of young talent to ensure a better future for children’s rights! The program is intended for everyone between 12 and 24 years that wants to contribute to a lasting change for children’s rights in their communities and beyond. Support these changemakers and contribute to the KidsRights Changemakers Program. Together we can move the world!

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Meet finalist March For Our Lives

Some of these changemakers are the March For Our Lives movement, finalists of the Children´s Peace Prize 2018. The teenagers who initiated March For Our Lives are an inspiration to young people everywhere, with their peaceful, powerful fight for safer schools and communities. They have used their skills and knowledge as young people to create viable positive change, mobilizing millions of their peers, controlling the public narrative on the issues that matter to them, and making people in power listen. March For Our Lives has grown from a small group of friends with shared passions, ideals and ambitions for a better world, into a far-reaching mass movement. 

David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, Jaclyn Corin and Matt Deitsch grew up in a country where school shooting drills are a regular part of life. Nevertheless, living in affluent Parkland, Florida’s safest community, they thought it could never happen to them. But it did. On Wednesday February 14, 2018, a former student returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and shot 17 people dead, including 14 children. 

Personally affected by the tragedy, David, Emma, Jaclyn and Matt were determined to act. David, at the time a teen reporter for the local newspaper, made a video during the shooting, while he was hiding in a classroom with other students. “If our souls would be left be behind,” he said, “our voices would echo on.” Jaclyn was planning a lobby with at least 100 students in the state capitol when she and Matt were invited to a friend’s house to make a plan of action. A few days later, Emma called on politicians and the government to step up to the plate. Her ‘We call BS speech’ will go down in history as one of the most powerful speeches ever given by a teenager: “We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks. Not because we're going to be another statistic about mass shooting in America, but because, just as David said, we are going to be the last mass shooting.”

Born in the internet era, the March For Our Lives students made powerful use of Twitter, finding new ways to protest. “Don’t give them content,” says Matt. “Create it yourself.” Combining impressive background knowledge with typical teenage communication styles involving ‘burns’ and calling out names, they demanded action from those in power via social media. Their message caught on, and soon they were being contacted by the biggest names in the media.

The March For Our Lives youngsters succeeded in making themselves heard. Since they started speaking out, over 25 states have passed more than 50 laws, all consistent with their cause.

 “There is no age restriction on fighting for justice and peace. We cannot afford to be bystanders when the cost of silence is life or death and the choice to act can be stripped in an instant.

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