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    Marjory Stoneman Douglas and other schools

If 2018 becomes the year that the United States finally begins to tackle its disease of gun violence—an epidemic that steals nearly 100 American lives every day—it will be due not to the good sense of elected officials, but rather to the courage, tenacity, and sheer eloquence of students like Emma González, who bore witness to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings with an unforgettable speech, and long moment of silence, at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C..

It will be due to 11th-graders like Cameron Kasky, who along with Stoneman Douglas classmates Jaclyn Corin and Alex Wind launched the #NeverAgain crusade and helped plan the historic rally in Washington, which was mirrored by gatherings around the world. It will be due to 11-year-olds like Naomi Wadler, who reminded millions of people on that same day of something that should never have needed a reminder: that young African-Americans who die in such overwhelming numbers from gun violence aren’t “simply statistics” but instead vibrant lives “full of potential.” It will be due to 21-year-olds like Columbia student Nza-Ari Khepra, who cofounded two efforts to bring attention to gun violence—Project Orange Tree and the Wear Orange Campaign—which she hopes will inspire other young people to engage in a conversation about this scourge.

To read more about these and many other young activists, click here.

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